I’ve been thinking about a bunch of things tonight. I mean, I was vacuuming flies and I had lots of time to think. Seriously, hundreds of flies. Actually, it felt more like dozens of hundreds of flies. So I was vacuuming them up with Wes’s shop-vac. I have never seen so many flies in all my life– truly. As the day passed, the flies increased by such an alarming rate that I was beginning to feel as though an OT Egyptian style plague had come upon our home. We did have the fellowship here today and we did share a meal and the door was open all the while and the flies multiplied and multiplied. And multiplied. Many “fly-strips” were completely filled. Seriously, it was incredible and more than I have ever seen. But I said that already, didn’t I? Probably a hundred or more were sort of caught in the stairwell and still more covered all the books and the fan blades above the light in the kitchen. And the ceilings… everywhere.
There’s almost a sadistic drive to vacuum up and hear the thwp sound of the vacuum as another pesky fly goes into the vacuum hose. I had to learn to seal off the end of the hose when the vacuum is turned off so that the flies don’t fly out and multiply further.
So I was thinking about people’s stuff. You know that “issues” we each deal with. I find it interesting that when someone’s dealing with something that’s not “our issue,” then it’s really quite easy to sit back and think that issue is really pretty awful. I mean, I think we sometimes get pretty smug and think… well, at least I don’t do that or at least that’s not my issue. I was thinking about smoking. I mean, I was not thinking about smoking, but rather, I was thinking about the habit of smoking. I remember a few kids asking: …is that person (in line to buy cigarettes at the grocery store) going to hell? It’s so easy to think our stuff’s not nearly so dastardly as someone else’s stuff. Like there are degrees of sin. You know, sin sin’s, and then bad sin’s and then the really, really bad stuff. I think we like to think our stuff falls in the category of “everyday sins,” the every day stuff people do. Well.. coveting a little, or lying a little, or gossiping a little or being a little disobedient on the road or whatever. But we’re sort of smugly proud of the fact that at least we don’t smoke or swear or do (really) bad things. Well, not like smoking, anyway. So I was thinking about the “sin categorizing” I do sometimes. This is bad… but it’s not as bad as this______ and so as long as I don’t do_______, then I’m pretty much okay.
I was thinking about the law. We love the law when it’s on our side. You know, for example, if a policeman were to come onto the scene just as you had pulled over because you had a sudden blow-out of a tire and couldn’t repair or change it yourself, then you’d think the law was great –the law being the policeman. The helpful policeman. Awwww. But then, consider: you’re speeding. In a school zone. Children are present. You don’t have your driver’s license with you. Your tabs are also expired. You’re also not wearing a seatbelt. Dumb law. Mean policeman. Creep. See how differently we look at things when our “issue” is involved?
I think we do that with sin. It’s really bad unless we’ve deemed it to not be “that bad.” The law is a schoolmaster that brings us to repentance. It’s our guide. Psalm 119 is a marvelous Psalm about the law… the perfect law of God and how the Word of God is our protection, a lamp unto our feet and light unto our path. The Word is Truth. It is only against this Truth that we can truly see *the* Truth. For the truth is not in us—for we would lie. But God is not a man that He should lie and so He cannot/will not compromise truth. He is Truth. So, no matter how we see things, unless we see them in light of God’s Word –in light of the truth, we will not have wisdom nor truth – no matter how much we think we know.
Praise the LORD that regardless our issue, there is forgiveness with God and with God all things are possible and He will place His law in our hearts and none of our steps shall slide. These, from Psalm 37 (vss 26, 27 and 3,4,&5):
He is ever merciful, and lendeth; and his seed is blessed. Depart from evil, and do good; and dwell for evermore.
Trust in the LORD, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed. Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.
So the flies remain, pesky flies they are. But it’s been a good reminder to me of the pests that plague us from time to time. It’s not always the stuff we can see that’s the most irksome. It’s more often the stuff we (and others) cannot see that plague us the most. And are doing the most damage.
The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. -2Peter 3.9
It is in the spirit of prayer and repentance that we see the light of the LORD –the forgiveness, the cleansing, the enabling… the light to our path. Then, no matter how great or small our “issue” seems to us to be. With God, all things are possible. But we must humble ourselves and call on His name.
For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments:
and his commandments are not grievous.
For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world:
and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.
Who is he that overcometh the world,
but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?
ps — By the way, I picked smoking in my example bcz smoking’s an easy target. No hidden message was intended there and no accusation, either. I just picked something… could’ve been anything – food, even.