Slightly Obsessed #100 "When Perspective Shatters Our Pettiness" by Pamela Thorson on 2015-02-18 09:48:06
“For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith; in the future, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing.” - 2 Timothy 4:6-8
I wanted to be grumpy. I awakened with that goal tucked away in the back pocket of my attitude. My body complained as I rolled out of bed. I stretched, trying to unkink my muscles for the long day that lay ahead of me.
I padded downstairs in my polar bear robe, put on the coffee, and took the dog out for her morning walk. There was still a chill in the air, but spring was trying to shame winter into hiding behind a stone gray sky. Bits of green grass erupted beneath the dead weeds on the hillside, shading it in a day-old leprechaun beard.
Back inside, with my bowl of Raisin Bran Crunch in one hand and a cup of fresh coffee in the other, I slouched into my office and fired up the computer. I plopped into my ergonomically padded chair and sighed.
Some days were just so tough.
I had totally planned on feeling sorry for myself that day. But one image in the news changed all that. It was a picture of a dull sea and a white beach. On that beach twenty-one men knelt in the sand, dressed in orange jumpsuits, hands bound. Behind each one a terrorist stood swathed in black and armed with a knife.
These prisoners were singled out for execution for just one reason: They wore the name of Christ.
I stared, transfixed, at the picture. I studied their faces. What does a man think when his life is about to be stolen from him? A few stared stoically ahead. Others hung their heads in resignation. I could only imagine they filled their eyes with the last images of life on earth. Perhaps they grieved for their loved ones and the heartache of leaving them alone in such a cruel land. They must have been praying for strength, for it to be over quickly.
According to news reports, the men were ordered to lie down. Simultaneously, twenty-one martyrs for the Lord Jesus Christ were beheaded for their faith. The earth received their offering as their blood poured out into the sand beneath them.
I sat in my chair with my lukewarm coffee and my tears. These men and their families had given everything for Christ. From the moment I had awakened, I had only given Him complaints and an ungrateful heart. Their lifeblood was their offering to God. What could I, the petty one, give a king who inspired such devotion?
Praise for another day of life and safety would be a good start. Seeing others face death with such courage, I could try living with joy. I could offer thanks for the gifts of eyes to see my world, feet to walk through leprechaun grass, and the good health to enjoy it all.
Most of all, I could give my life as a sacrifice to the worthy One. Like those before me, I could reach for the crown of righteousness, dying to sin and living always for His coming.
By the grace of God, I will.
About Pamela Thorson:
Pamela Thorson is a licensed practical nurse, author, and full-time caregiver. She pioneered in the homeschooling movement from 1982-2006 and authored her first book, Song in the Night, in 2008. Her second book, Out from the Shadows: 31 Devotions for the Weary Caregiver, released in 2014. She resides in the Northwest with her family.
The sound must have been a maddening echo that haunted him at first, tormented by the rooster’s crow that mocked his empty proclamation of loyalty. For three days, his faith lay in the grave with the Savior’s body, darkened by the memory of his public desertion.
Slightly Obsessed #188: Freedom
He was shouting “Freedom” as he plowed his car at twenty-one miles an hour into the granite monument engraved with the Ten Commandments.
A video posted on the suspect’s Facebook page depicted the man in his car facing the monument as a women’s voice, presumably on a car radio, asked, “Where do you go when you’re faced with adversity and trials and challenges?”
Slightly Obsessed #187: He Reigns
Has a more beautiful declaration ever been written? Without that truth, we would have been forever lost to life. But because God had all authority firmly in His grasp, Satan had no chance of wresting the universe from Him. Because God reigns, Jesus could heal sickness, forgive sins, and conquer death. Because God is in control, evil was outwitted. Because He is Lord, there is power behind the words, “It is finished.”
Slightly Obsessed #186: When the Path Ahead Is Fearsome
The room was dark and shadowed, the only sound within its walls the rhythmic whoosh of the ventilator beside my son’s bed. I sat on an uncomfortable chair jammed into one corner of the room. In the faint light that fell from the window across the pages of the Bible I held, I tried to corral my stampeding fears long enough to find some comfort from God’s Word. Outside the door of his room, a cacophony of voices from the nurses’ station jarred our shattered nerves.
Slightly Obsessed #185: Clean
They were just turning down the lights in the sanctuary as I awkwardly slid into a seat near the back of the church. I was tired and soiled by the previous week. Life had been especially difficult, and I had not handled the pressure well. I felt completely unhinged spiritually and wholly unworthy to be in God’s presence. The worship team began with one of my favorite songs, and I hoped I didn’t look as vulnerable as I felt.
Slightly Obsessed #184: The Mark of Maturity
The infant finishes his bottle and smiles contentedly up at his mother. A trickle of milk courses down from the corner of his mouth. It’s a sweet scene because that’s what babies do. They are born with immature digestive systems and no teeth. Mother’s milk or formula are necessary for the child to survive and thrive. As they grow, their teeth begin to come in, their digestive abilities mature, and they can tolerate solid food.