I know my tens of readers are anxious. Where has the sporadic wisdom and accidental insight been this week? I whipped up a fresh blog on Monday and tried to post it. An annoying sound effect told me my effort was denied. I tried again by pushing the send button harder. The sound effect mocked me. My technical guru Robin gave me some fixes. Nothing but sound effects (I added a couple).
Now we are getting into actual computer stuff. Robin is sending me things to try written, apparently, in Sanskrit. Meanwhile your humble rambler is stomping in front of the laptop banging two stones together trying to get a spark.
“Thor no get fire! Blog no work!”
So here we sit. Robin is trying to communicate to unfrozen cave man and the wandering tens of readers are left without a bad example. While we continue to resolve this issue allow me repost a previous article (I can do that) to tide you over until we can find someone who speaks Microsoft. Is Barbara Billingsly still around? Enjoy. And pray for my patience and especially for Robin’s patience.
There is a game show on NBC that is generating some interest called Deal or No Deal. Watching the show generated a little spiritual analogy. Let’s suppose that some thirty-nine years ago (ouch) Jesus had come to me and offered the following deal.
Jesus: “So here is My deal for you. I will forgive you of your sins and relieve you of the guilt and fear that they have burdened you with. I will give you the assurance of eternity spent with me. I will be there throughout your life to teach, console, strengthen and bless you. Just trust me and I will provide.”
Me: “Wow.” (I wasn’t much of a wordsmith at sixteen)
Jesus: “By the way, I know that your relationship with me will lead you to a beautiful and Godly woman who will be the love of your life and who will help you become the person you want to become. You will have three wonderful sons who will all grow up to be Godly men. You will have troubles and some tragedy but I will help you through and I will use those trials for good in your life and the lives of others. All you have to do is accept my gift of grace by faith and trust. So Dave, will you accept the deal?”
Me: “Is this a joke? Sure I will.”
It just seems too good to be true. But it has been true in my life. If you read When Bad Christians Happen to Good People you know that Joni and I have not lived a life free of heartache. Regular readers know about our journey with Joni’s breast cancer diagnosis in the past few years. But despite some difficult times it is a deal I would agree to even more quickly (if possible) now.
But let’s add a layer of complexity to my imagined time with Christ. When He asks if I will accept His deal I have a question.
Me: “That sounds a little too good to be true. I have done nothing and you are offering all of this for me. Are there any requirements?”
Jesus smiles and says, “Well, there a couple of things.”
“Ah hah!” I reply smugly. “I knew it was too good. What’s the catch?”
I picture Jesus looking at me with that gentle hint of a smile and saying, “I will ask you to accept my love and to love your neighbor as yourself.”
“That’s it?” I ask incredulously.
“You will give me all of those things and that is all?”
He nods again and speaks. “It won’t be easy. You will be hurt. There will be some people that will be tough to love. I will ask you to forgive and love them. But I will be with you to help you learn how to do that. Always. And I will never condemn you. Every moment of every day I will be with you. That is my gift of grace to you. Will you take the “deal”?
I consider His words. “For all that you have done for me that would seem to be the least I can do.”
I picture Him looking at me with a pensive and almost sad expression. “You would think my son. You would think.”
And the deal is getting even sweeter as I open up His ongoing gifts of grace and learn to accept His love and how He can love others through me. With all due respect to you Howie Mandel, this is the best deal ever.