To Do or Not To Do

02/23/2008

Today you must listen to his voice. Don’t harden your hearts against him as
Israel did when they rebelled. Hebrews 3:15 (NLT)

To do or not to do…that is the question. Of course we know this as “To be or not to be,” from Shakespeare, but I’ll be putting a little different twist on it today. With a broken wing, a bird cannot soar, and with a broken body, or even a broken heart, a person will feel faint and weary. Waiting is then what we’re called To Do, while we remember what Not To Do.

Why don’t we don’t soar as the eagles do, why are we so exhausted—are we running away from God’s voice? Could rest be found in listening and following God’s instructions of whether To Do or Not To Do? Sometimes to even say “yes” to helping hands and allow God To Do through His body of believers while we’re called Not To Do for a certain period of time. It might reveal some great new insights into our God.

When we allow others to reach out and touch us with care, with love, with help, with concern—sometimes even with silence during a time when sorrow so fills our heart that no words would be heard anyway—we are being obedient in taking down the walls of self-reliance, admitting our need, and welcoming a response from our Father in Heaven. It humbles the human heart, revealing our weakness and showing the strength of God—a strength that is poured through others into our need, into our pain, into our emptiness and our loneliness. It is not to be missed! I have to believe Peter was better at washing feet after having it done by the Master. How could he ever forget such a gentle love being shown to him? How could he then not show it to another?

In this life, without the mercy, grace and love of God deeply ingrained in our own souls, we’ll not only be JF’s (Job’s Friends) to those we know, we’ll be JF’s even to ourselves in our times of weakness and suffering. If we think others can be heartless with their words, think about the way our own minds sometimes beat us up and bring us down…those destructive thoughts can seem so right. When we act like JF’s, we begin to wonder what has caused this tragedy/condition? Is there wickedness? Godlessness? What can be done to stop such distress? The torrent of words in our head, or that we speak to others, doesn’t help but instead hinders our view of God’s love! Such words, such conclusions, such opinions, may be way off base, and we can start to drown in all of it if we don’t go back to the beginning of the story of Job and find some sanity in his situation...in ours, or in those of our family and friends. The Word says that Job was the finest man in all the earth. And what was God’s reply to all of Job’s misery? God’s uncomplicated answer was basically, I Am! No defense given!

If our goal is to be a friend of God’s instead of one of Job’s friends, the only way is getting to know the Great I Am. Maybe part of that means having our feet washed by our Savior through those who serve as His body here on earth—and then in turn, washing the feet of another when there is a need. When there is great hurt in our lives or in the life of another, our Friend Jesus is the loving example of what to do instead of what not to do.