Things can go awry!
Chippie the parakeet never saw it coming. One second he was peacefully perched in his cage. The next he was sucked in, washed up, and blown over.
The problems began when Chippie's owner decided to clean Chippie's cage with a vacuum cleaner. She removed the attachment from the end of the hose and stuck it in the cage. The phone rang, and she turned to pick it up.
She'd barely said "hello" when "ssssopp!" Chippie got sucked in.
The bird owner gasped, put down the phone, turned off the vacuum, and opened the bag. There was Chippie -- still alive, but stunned.
Since the bird was covered with dust and soot, she grabbed him and raced to the bathroom, turned on the faucet, and held Chippie under the running water. Then, realizing that Chippie was soaked and shivering, she did what any compassionate bird owner would do . . . she reached for the hair dryer and blasted the pet with hot air.
Poor Chippie never knew what hit him.
A few days after the trauma, the reporter who'd initially written about the event contacted Chippie's owner to see how the bird was recovering. "Well," she replied, "Chippie doesn't sing much anymore -- he just sits and stares."
It's hard not to see why. Sucked in, washed up, and blown over . . . That's enough to steal the song from the stoutest heart.
Can you relate to Chippie?
Most of us can. One minute you are seated in familiar territory with a song in your heart and on your lips; and then the pink slip comes…the rejection letter arrives…the doctor’s office calls with results…the divorce papers meet you at the front door…the check bounces…
You are sucked into a cavern of challenging doubts…
Your life that has been so smooth has now so stormy…
There is a day in the life of Jesus who is also called Christ that we need to remember…twenty four hours that Jesus faces the same gale-force fears that you and I face…yet through it all Jesus remains calm. He endures that day without losing His song.
That’s something that we all can learn to do with the Lord’s help!
Max Lucado, In the Eye of the Storm, Word Publishing, 1991, pp. 11-12 with abridgement
Instead, let there be thankfulness to God.
Have a life, a good life, a joyous life; and let there be thankfulness pouring out of you unto your Heavenly Father.
Paul encourages believers to have a life, a good life, a joyous life and let there be thankfulness poured out unto your heavenly Father.
What Paul is referencing here is again, the Temple.
He exhorts these new believers no longer be poured out to immorality, impurity and greed-like those who are enslaved to the Temple dedicated to Artemis/Diana, which was also one of the Seven Wonders of the World-in Paul’s day.
Paul says, instead have a real life, have a good life, and have a joyous life-one which pours out for the one true God a thank offering.
Pour Out You!
It is an honor. It is a privilege. It is a joy. It is a great thanks.
It is our purpose. It is our call. It is our love to return the love of God given to us. It is our hope, the hope that God has given to us. To be enabled by God to love God is to also be enabled by God to pour ourselves out in thanksgiving on His Altar. We pour ourselves out in love as a thank offering not because we have to; but because of an urging. We pour ourselves out in love as a thank offering not because God demands it; but because of a yearning.
We pour ourselves out in love as a thank offering not because God insists that we do; but because God has poured Himself out in love within us.
O give thanks unto the Lord,
For he is truly Good! Amen.