Saturday, August 04, 2007

Pills in my Pocket

I'm notorious for grabbing a painkiller and shoving it in my pocket, intending to take it when I stop for a drink. Hours later I wonder why my back still hurts or the headache hasn't let up . . . and then on laundry day I find those pills in my pocket.

I'm afraid I often do that with God and his word. He spoke to me clearly through his word or a message. I wanted to let it change me, I really did. My intent was good. I wanted to treat that coworker differently or respond better to the challenges of the day. Yet hours later I find myself wishing I could take back words spoken in an unpleasant tone, or completely embroiled in messes and stresses of my own making. I haven't allowed his word to be any more effective than those pills in my pocket.

One thing I've been learning lately is to latch onto words and images which help me recall what God is teaching me. We can see throughout scripture where God gave his people visual reminders of his goodness and working in their lives. After the Israelites crossed the Jordan river, God instructed Joshua to set up stones by the riverbank as a reminder of his faithfulness to them. The Psalms are full of beautiful word pictures, such as God as a fortress, and our desire for God like a thirsting deer. All creation points to him if we will only open our eyes and see.

This week, I've been dwelling on Ephesians 1:15-23, but especially the part where Paul prays that "the eyes of your heart may be enlightened." And humming the words to the song "Open the Eyes of My Heart, Lord." Wouldn't you know it our study of the Beatitudes this week focused on this one: Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God." So the visual picture of an eye is a reminder for me to consider what it means to really see God and get his perspective on things.

How has God been speaking to you lately? Ask him for a way to take it with you through the day. Don't leave the light for your path in your pocket.