Such A Sad Sight

Those of you who read my blog often will have come to know of my deep appreciation and love of animals.  Therefore, it will come as no surprise to you, the sight which I consider so very sad, that I gazed upon this week.  I haven’t been able to get it out of my mind’s eye, so disturbing was it to me.

It happened just two days ago.  I was driving through a nearby town when I noticed something in the corner of a parking lot at a run-down strip mall.  It was a number of cages of varying sizes, probably only about twenty cages.  As I drove nearer, I could see llamas and monkeys.  They appeared hopeless, unmoving, resigned to their fate.  But wait! What was that catching my attention?  The movement of a bengal tiger pacing around and around in his cage of about ten feet by ten feet.  I could hardly believe what my eyes beheld!  Those poor animals!  That majestic tiger who should have been freely roaming the hills of northern India, basking in the sunshine in open fields, leaping and climbing.  How devastating to see what should be free, caged in such conditions.

All through the past two days, the sight of these captured animals keeps jumping into my mind causing a sadness to creep over me.  It was during one such moment that the words of Paul, as he wrote to Timothy, came to my mind.  He said in I Timothy 6:17, “…trust should be in God who richly gives us all we need for our enjoyment.”  

Our Father has made available to us, all of of His spiritual riches.  We can freely take what we need for our enjoyment, but what do we so often do?  We put our own selves into cages of despondency, cages of worry, cages of fear, cages of unending sorrow, cages of feelings of worthlessness, cages of hopelessness.  We don’t have to be caged!  We can walk freely, overcoming any burden by taking from the riches of our Father’s comfort and peace and wisdom.  It’s ours for the asking!

No one has to live in a cage of despair and hopelessness!  We can all walk in “the joy of the Lord, which is our strength”, as we are reminded in Nehemiah 8:10.  I absolutely love, and have often been encouraged, by the verse found in Psalm 34:8, “Taste and see that the Lord is good.  Oh, the joys of those who take refuge in Him!”  

Too many of God’s children cage themselves, peering crestfallen through bars of entrapment; deceived by Satan into believing that the cage is their lot in life.  Refuse to listen to the enemy!  Determine, instead, to listen only to the loving words of your Father!  Just taste!  You will see all the goodness He has for you.  Walk out of your cage, into the arms of loving refuge; be free and full of joy !

Everything He Has, We Have

There is something sad when we become so fearful of situations that the fear nearly blinds us.  We can no longer see clearly what is important.  If not careful, we even begin to hallucinate, seeing or imagining things in our situations that aren’t there at all.  Thinking the best in a situation is easy for some, while thinking the worst in a situation is all others can do.  Is there any hope when we become so fearful that we are nearly paralyzed to move, and nearly blinded to truth?

Yes indeed!  There is always hope found in Jesus Christ, no matter what is going on in our lives.  The key is upon what we focus.  Too often, we focus on what we imagine that God can do for us.  Then, when our problems are not quickly taken care of, we despair because things aren’t turning out as we had hoped.  Again, the key is hope, not in what we imagine, but in all that is found in Jesus Christ.

I often remind myself of the words found in Nehemiah 10:10, “The joy of the Lord is your strength.”  Notice what those words don’t say.  They don’t say, the joy of what God can do for you is your strength.  They say the joy of Him; the joy of Him being who He is — it is in Him and all He is that is our strength.

When we think about it, it’s all very exciting.  For example, Jesus is joy.  Jesus is compassion.  Jesus is truth.  Jesus is courage.  Jesus is wisdom.  Jesus is love.  Therefore, when we change our focus from situations that trouble us, and turn our focus upon everything that Jesus is, then we begin to sense our own joy levels rising.  When we have Jesus, we have everything that He is available to us.  He has already given to us all we need to get through life even in the most hurtful of times.  Just take it.  Too often we plead for God’s help, when really, we can begin thanking Him from the start for already being everything we need.  Everything He has, we have, too.

It is the joy of Him being everything that He is that is our strength.  When Jesus lives in us, we have all of Him,  meaning all His strength, all His joy, all His comfort, all His wisdom, all His courage, everything good, available to us.  Now, that’s something rather exciting to think about, isn’t it.

As you go into this New Year, pay attention upon what you focus.  Let it be Jesus and all that He is; it will do wonders for your daily walk in this world.