Taken For Granted

  This common idiom describes our tendency to believe that the things we enjoy will always be available to us.  In spite of our wishful thinking, those of us who have the benefit of years, are getting used to the fact that, like it or not, things change.  As a matter of fact, it may be safe to say, “Nothing stays the same.”  For example, on an individual basis: hair styles change as the number of hairs on our heads decrease, the color of our hair changes gradually over the course of a couple of years, that is unless your’s comes in a box.  Ladies’ permanents have, for years now, proven to be quite temporary, and…  well, you get the point.

  On a national level it can be in vogue one day to fly the flag and stand at attention when the national anthem fills the air, and the next day to burn the flag and hold the patriot in contempt.  Things we love, vanish away and are often replaced with things that we despise or disdain.

  This saying, may be akin to another, “You really don’t know how to appreciate a thing until it is gone.”  It has become a favorite pastime among many my age to play Remember When…?  Examples abound:  Remember when pictures were taken of other people?  Remember when neighbor and friend were synonyms?  Remember when church parking lots were full on the Lord’s day, and restaurants and grocery stores were empty? Etc.

  Truly, the things of this earth are changing quickly, and some of our most treasured freedoms, commodities, and activities will soon be game pieces to the next generation who learns to play Remember When…?

  It seems quite sad, but take heart, there is a realm in which things do not change—the realm of God, the Bible, and the eternal.  God assures us that His ways, His plans, and His Love for His own will never change. “For I am the LORD, I change not… (Malachi 3:6)  “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever. (Hebrews 13:8)”  “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. (James 1:17)”

Did You Ever Wonder…?

  • Why do we ship by truck and send cargo by ship?
  • Why do we park on driveways and drive on parkways?
  • Why do we recite at a play and play at a recital?

  These “oddities” of the English language put a smile on our faces.  They are taken in stride by those of us who speak the language as our native tongue, but someone trying to learn the English language might find them confusing.

  If you have spent any time with the Word of God, you have probably discovered statements that seem odd to the casual reader.  They are actually paradoxes (i.e. Seemingly self-contradictory statements that when investigated or explained …prove to be well founded and true).  Paradoxes have caused many searching souls to close the Bible and look elsewhere for answers to the most perplexing questions in life.  But God tells us, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. (Isaiah 55:8).”  When you find a Bible paradox, don’t get discouraged, look more closely and think more deeply.  In time, and with prayer, you will be amazed and enlightened, as you start to understand the mind of God.

  A couple of examples are in order:  #1 The Bible teaches that the way to victory is through surrender.  One such verse is, “Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you. (1 Peter 5:6–7).”  God created us to be dependent.  When we realize how much He loves us, and surrender to His will, we will soon discover the abundant life that He affords His children. 

  #2 The scriptures tell us that in order to live, we must die.  This truth is found in many verses, but one will suffice, “For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. (Matthew 16:25)”  Life for a Christian is lived in two realms: physical and spiritual.  The more we concentrate on the one, the less significant the other becomes.  When we “put to death” the deeds of our sinful flesh (i.e. die to sin and self), we begin to soar as on eagle’s wings in the spiritual realm.