Thursday, July 19, 2012

Cliche's and Pinky Finger Burnings

2 days after 
I burned my pinkie finger on a cast iron frying pan last Tuesday afternoon. It was a stupid move. Easily prevented, but I was in a bit of a rush and instead of taking the time to put on my oven mitt I used a tea towel to push the pan aside.
"This is a great topic for your blog," my husband looked at me as I sat there with my hand up in the air above my heart and a towel filled with ice wrapped around my pinkie finger not getting what he's trying to tell me, "The ice sooths your burn like God sooths your insides."I was trying to focus on what he was saying to me, but the thumping in my finger kept distracting me.
"A bit of a cliche, though." He continued. Ice soothing a burn like God soothing your soul was definitely cliche and I found myself a little irritated at his idea.
"It's all been done before!" I thought to myself, "I want to write about something more, not cliche's.

Yet here I am writing it. God certainly works in mysterious ways.

Yes, the ice soothed the burn, it died down the pounding in my little finger, but when I took it off the ice, YOW! Like my finger was still stuck to that red hot frying pan. From 5pm till 7:20pm Tuesday night my finger felt like it was stuck in hell. I have to be honest here, it was a little hard to multi-task that night and I was leading a Celebration Station meeting with 5 kids to keep busy.
At 7:10pm that evening I found I had a minute to myself, the kids were all playing, and I realized that I didn't pray about this burn yet. I was so busy that I forgot to talk to God about it. There I sat, on a little red pre-school chair, ice dripping onto a table made for a midget, and I closed my eyes and asked God if he could please remove the pain so I could focus on the kids. Very simple. No waving of the hands, speaking in tongues or bending of the knees, just a simple heart felt prayer. Within 10 minutes, the pain was gone. I was actually able to put pressure on the white blister... and there was no pain.

Some of you may be rolling your eyes right now, "Whatever! This lady's crazy." or, "The burn wasn't that bad, this lady's a whiner," or, for those New Ager's out there, "It was mind over matter," or how about, "It was the ice that did it... it was on her finger for over two hours," and I'll admit the ice did help, I have no doubt of that, but something more happened to me that evening. Never mind the burn, never mind the pain, never mind the 'healing'. All this physical stuff is insignificant. A tiny speck in the bigger picture. I trusted God and He was there, and I am a tiny step closer to him than I was before.

I have a better understanding of what James (half brother of Jesus), wrote when he said, "Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trails of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double minded man, unstable in all he does." James 1:2-8 (NIV)

I used to be doubtful that any of this 'religious' stuff was real and useful. I was tossed and blown from idea to idea and became double minded and unstable. Don't get me wrong, I still have a long way to go, but I finally understand that God does want to give generously and we need to trust Him and not doubt. We need to make the first step towards Him.

"You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you," declares the Lord, "and I will bring you back from captivity." Jeremiah 29:13-14 (NIV)

For those doubter's out there, maybe this picture will help?

In the movie the Matrix, it was all about our choices and the choice to hope, the choice to believe. Neo had a choice, to believe Morpheus or not. If he had chosen not to believe he would have gone back to his 'normal life' and nothing would have changed (it would have made for a very poor ending - not box office material). Neo chose to believe and he swallowed the red pill.

"The red pill and its opposite, the blue pill, are pop culture symbols representing the choice between the blissful ignorance of illusion (blue) and embracing the sometimes painful truth of reality (red)."

After he made his choice he was downloaded with programs to help him fight battles, he had strength to asked questions and patience and perseverance to find the answers, and in the end his effort helped him save the human race.

When we take the first step in believing in God, through reading the Bible and prayer, He can download programs into us that will help us to see things a little clearer, story by story. Before all this can happen we need to chose the red pill. It's our choice. It's not a fast download, like in the Matrix, it takes time. While we learn, fingers are burned, knees get scratched, ugly words are spoken, frustrations and irritations get the best of us and we get hurt.

When we're too busy doubting and too self focused, we don't do anyone any good, especially ourselves. Our thoughts keep us too busy and we don't see reality. We are stuck in a personal dream world of pains, wants and desires.

Love heals, love changes people, love changes circumstances, and love allows you to grow.

Have an Amazing Day!