I was sitting in the backyard yesterday, just enjoying probably one of the last really warm days before fall hits and the air starts to get cold. Just 'being'. Not doing anything other than relaxing in the sun, listening to the wind chime tinkle in the background. And then I started looking around. Seeing all the green growth. The tomatoes and peppers growing, the aroma of the herb garden like a pungent Italian dinner. The grass, that to Jim is overgrown, but to me looks lush and inviting. I remember as a kid loving to play on the grass, sometimes just lying there looking up at the clouds. How innocent we are as children. Just enjoying life, not looking at or for the ugly things. Because as I was looking at the grass yesterday pretty much all I could see were the myriads of grasshoppers jumping everywhere. I'm talking a lot of grasshoppers. And as I looked closer at the grass, I saw earwigs looking like they were playing a game of tag. After watching in fascination for a few moments as they followed each other through the tall blades of grass I was just so glad I wasn't lying in that grass! And then I thought, here were these tiny little insects in these seemingly insurmountable blades of grass. If they could see me, I would have appeared as something so large they probably could not even put a name to me. If I wanted I could have reached down and swooped them up. I wouldn't, honestly earwigs just totally gross me out! Regardless, here they were, just frolicking in their little world, earwig heaven. They had no idea I was there and had the power of life and death over them. And believe me, my thoughts were more of the blow torch, smoldering death kind!
I started thinking how we are like those little bugs. Seemingly going through our lives. Just doing what we do. Going through life, day to day, same ol', same ol'. On that hamster wheel we call life. Going around and around, not aware of anything but what is in front of our noses. We cannot see the forest for the tree-like blades of grass growing all around us. Until we look up and then we have a decision to make. What is that large, looming being hovering over us? What is that thing that we sense, but cannot put a name to? And then we have a choice. We can be like so many and decide not to decide, which we know is a decision after all. We can choose to ignore what we sense, and believe that we have control over this crazy thing called life or we can acknowledge there is a God. But once you acknowledge Him, what then do you do with Him. He, this large awesome being has the power of life or death over us. But He, unlike me with those earwigs, has thoughts of life for us. Thoughts for our good, and not for our harm, (Jeremiah 29:11). He has no scorched earth thoughts when He thinks of us. He doesn't see us as creepy, ugly pests disturbing His beautiful sun-filled day. He sees us as His children. Beautiful, valued and destined for great things.
I think many of us, even as believers get caught in the rut of life. I talked about that last week. We get so focused on the things of life, rather than living. We get caught up in the minutiae of existence, rather than a vital experience. We become like those insects, scurrying around, never making any real progress. We were made for more than that. We were created as human beings, yet we live our lives as human 'doings'. God created us for better things. He says this about us, His creation, in Isaiah 43:7, "everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made.” (NIV) We were created for glory, not for obscurity amidst towering blades of grass. Revelation 4:11, "for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created." (KJV) We were created for His pleasure! Not like those earwigs that I want to obliterate. Personally, things that I take pleasure in, I take care of. I cherish them. I give them special attention and great care. And that is just the inanimate objects. The people that I cherish in life, my heart almost bursts when I think of them. My husband, my children. Sometimes thinking of my kids, my heart is filled to overflowing. And don't even get me started on my grandchildren. I want the best for them, and I want them to know they are loved. And me, being evil if I desire the best for them, how much more a perfect God desires for us? I have tried my best, along with Jim to provide for our children. We tried to give them the best that we could as they were growing up and would still do all we can for them now. Many times that wasn't saying very much. Food banks, dollar stores for Christmas and Salvation army clothes. But they had a roof over their heads, and hopefully knew that they were loved and cherished. God always provided; maybe not what we wanted, but He always gave us what we needed. And I think of that, and how He still does that for us. We are so blessed. A beautiful home, a business that we can use to bless others, more 'things' than we really need. And even above all of that, He says that He prepares a place for us in heaven. By our salvation bought at so high a price with His blood, He not only cares about us and for us here, but He has made a way for us, a place for us to spend eternity with Him. And, oh how I cannot wait for that day. Not only to spend eternity with Him, but to see my parents again. To know that they are now with Him, free of pain, every day in His glorious presence! Realizing in bright, vivid truth that they are His pleasure and that He is theirs.
I seem to think with the mind of those earwigs; here is this giant thing blotting out the sun. Bigger than I can imagine, I cannot wrap my mind around it. But as I look closer, it doesn't blot out the sun. It's brightness drowns out the sun. His light makes the sun appear as darkness. His majesty eclipses everything else. His glory overshadows every seemingly overwhelming issue. He overcomes every tall obstacle. And His purpose is life. Life, and that life more abundantly. Both now and later in heaven. And I'm not talking earwig heaven. I'm talking about a place with no shadows. No darkness. No death. I'm talking about a heaven filled with His glory, His grace and His presence, for all eternity. And all because I give Him pleasure!