Thursday Thoughts February 8, 2024
February 8, 2024
Have you ever been told to think carefully because actions have consequences? Or have you ever told a young person to think before they act? I had a reminder recently about actions and consequences, a worrisome and expensive reminder.
I purchased a rotisserie chicken at Costco thinking that would cut down on time it would take me to prepare dinner to take to some friends. I was proud of myself for saving time and bringing the hot bird home. It was lunch time so the dog and I shared the meat off a drumstick. I put the rest of the chicken in the refrigerator to cool, put the bone in the kitchen trash can underneath other trash in the bag and closed the cabinet door. As I was talking on the phone that afternoon, I heard the trash can crash to the floor. How could it be? I ran to the kitchen and started screaming at the dog to "Leave It!!!!", a command she knows but when you have lost your hearing it is meaningless. I grab the can and search for the bone. It is nowhere to be seen. She is scoffing up other trash that is on the floor. What to do? I call the vet and explain the situation. I was told to bring her in because the bone might get hung in her throat if I gave her something to "expel" the stomach contents. So the old girl and I go into the vet's office. Yes, the x-ray shows the bone and a lot of other stuff in her stomach. She is given the standard treatment to make the stomach contents evacuate (I am trying to be delicate here). After an hour of walking outdoors and waiting and waiting, nothing is happening. I was told to go home and wait for the call to come pick her up. After a dose of another medicine, the offending material of plastic wrap, plastic bag, napkins, etc, makes an appearance. But no bone. The x-ray shows it is still there and has changed positions. I bring her home feed her supper and wait til morning when we go back for a third x-ray. She had to fast so that meant I had to fast, I can't eat in front of her. The x-ray shows that the bone has disappeared, likely dissolved. Thank you, Jesus! The meal for my friends did not get made until the day after the incident and in honor of what had transpired, I renamed the chicken casserole the $500 Casserole (so glad I saved time and money on purchasing a cooked chicken). In the thirteen years I have had this dog, never has she had a chicken bone. But one action on my part had unpleasant consequences. I am so grateful for a resourceful and compassionate vet!
So what does God have to say about making poor choices? Do you wonder if he doesn't scratch his head in amazement at the poor decisions we make? In Proverbs 3:5 Solomon wrote, "Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don't try to figure out everything on your own." We have a Father who loves us and wants to be in a relationship with us. Why is it we think we don't need to follow him because he is busy and you know, we know better?
So what are the consequences when we ignore God? It is unlikely that a lightning bolt will come down and smite the offender. I say this because I haven't had that happen to me or witnessed it happening to anyone else. Although, there are recorded instances of God getting people's attention. For instance, Adam and Eve getting booted from the garden, Sodom and Gomorrah, Noah's countrymen, snakes biting offenders, a plague on the people who danced around the golden calf, and Jonah swimming around in the gastric juices of a whale. We face consequences when we pretend we don't need God interjecting himself into our lives.
God loved us so much that he came as Immanuel, God with us in the flesh, to teach and preach and show us how to live. And then he died a barbaric death on a cross taking all of our sins with him so that we have been covered with his shed blood and are given grace that we just have to ask and we are forgiven. And then he rose from the dead defeating death, demonstrating that we can live again as well.
When we forget about or ignore the gift we have been given through Christ we will find ourselves flailing around. There is a remedy to feeling lost and alone. In James 4:7 "Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you."
The consequence of living without Christ leads to helplessness and loneliness. We have no hope for tomorrow and the way is dark. We see evidence of the consequences of others living without Christ as we witness despair, hopelessness, hate, bigotry, and violence in the world.
What are the consequences of believing in Jesus? You will have fellowship with him, "God, who has called you into fellowship with his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, is faithful." 1 Corinthians 1:9
"Therefore, since we have been justified through faith; we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ" Romans 5:2
"In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express." Romans 8:26
"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit."Romans 15:13
There are so many beneficial consequences that there is not enough space to list them. Each of us who know and love the Lord has experienced some of those consequences.
Consequences, bad ones are hurtful and costly in so many ways. Good consequences are life-giving and give us freedom and ultimately, eternity. It's our choice.
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