Thursday, March 20, 2014

Instead of despair, wiggle the wire ...

Television was free when I was a kid. All you needed was an antenna attached to the roof, or just some "rabbit ear" antennas atop of your TV, and you would be able to watch the television channels being broadcast in your area.

But to keep those channels tuned in so you could see them often required playing around with the rabbit ears, or re-positioning the TV just so for the signal to come in clearly.

Today, with cable, television viewing is a lot easier. But even today, sometimes we have to give that cable connection an extra twist or tweak the wire just a little to get a perfectly clear picture on our televisions. When the connection is solid, the picture is clear.

I was reminded of this recently in observing how people respond to unexpected circumstances that arise. I have a friend who reacts rather than responds; when something unexpected comes up, she plasters social media with "woe-is-me" comments in the most dramatic fashion. Despair is her automatic reaction. She will later come back and spiritualize the issue, but it's almost as if that happens only after she's wiggled her wiring to God and re-established a solid connection.

Despair is what happens when we lose hope. Yet, as Christians, God Himself is our hope, so despair should not be where we start or land, even in the midst of some terrible circumstances. The Apostle Paul described it this way ...

"We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed. Through suffering, our bodies continue to share in the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies," 2 Corinthians 4:8-10.

Because of Christ, we can live with such solid hope that whatever circumstances suddenly affront us, we do not lose hope and react in despair. We know God holds our lives in the palm of His hand, and that He loves and cares about us with a perfect affection and faithfulness. We know that through Christ, we are more than overcomers!

Why, then, the despair and drama?

A wire is loose. We're not staying as closely connected to the Lord as we like to think we are. We've let our picture of life get a little fuzzy. From a clinical perspective, we start thinking more irrationally, we become less stable emotionally, and the result to our behavior is the bad habit of reacting with fear rather than with hope.

You need to wiggle the wire.

At least, to immediately re-establish that clear connection with the Lord. But every day, we need to make sure we're solidly connected to Him so that we can receive from Him without interruption, thereby enabling us to see life clearly the way He broadcasts it to us, full of hope and promise.

Is your connection to Christ loose? What do you need to do to tighten that connection?

Scotty

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