Categories
Choices The little things

Foxes and Flies

 

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Enough already!

I’m sure you could chime in with me with what you’re going through. It’s enough!

If I have to wake up to no water coming out of the taps and face another pile of unwashed clothes… I’ll do what I’ve always done: make some under-my-breath comments and carry on. Then, I’ll give my husband “that” look meaning, “Find water now or the consequences will be grave.” In no time at all, “that” look brings me water for washing two days’ worth of dirty dishes, but not quite enough for the dirty laundry. I’m holding out hope that the water will come on and that, by grace and mercy, the power will still be on so I can wash the clothes in the machine.

After 5 days without water, it finally did come back on and the power did stay on long enough for me to catch up with the laundry. A little means more than we think; we take the small things of life that keep it running for granted. We take a small thing that we always have at our disposal, water, for granted, until it’s turned off!

Song of Solomon 2:15 NKJ Catch us the foxes, the little foxes that spoil the vines, For our vines have tender grapes.”

It doesn’t take much for life to be interrupted by a very small detail that normally goes unnoticed. Once, I went to start our car and it proceeded to do nothing. I couldn’t move, I couldn’t transport anything or anyone – I was stranded. The long and short of it was that a small part in the starter needed replacing (of course the small part alone wasn’t available requiring us to buy a whole new starter). That part goes largely unnoticed until it is no longer functioning. Then, the entire vehicle was affected which, in turn, turned my day upside down.

Ecclesiastes 10:1 NKJ Dead flies putrefy the perfumer’s ointment, and cause it to give off a foul odor; so does a little folly to one respected for wisdom and honor.”

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Flies, seemingly innocuous creatures, are not as harmless as we might think. They can carry disease and there are flies that can (and do) lay their eggs anywhere they find that is convenient for them. They are opportunistic creatures and we give them a lot of opportunity. There’s a certain type of fly here in parts Africa that will lay its eggs on laundry that has been hung out to dry. Once you wear the clothes that were out on the laundry line, those eggs can get embedded into your skin. In time those eggs then hatch into maggots underneath your skin. The way to prevent having those eggs embed into your skin is to dry them in the dryer (if you have one) or iron them. If you don’t iron or dry your clothes in a dryer, you are risking an encounter with maggots – which is disgusting and extremely uncomfortable.

In every country I have worked in, I have asked residents if there are these types of flies present. Initially in Burundi, a neighbor told me that she’s never had an issue with them and hung out her laundry regularly without a worry. For a few years, I did the same, not ironing all of our laundry until one day my little boy (who was about 2 at the time) complained of painful bumps on his back. Indeed, there appeared to be some insect bites on his back, to which I applied some antibiotic cream. After another day or two, he began crying loudly that it was painful so off to the doctor’s we went. As he examined my son, the doctor asked, “Did you know that there’s a certain fly…” My baby had 9 maggots growing underneath the skin on his back and I watched in horror as the doctor removed them and prescribed some antibiotics to take to prevent any infection.

My neighbor was wrong. While our family went some time without any trouble with these flies, there obviously were flies in the area. We let the flies in without knowing it and it was a horrible lesson to have to learn.

The small things in life that don’t seem to be important are often what cause the big gears of life to turn. Interrupt the flow of one of these important small details and the entire machine may pack up and stop in its tracks. The dead flies have fallen into the ointment and caused it to putrefy.

Where have the dead flies landed in our lives? Where have the little foxes come in? In our relationships with God? In our relationships with our spouses, children? In our health? The knock-off effects of allowing the flies in putrefies us and can, in the long run, bring us to a sudden and definite halt.

Close the doors to the little foxes and the flies. They might seem harmless but let me assure you, they are up to no good.

Enough already with the foxes and flies!

Categories
Fasting Words

Day 6 – Words

Glasses on Open Bible

I get into trouble sometimes not so much because of what I do or don’t do, but more because of what I have said or maybe haven’t said. Does that happen to you? Me and my big mouth! Seems my brain is always scrambling to catch up with the trouble that my words have created.

As a child, I always had something to say even if I didn’t know anything about a given subject. I have memories of being in class and the teacher asking the students for answers. Of course I had no idea what the answer would be, but I would wave my hand frantically anyway and blurt out the first thought that would come into my mind. Whenever report cards were sent home, teachers would inevitably comment, “Lea talks too much in class.” It was so difficult to be quiet!

Words. They are incredibly significant. With our words we do so many things:

  1. Words create good/bad atmosphere. You know that atmosphere when all is going well and something awkward or harsh is said and a heavy cloud then descends totally changing the feeling in the room . The same can happen in the positive. Someone can enter into a room with great news and everyone’s hearts are lifted.
  2. Words create a good/bad reputation. Based on what a person says, their reputation is created to be: positive, negative, critical, peaceful, generous, stingy, etc. Words have just as much to do with how we are perceived, as do our actions. For example, as believers we can say we “live” our testimony but if we never “say” anything, what makes us different from anyone else who lives a good and moral life?
  3. Words determine our lives’ directions. What we say in a job interview has a lot to do with whether or not we will be hired. What we say to family, friends, and colleagues determines in a great way how we will or won’t be accepted. If a proposal is not given, there won’t be a wedding! All because of words.
  4. Words determine our attitudes. What we say reflects and reinforces positive or negative attitudes we possess. If I allow myself to run down the road of negativity with my mouth, my life will soon follow. Conversely, if I decide to change my words the moment my attitude goes sour and speak hope and faith into my situation, my attitude will begin to change.

If you still aren’t convinced that words are important, then take notice of how a false rumor that is spread about you makes you feel; those words have power. Words are important, what we say or don’t say is important.

Our God is a God of words; Genesis 1 & 2 tells us about His creation of the world and how He spoke, and the world just was. In fact, what I find interesting about creation is that the Father just created day & night, the oceans, land, vegetation like trees, flowers, grass, animals, fish and, insects all by the words He spoke. He had something in mind, said it, and it was.

Psalm 33:6 AMP “By the word of the Lord were the heavens made, and all their host by the breath of His mouth.”

What I find most interesting about the Creation, as I’ve pondered it, is that when it came to creating mankind, a discussion took place. We weren’t created without God putting some thought into us:

Genesis 1:26 NKJ “Then God said, ‘Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”

Notice “Us” and “Our” is capitalized here; Who is God speaking to? Jesus and the Holy Spirit were both there together with the Father and took part in creation, so they were part of that discussion. The only part of creation when the Father said more than “let there be” was when He made mankind. There was a discussion in heaven when it came time for God to create man and woman, and that to me, is just amazing. There was purpose to our creation that wasn’t there for the rest of creation – we were made to be like Him, in His image so we could represent Him.

How powerful are God’s Words! And since we are created “in His image,” how powerful are our words? Very.

Are words themselves visible? Was it possible to see the words God spoke when He created our world? No. But we can see what His words did then. In the same way, we can’t see our words, but we can see what they do whether negatively in agreement with this world or positively in agreement with God and His Word.

Hebrews 11:3 AMP “By faith we understand that the worlds [during successive ages] were framed (fashioned, put in order, and equipped for their intended purpose) by the word of God, so that what we see was not made out of things which are visible.”

When we speak of God’s Word, we must understand that it is more than a book.

John 1:1-3 NKJ “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.”

How was the Word in the beginning? Where is He seen at creation? In Genesis 1, the Word (Jesus) is seen 10 times as “God said, let there be…” Jesus, the Word, was spoken by the Father, and creation came into existence.

The Word, God’s Word, is alive and well today for those who hide it in their hearts; that power, alive, at work, in those who dare to allow Him entrance. Whose word, then, ought we as His children follow? Our own words, society’s words, friends’ words, popular words, words that are politically correct, or His Word?

Our own words have not brought us much success when we say what we “feel.” Society tells us what to do and say to fit in and it still says we aren’t good enough. Friends might be well intentioned in their words but they still fail us. Popular words follow the latest and greatest trends and change every day. But God’s Word never changes.

Psalm 119:89 AMP “Forever, O Lord, Your Word is settled in heaven [stands firm as the heavens].”

Have you been disappointed? Booked a trip and then due to weather or some other uncontrollable circumstance that trip was canceled? How disappointing! Have you been promised a promotion only to see someone else promoted before you? Disappointing! As a child promised a toy for your birthday and it doesn’t come? Disappointing! A promised economic turnaround only to find that it’s still just as hard as ever to make ends meet? Disappointing!

Some of the things that disappoint us are uncontrollable. Others are not, but the truth is that we are disappointed when a promise is broken. Thankfully, our Father is a Man of His Word, His Word is settled and secure. He does not disappoint.

As this world’s condition grows increasingly worse, the opportunity for God’s people grows greater as we display and declare how great and how sure our Father’s promises are. In the face of the world’s disappointing condition, here we are, secure, strong, and moving forward no matter what tomorrow may bring we know:

Psalm 37:25 NLT “Once I was young, and now I am old. Yet I have never seen the godly abandoned or their children begging for bread.”

If you even only vaguely pay any attention to the news, you know that this world teeters and totters on the brink of disaster daily and news broadcasters seem to want us to believe that things can only get worse. Thankfully, I don’t live by the words of the news broadcasters or viral internet news feeds. The only Word that is sure is the One that has taken up residence in my heart – the Word of the  Lord Jesus. His Word keeps my world in step with His and as I keep in tandem step with Him, it doesn’t really matter what happens. He said He would take care of me, and that really is enough.


Day 6! So far so good! We’re now in our rhythm that will take us to the end of the fast. May I encourage you to dive further into spending time with God in His Word? Make sure you’re replacing meals or whatever activity you may be fasting with time in the Bible. I’ve added  reading a great Christian book by one of my favourite authors, Wayne Cordeiro, entitled, “Sifted” to my reading time but it does not replace reading my Bible. Christian literature is good but is like a small river emanating from the real river that is the Source of water for all rivers.

Twitter: @LeaKPeters