Thursday, June 12, 2008

Child-Proof Medicine Caps

My husband has had his left arm in a sling for about a month following surgery to repair a torn rotator cuff. His sling wasn't one-of-a-kind, but it was certainly "the mother of all slings" I've ever seen. The object was to keep his left shoulder as immobile as possible for initial healing.

At the same time, he was dealing with significant pain. It just isn't possible to open a child-proof cap with one hand - or at least for an adult to do so. My grandchildren might could defeat the child-proof cap with one hand, but certainly no adult can.

I seem to encounter a lot of things that are difficult to open. Take the packaging for toys made in Asia and shipped to the USA. They are so encased in molded plastic and twist-tied to their backing that it takes heavy duty clippers (and even small explosives) to open some of them. I guess they are child-proofed, too!

And then this morning I encountered the almost bomb-proof packaging for our black lab's flea and tick medicine. It's a bear to open taking both tools and brawn!

There's a life parallel here, I think. In a sense, life comes packaged. Life comes packaged in various "protective wrappings.". We struggle to get past the wrappings. Jesus made a promise in John 10:10: "I have come that you may have life and have it to the full(est possible measure)." We want life to be as good as it can get. We want to skip over the hard parts of life and just get to the fun, easy part of living.

There is a way to living life in full measure. It's God's way! He alone has the code. He is ready and willing to help get past the packaging or untwist the cap, but He waits for us to give up and turn things over to Him. The Frank Sinatra code: "I did it my way" doesn't work.

Paul said, "... God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work." (2 Cor. 9:8, NIV) That's a pretty awesome description of what life can and should be!

We simply have to hand over the "bottle" or the "package" (which is our life) - give it up to Him! That's when He begins the work of restoration. That's when he takes my hard heart I hand Him and He restores it to be a living, breathing work of His grace for all the world to see! The only thing holding up the process is my holding onto my life with my grubby little fists rather than giving it over to the One Who fixes broken things and makes everything new - the great God of restoration!

There's a wonderful chorus we sing at A Restoration Church written by Keith Green:

My eyes are dry. My faith is old.
My heart is hard. My prayers are cold.
And I know how I ought to be: Alive to You and dead to me.
But what can be done for an old heart like mine?
Soften it up with oil and wine.
The oil is You, Your Spirit of love.
Please wash me anew in the wine of Your blood.

That's what restoration looks like: new tears for dry eyes, new living faith for hard hearts, warm prayers instead of cold and coming alive to God and His Spirit, washed in the wine of His blood!

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