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Vol.  10  No. 6 June 2008  Page 8
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Priscilla's Page By Marilyn LaStrape *Editor's Note*

Marilyn LaStrape

When Our Glasses Are Bumped

By Marilyn LaStrape

    In a sermon I heard years ago, the minister made the statement that our lives are being constantly bombarded by life itself. He said, “Visualize your life as a glass filled with water.” Then he asked, “What do you do when your glass is bumped? What spills out?”

    The question was certainly a thought provoking and challenging one for me—one I have thought of often over the years. It is a question I have asked many times in Bible classes I have taught. One good sister told me it struck a chord in her, and we need to be extra careful of what we put into our glass whether it is spiritually based or worldly. What are we putting into our glasses?

    As surely as we are breathing, our glass will be bumped and battered by life every day that God gives us. Sometimes, we do not know just how to react. So, the question becomes how are we responding to this bumping. Why do we respond to any adverse situation the way in which we do? What is the first thing that comes out of our mouths when this glass bumping involves our family, our congregation, our friends, our job, our health, our city, our school or our country?

    We need to make a contract with our lips because we will not have time to filter what comes out of our mouths when our glasses are bumped! Solomon states most pointedly in Proverbs 4:23: “Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life. Put away from you a deceitful mouth, and put perverse lips far from you.”

    What goes on in the heart of our minds comes from the core of our being, and flows forth from our mouths every time we speak. Jesus said, “Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or else make the tree bad and its fruit bad; for a tree is known by its fruit. Brood of vipers! How can you, being evil, speak good things? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks” (Matthew 12:33-34). He further stated, “But those things which proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and they defile a man” (Matthew 15:18).

    When we think of our glasses being bumped, we could be experiencing anything from the physical pain of a hangnail, all the way up to the mental anguish of a devastating death! Both will get our attention, but what is our perspective? How do we respond to that life-bump of our glasses?

    When our lives are bumped by physical pain, it gets our attention because that is the way God made us. Physical pain has a way of changing our minds about a lot of things. If it is severe enough, pain will bring us to our knees! Unless we have a biblical understanding of why we suffer physically, we are not going to handle it very well. Sadly, at times the experience of physical suffering is verbally expressed in ways that do anything but reflect Jesus Christ living in us. He has already told us, “In this world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world” (John 16:33b).

    Mental anguish can be, and often is, much more devastating than physical suffering because it involves our thinking and emotions. What do we do and say? What is our response to unwanted and unexpected issues of life, the stresses and strains that keep bumping our glasses?

    Note the responses of two biblical giants. Paul told the church at Corinth, “Even to the present hour we both hunger and thirst, and we are poorly clothed, and beaten and homeless. And we labor, working with our own hands. Being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we endure it; being defamed, we entreat. We have been made as the filth of the world, the off scouring of all things until now” (1 Corinthians 4:11-13). This passage has to become real to us when our glasses are bumped!

    “We are hard pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed—always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body” (2 Corinthians 4:8-10). This passage has to become real to us when our glasses are bumped!

    King David said, “The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, and He delights in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down; For the Lord upholds him with His hand” (Psalm 37:23-24). This passage has to become real to us when our glasses are bumped!

    “Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me! For my soul trusts in You; And in the shadow of Your wings I will make my refuge, Until these calamities have passed by” (Psalm 57:1). This passage has to become real to us when our glasses are bumped!

    How we respond to our glasses being bumped is based upon our relationship to God, if He is real in our every day lives and if we will to remain within His provision and protection!

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