Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Time out

There's nothing like a time out from God. This week it was in the form of a sinus infection for me and a hard hitting cold for Brennan that kept us side by side on the couch (some good things come from hard times!).

But now I've taken a downturn with a Reactive Airway problem that has flared up. Basically, this means that sitting here typing this makes me feel like a can't breathe and I'm beginning to sweat from the exertion! So, back to resting, praying, reading, meditating, listening to some amazing talks from the Desiring God conference. If God gives you some time like He has me, take advantage of those talks...Sinclair Ferguson's was amazing, convicting and has moved me to action. What grace it is to live in 2008 with the technology to be impacted for the Lord 1000 miles away.

Let me give you a taste:

When I was a late teenager, I was taken on the ocean liner Queen Elizabeth II. It was a mammoth ship. Then I was taken to see what, comparatively speaking, is this tiny rudder that guides it every which way it goes. James says this is what the tongue is like. It is so small. It has no bone. And yet it is so powerful to build up and destroy. Why does it do that? Because it carries the breath of our souls into the world in which you live.

When I was coming down the elevator, a person came in who had obviously been smoking. Each time this person opened his mouth, the air became more polluted. Why? Because this person could not but breathe out what was within. James says this is true of the tongue. And like smokers, we never notice the atmosphere we are breathing out. James says every time we open our mouths, we give ourselves away. As the KJV says, “We give ourselves away.”

One of the burden of my life living in the U.S. is that people keep telling me I have an accent. I can’t open my mouth without betraying my identity. It’s the apparent disproportion between this tiny, little instrument and the connectedness it has to my being that I can’t open my mouth with out showing whether or not I give myself away as someone who breathes depravity in the room.

And then at the end:

As I said early on, almost everywhere I go people say I have an accent. The most wonderful thing is that 15 minutes into preaching the word, no one remembers my accent. The best place outside of the sanctuary is in elevators. I get off on my floor, and people say “Where do you come from?” As the doors close, I say, “Columbia, SC” and see a puzzled look. That’s a parable for what’s possible for the people of God in our own time.

Wherever you are, it’s not so much what you say while you're in the room, it’s the questions people have when you leave the room. “Where do you come from?” This is someone who has been with Jesus. By God’s grace, James says that we may so grow to maturity that we may begin to speak like our blessed Lord Jesus.

1 comment:

eileen mom nana said...

Hope both of you are feeling much better this evening!
Tell Wayne to make you some chicken soup!
Love you bunches... Mom