Have you ever met anyone like my friend, Dennis? He lived in Canada, and had suffered much of his life with several debilitating diseases.
Yet every time I met him, his face glowed with the light of heaven.
The phone rang one night in the home where I was visiting in Winnipeg. Dennis had suffered a severe seizure and had been rushed to the hospital.
That wasn’t the end of the story. It was the dead of winter in Manitoba, the temperature was -40 degrees, and the roads were treacherous.
En route to the hospital, the ambulance was blindsided by a sand truck, and Dennis caught the worst of it.
When we arrived at his room, there he was, strapped up like a mummy, no doubt in agony. But when he saw us, he smiled. “Dear Dennis,” I asked, “what are you thinking now?”
Without a heartbeat between, he began to quote the words of Isaiah: “I will mention the lovingkindnesses of the Lord and the praises of the Lord, according to all that the Lord has bestowed on us, and the great goodness…He has bestowed…according to His mercies, according to the multitude of His lovingkindnesses.” (Isa 63:7)
Do you wish you could be an overcomer instead of an “under-goer” in life? What’s the secret?
The fact is, we’re all born by the mouth of a polluted river. Many have convinced themselves that this is the best anyone can expect. True, the foul water makes a person unhappy, anxious, dissatisfied. But life isn’t fair, so get used to it.
Then a fellow hears that the source, up in the mountains, is a spring, clear as crystal, sweet and satisfying. It’s the humans polluting the river that have made it so vile. Folks forget about this fellow until, one day, he returns. He has a new spring in his step, and his face glows with a new light. “It’s that water,” he says. “I’ve found life as it was meant to be!”
Forgive the crude parable, but it’s true. Many wonder why they’re so disappointed with life, so soured by the world. Yet they keep drinking in the polluted words and attitudes around them, the rancid evidence of a rapidly degenerating society.
Some Christians make little forays out of town, moving upstream a bit, to find less corrupted entertainment and more civil opinions. They don’t move too far, of course, because they don’t want to be too different.
J.C. Ryle wrote: “There is a common, worldly kind of Christianity…which many have, and think they have enough—a cheap Christianity which offends nobody, and requires no sacrifice—which costs nothing, and is worth nothing.”
That’s a far cry from what the Lord wants for us, the pure delight we have when we slake our thirst at the fountainhead.
“I have come that they may have life,” said Jesus, “and that they may have it more abundantly” (Jn 10:10). This is life to the max! Only Jesus offers it, first as a life-giving event, then as a life-changing existence.
If you take Jesus as Savior, then make Him your dearest friend, “The Lord will guide you continually, and satisfy your soul in drought, and strengthen your bones; you shall be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail.” (Isa 58:11)
Jabe Nicholson of Starkville knows that, when the outlook is dark, it’s time to try the uplook! Reach him at email@example.com or www.uplook.tv
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