Sunday, April 21, 2013
My husband and I have been enjoying watching Burn Notice (old ones, on Netflix). The main character is a spy who was blacklisted by the government. He opens in a monologue in which he says, "When you're burned... you rely on anyone who's still talking to you - a trigger happy ex-girlfriend, an old friend who used to inform on you to the FBI, family too- if you're desperate."
On what or whom do you rely? This question has been going through my mind alot in recent months. What does it mean to rely on something? The dictionary defines rely as "1: to have confidence based on experience (someone you can rely on) 2: to be dependent (the system on which we rely for water)."
We attended three funerals in the first three months of 2013. It got me to thinking about what things are secure in my life. What things can I count on? As I have pondered this I have come up with quite a list of things I count on to be consistent and stay in place in my life.
I rely on:
* my beliefs, my church, my family and friends
* a working car
* operating refrigerator, freezer, oven and dishwasher
* furnace and hot water heater that heat
* electricity, computers, internet, email, free tv
* cell phones
* employment, income, insurance
* basic health and relative safety
* security, privacy
On a bigger scale, we hope we can rely on:
* completing marathons without being bombed
* doctors following a code of ethics
* our rights
* leaders to be not corrupt
How realiable are the things on my list? Maybe you have guessed that they aren't 100% reliable. There is always a chance of failure or breakdown. In recent weeks we have had several cables go bad and need to be replaced for some of our electronic devices. Even as I type this, I am not using my normal computer - my normal laptop is misbehaving and being extremely uncooperative. The fuel pump went out in my car - thankfully the problem revealed itself while we were in a parking lot rather than on the road. One morning a while ago the furnace kept blowing without making the house any warmer. Our family has been dealing with quite a round of springtime colds. The local news has been full of house fires and traffic accidents.
Last week I worked with a lady and we talked about recent thunderstorms. She shared that lightning had taken out her weather radio. There's something ironic about that. Even our safety measures aren't safe.
My free tv is suddenly not so free anymore.
Our family has realized too deeply that family members are not around forever.
So, is there anything that can be relied upon? Is there anything that is secure? Anything that lasts?
The Bible tells us that God is eternally reliable. He was and is and always will be. His Word will stand and His love endures forever. In times of discouragement, I can go on knowing that God is with me. In times of hate, God's love remains. God's plans cannot be thwarted by evil. I can rely on God for hope and strength. I can rely on God regardless of circumstances. The things of this life will fade away, but God will remain.
If you are frustrated with relying on temporal things of this world, I encourage you to learn more about the eternal God. If you wonder why your possessions break down and fail to fulfill your needs, consider turning to God to fulfill your needs. Find a Bible to read, find a friend who can answer your questions, find a church that will teach you how to find a more reliable life.
"'I am the Alpha and Omega,' says the Lord God, 'who is and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.'" Reveleation 1:8
"Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever." Hebrews 13:8
"Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever." 1 Chronicles 16:34
"The plans of the LORD stand firm forever, the purposes of his heart through all generations." Psalm 33:11
"The word of the Lord stands forever." 1 Peter 1:25a
"The LORD reigns forever; he has established his throne for judgment. He will judge the world in righteousness; he will govern the peoples with justice. The LORD is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble. Those who know your name will trust in you, for you, LORD, have never forsaken those who seek you." Psalm 9:7-10