What's Inside

The theological ramblings of a simple man.


Because God is never cruel, there is a reason for all things. We must know the pain of loss; because if we never knew it, we would have no compassion for others, and we would become monsters of self-regard, creatures of unalloyed self-interest. The terrible pain of loss teaches humility to our prideful kind, has the power to soften uncaring hearts, to make a better person of a good one.

Dean Koontz

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

Jeremiah 29:11

Love God, Love others...
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Tuesday, November 21, 2006
Far From God part 2: Trapped (A Study of Psalm 107)
It is a great prank. At first it looks like a simple tube made from bamboo or nylon. Encouraged by a friend who is in on the joke, an unsuspecting individual inserts a finger into each end with ease. Realizing there is no logical reason to having two fingers shoved in opposite ends of a child’s toy, the person tries to remove their fingers. But as the fingers are pulled apart, the tube tightens, and someone has fallen prey to a Chinese finger trap.

The best traps are easy to get into, but difficult to get out of. Most traps are self inflicted; no one would accidentally find their fingers stuck inside a Chinese finger trap. We fall into our own traps. We may stumble into those traps, but it is our decisions that lead us there. Just like a hunted animal steps into a hidden trap, we could have avoided the snare if only we had have taken a different path.

Some sat in the darkness and the deepest gloom
Prisoners suffering in iron chains
(Psalm 107:10)

Imprisonment holds such vivid imagery, dirty, cold, walls made of concrete and iron bars. It is dark and gloomy, there is a foul smell; hope and comfort is forgotten. Most prisons today are far move livable, but this is still the image we have in our mind’s eye. It is an image that reflects how many of us feel. You do not have to be incarcerated to feel like a prisoner. Often, the worst prisons are inside us.

There are many things that hold us captive: failure, dead end jobs, bankruptcies, abuse, self-esteem, fear, grief, and so much more. None of these pitfalls are planned or hoped for. However, they are a direct result of choices we make. They could have been avoided.
The psalmist tells us how we fall into our traps.

For they had rebelled against the words of God
And despised the counsel of the Most High
So he subjected them to bitter labor
They stumbled, and there was no one to help
(Psalm 107:11-12)

Everyone makes mistake. Error is natural, but I do not believe this is what the psalmist is talking about. We trap ourselves with deliberate defiance. Honest mistakes have consequences, but are easy to overcome. Intentional disobedience carries severe discipline. The wrong choices seem easier, but all we do is dig a deeper hole.

But this dire consequence is not the end of the road. God does not want us to be enslaved by our own attitudes and actions. God’s desire for us is to find freedom through Him.

He brought them out of darkness and the deepest gloom
And broke away their chains
For he breaks down gates of bronze
And cuts through bars of iron
(Psalm 107:14 & 16)

We may fall into our own traps, but God is our way out. If we call on God, He will rescue us.

The funny thing about Chinese finger traps… they can be easy to get out of, if you know how.
posted by nicholas casey @ 5:32 PM   0 comments
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