This Is For The Birds

Swallows

Recently I was mulling over a difficult situation while I was mowing the lawn. Black birds I think called swallows were circling me, apparently dive bombing the bugs I was stirring up. The swallows distracted me from what I was worrying about. Have you dealt with anything recently that makes you say, “this is nuts, this is stupid, this is frustrating, this is hopeless, this is for the birds?!”
In 2 Co 11 Paul says he has been whipped, beaten, stoned, imprisoned, shipwrecked and lost at sea, always on the move, escaped arrest, and worked all night. He has been despised and in danger by those within his camp and those from outside, been starving, thirsty, naked, and cold, and on top of all that he faces daily anguish for all the churches. Paul said he suffered because he was called by God in 2 Timothy 1. Steven Furtick says, “If you haven’t had a head on collision with the devil lately maybe it’s because you’re headed in the same direction.” Paul said we should be excited about weaknesses and suffering!
When we get to heaven and we share stories with the cloud of witnesses what will we share? My computer crashed? I was unemployed? My kids disobeyed? I realize I probably won’t feel like whining to Moses, Job, and Paul.
Jesus reminds us in Matthew 10 that birds don’t sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet God feeds them, and we are much more valuable than they. And in Matthew 6 he says, “Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.”
So next time you get upset and think this is for the birds, remember that God is watching and He has a purpose, and He has a plan, and He has a provision for your situation!

Choose Their Shoes, The Smile Mile

shoes

A dear friend recently shared how he tried to put himself in the other person’s shoes. I think this must have been what Jesus meant when he taught us, “Do not resist… if someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. If someone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles.”
I heard the story of a Puerto Rican woman named Lydia who, as she describes, did not look Hispanic and used to have a violent temper. Lydia was ordering in English at a Burger King, when the Hispanic woman serving her said in Spanish to her coworker, “look a this fat thing, she’s ordering two sandwiches and she’ll probably eat them before she get’s to the parking lot.” They did not know Lydia was understanding every word. “She’s a typical American, overweight, out of shape, they make me sick.”
God kept her peaceful and kind. She ordered in English and paid.  And then leaned over and said in perfect Spanish, “thank you for waiting on me and may God richly bless you today.”
When Jesus says we should not resist, it means we should not be contrary and oppose them,   or forcefully or publicly declare our position.
1 Co 13 says love keeps no record of wrongs. “If you keep a record of when someone hurts you, they hurt you twice, because it’s jamming up your spirit.” -Jim Cymbala.
Dr. Bill Bright says “The second mile is to love those who do not love us. The first mile is the trial mile, the second mile is the smile mile.” In the first mile, you may feel like the victim, but in the second mile, you take control of the situation. You choose their shoes, and supernaturally enjoy the smile mile!