Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Taken from Wretched Newsletter

I got this from Todd Friel and his wretched newsletter today.  As a TV and Radio guy, he has been hit with laryngitis.  I was hit with pneumonia.  His review of why he got sick is worthy of reflection.  I really really like the part about this sickness is not punishment for sin.  Jesus finished that work on the cross for those that are saved. 
Up My Nose with a Rubber Hose
“Just snort this and the tube will go in easier,” said the man with the humongous diploma on his wall. I recognized his name on the formal document, but the rest of the diploma was written in Latin. For all I know, he could have received his medical certificate at the same on-line joint that ordains so-called bishops.
I am no otolaryngologist, but I know the nose is not made to have things go in that direction. Nevertheless, like a compliant child, I did as I was told. “Now say ‘Eeeee’. Whistle. Breathe. OK, everything looks pretty good. Just give it some time. Oh, and don’t talk.”
Don’t talk? Telling me to not talk is like telling a plumber to not plumb. Like telling Tim to not Tebow. Like telling a lawyer to not lie.
Question Number One: Who?
Who gave me laryngitis? There are only two options: the devil or God. It sure seems that the devil could have given my vocal chords an infection (Luke 13:11,16; Acts 10:37,38). I prefer to think, however, that it was God who either caused or allowed me to temporarily lose my voice.
Question Number Two: Why?
If it was the devil, why did he give me this? It is sort of interesting that I was going to do open-air preaching at the University of Georgia Athens (Go Dawgs!) on Wednesday. That is now temporarily postponed.
If it was the Lord who shut down my pipes, my job is to now figure out why. That is the assignment of every Christian who is going through something difficult. Here are my (and your) options.
1.       God is disciplining me (cf. Zechariah). Perhaps I have been speaking carelessly.
2.       God is teaching me gratitude. I know I have not been grateful for my voice.
3.       God is refining me to make me more like Jesus.
4.       God is preparing me for something. 
5.       God is teaching me to be more compassionate to those who struggle or suffer.
Four Things Are Certain
First, I am not going to ask God to speak to me and tell me why I have laryngitis. I will ask Him to reveal sin in my life and I will ask Him to help me repent of anything that might be the reason for this possible chastisement, but I will not ask Him to speak to me. It might just be a matter of time before the answer is made obvious. I might not find out for years why God would allow/cause a radio guy to get all raspy.
Second, I sure am grateful for God’s amazing creative brilliance. Have you seen the way He made your vocal chords? Kinda gross, but amazing.
Third, I never knew how much yammering I do. Try saying NOTHING for an hour and you will be shocked. You can’t even call your dog or bless your child who sneezes. I have learned why Proverbs 10:19 says, “Where words are many, sin is not absent.”
The fourth thing I know is the clearest of all. He is NOT punishing me for my sins. That is a fact. If He were, then the sacrifice of Jesus for my filth and foulness was not enough. 
Thankfully, Jesus died for all of my (and your) sins. So I can sit here, silently, and thank Him for saving a wretch like me. 
Talk to you soon. Lord willing.