Monday, April 7, 2014

A Word of Hope when you feel Washed Up

I read about a little parakeet that had a particularly hard day. 

"Chippie the Parakeet never saw it coming. One minute he was peacefully perched in his cage. The next he was sucked in, washed up and blown over. The problems began when Chippie’s owner decided to clean Chippie’s cage with a vacuum cleaner. She removed the attachment from the end of the hose and stuck it in the cage. The phone rang, and she turned to pick it up. She’d barely said ‘hello’ when ‘sssopp!’ Chippie got sucked in. The bird owner gasped, put down the phone, turned off the vacuum, and opened the bag. There was Chippie—still alive, but stunned. Since the bird was covered with dust and soot, she grabbed him and raced to the bathroom, turned on the faucet, and held Chippie under the running water. Then, realizing that Chippie was soaked and shivering, she did what any compassionate bird owner would do . . . she reached for the hair dryer and blasted the pet with hot air. Poor Chippie never knew what hit him. A few days after the trauma, the reporter who’d initially written about the event contacted Chippie’s owner to see how the bird was recovering. ’Well,’ she replied, ’Chippie doesn’t sing much anymore—he just sits and stares.’ It’s hard not to see why. Sucked in, washed up, and blown over . . . that’s enough to steal the song from the stoutest heart."

Do you ever feel like Chippie?  I'm sure you do, if we are honest, all of us feel like that poor bird from time to time.  Life has a way of catching us off guard, sucking us in, washing us up and blowing us out.  In the sermon on the Mount, the Lord Jesus spoke to a mass crowd, many of them feeling like poor O'Chippie.  They were poor, stressed, oppressed by the Roman Government, despised and rejected.  With hungry hearts they listened as the Lord Jesus spoke words of hope and life.

Jesus said, "But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own" (Matthew 6: 33-34).

Consider the wisdom in the Lord's words.

First of all, Jesus says to Set your Gaze upon God and His Purposes.

What happens when you set your eyes on your problems, the problems in the world and the uncertainties of life? You quickly become discouraged.  The joy of life can be chocked out by the issues of life. The Apostle Paul encouraged us to "Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things" (Colossians 3:2).  I've heard it said, "You can become so earthly minded that you will be no heavenly good.  Yet, if you are heavenly minded, you might just do the world some good."  I like that.

Second, the Lord says to Trust Him. 

Jesus says that God knows what we need.  If it is encouragement, He is the encourager.  Need guidance?  He promises to guide our steps.  Forgiveness?  He promises to forgive us and cast our sins as far as the east is from the west when we repent.  It all comes down to a matter of trust.  Jesus says, "seek first His kingdom...and all these things will be given to you..."

Third, Jesus says to Hold On to Hope. 

There is not one of us who knows what the day will bring each morning as we pull ourselves out of bed.   Each step of the day is a step of faith.  God doesn't promise a smooth ride, but He does promise to go with us.  Meditate on this wonderful promise, Never will I leave you;
    never will I forsake you.
” (Hebrews 13:5).