Rachel Shane

Month: May, 2012

Praise

Okay, random life occurrences to get me to my revelation today.

Last week I got my wisdom teeth removed. Apparently a nerve was damaged during my surgery, and now the right bottom half of my lip to my chin is numb. The nerve may take weeks, months, or never heal. I am hopeful that it will heal, but today I realized, it might not. Forever part of my face may be numb.

I met with my friend for coffee. One of the first things he tells me is, “You’re getting tan, praise God.” I laughed. Then we sat outside, and he moves so he can be in direct sunlight. He responds to his action saying, “I want to get tan, praise the Lord”. My dear friend keeps praising God for the opportunity to get tan.

I was online and stumbled upon this website, www.prayfordaisy.com. This is the blog of a 7-year-old girl who just got diagnosed with cancer for the 3rd time. She lives in a Christian family; her father actually is the pastor of a huge church in California.

My friend got in a serious car accident with 4 youth group girls in her truck. Everyone was okay. She praised the Lord for their safety.

Okay, through all of these things, through terrible things, through irrelevant things, through miracles, we should always be giving praise to God. And not only we should be giving praise to God in any situation, I think we can even give praise to God FOR the situation.

James 1:17 says, “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.” Simply, every good thing in our life came from God. But our definition of “good” is different than God’s. So even things that we don’t see as good, can still come from God, because it may actually be good for reasons we don’t see. And we should praise God for everything he gives us.

James 1:2-4 says, “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be mature and complete, lacking in nothing.” It is a challenging word, to claim joy, not in, but for difficult times. In every situation, we should praise God for the opportunity to become more like him.

Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” It doesn’t say he will work to bless us with continually happy things. He says no matter what, if you love me, I am going to pull good out of everything. And we should praise God for that promise.

So when my friend was still alive from a car accident, it was right to praise God. If they all would have been killed, it would have been appropriate to praise God for their lives, and how their legacy would now change the world.

It is right to praise God for allowing a precious girl to have cancer. It is a terrible thing in our eyes, but the fruit of maturation in faith in the family and the others around them may be priceless. God is doing good through her terrible situation, no doubt. We should praise him for that.

It is appropriate to praise God for silly things, such as getting tan. Why not praise God for creating the sun to be able to change our skin color, on top of the hundreds of other purposes it has.

I want to praise God for making my face numb, even if it may be that way till I get my new, glorified body. Today I am learning how I cared too much about my face. It is just my face. It was, and still is perfectly made. And my face, no matter what condition, should never decrease my amount of praise to God.

American Culture Convictions

I have been convicted of being hypocritical lately.

I believe this is my fourth attempt at writing a post. I tried writing one about how people accidently preach the prosperity gospel. And then I felt convicted about writing that while I drank my $3 iced coffee, which could have fed a couple of starving kids today. I think many of my friends are preaching too much about how God will bless us, when he simply might not by health or wealth on earth. I could get a brain tumor and die tomorrow, or end up homeless in a year. But truth is he has totally blessed me monetarily and in health in this season of my life. And, he is still a God worth giving up everything for if I end up sick, persecuted, or homeless. Actually, if that happened, I would have more in common with Christ, which is kind of what I am going for – he didn’t have a home, and then was killed. The gospel was so that I may have eternal life – not temporary blessings.

Praise God, my trip to Haiti has still been shaping my worldview. I was overwhelmed yesterday when I went shopping to buy new bed sheets. There are so many options. And then I remembered the hundreds of thousands of kids who sleep on cardboard, cement blocks or dirt. I guess I probably don’t need new bed sheets. But then again, I live in America, and this is what we do, we buy bed sheets. No one would tell me I am wrong in buying some new sheets after using the same ones for 12 years. And I ruined my sheets by my $10 dollar hairspray exploding all over them, so I MUST buy new sheets instead of doing everything I can to save those old bed sheets, right? Amazing how spending $30 dollars is such not a huge deal in my life. Over half of the world doesn’t make that much money in a month. Imagine that, really, if getting new bed sheets meant I had to spend 1/12 of my income for the whole year, would I get new bed sheets? No, no I wouldn’t. I would try to save my old ones.

Basically, I don’t want to be judging others so much, because I find myself guilty of the things I point my fingers at. I also don’t want to continually have my life shaped by American culture. I want to have clearer perspective, remembering that I am in the top 95% of richest people in the world. Not so I can be happy, call myself favored or blessed, but so that I can use my God given resources to help others who are not blessed by God monetarily. Those people exist, and are not one ounce less loved or favored by God. And truly, this “blessing” of wealth too often becomes or creates idols, so am I really more “blessed” by having something in my life that causes me to sin more? Nah, I would probably be better off without it.