October 4, 2010
The Lesson of the Missing "B"
Romans 12:5 "So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another."
Friend To Friend
Sometimes it is the little things that really get to me. As a writer, I spend a great deal of my time in front of a computer - with which I have a love-hate relationship. I love the convenience a computer offers when it comes to recording the thoughts and truths God gives me to share, but there are times when I would like to throw my laptop into the nearest body of water and be done with it. I can remember the days when I literally wrote out every word of a lesson or devotion because I was terrified of even trying to use a computer. I am anything but a technical guru and could see hundreds - no, make that thousands - of hours of work disappearing into some hidden file, going up in virtual flames or being launched into cyberspace, never to be seen again. Why? Just because I hit one wrong key or pressed an incorrect button. However, the day finally came when I realized that the good reasons for using a computer outweigh the bad, and decided it was time to take the plunge.
Through trial and error, and the patience of friends who have repeatedly rescued me from more than one cyber disaster, I have evolved into a fairly capable computer operator. I have retrieved lost chapters and lessons, eradicated various viruses, erected firewalls, foiled hackers … and have come through the fray relatively unscathed.
And then it happened.
I was returning home from a speaking event and decided to use the three hour flight time to work on a writing assignment due the next day. It was one of those unusually sweet and highly productive times when the words come easily and eventually form sentences that actually make sense. I was on a roll - and so was my laptop when the plane suddenly hit an air pocket and dropped what seemed like a mile. I watched in horror as my laptop caught air, crashed to the floor of the plane and slid under the seat in front of me. Fortunately, I had saved my work and desperately hoped the laptop had not been damaged in its fall. When the plane and everyone on board gained their composure, I quickly retrieved the computer and breathed a sigh of relief after a quick inspection that revealed a couple of new but minor scratches.
I opened the computer, ready to resume my work. But then I saw it - the now empty space where the "B" key was supposed to be. Evidently, it had popped off in the fall and was nowhere to be found. I wasn't too concerned. I mean, after all, how important is one little key? There are plenty of other keys from which to choose. They all look pretty much the same. A missing letter or symbol here or there can't be that much of a problem, can it?
As I began my work, I soon discovered just how much of a problem one little missing computer key can be. All of a sudden, it seemed like every other word I needed contained a "B." My frustration level rose as my finger instinctively kept hitting the spot where the "B" was supposed to be and found … nothing. Finally, I decided I really needed that key and went looking for it. The passengers around me joined in the search and it was only a few minutes before the person seated in front of me shouted "Got it!" I snapped the missing "B" back into place. In a matter of minutes, I was amazed at how much better the whole keyboard seemed to function now that the lost key was back where it should be.
We all lose our way at one time or another. An unexpected life storm knocks us flat. A bad choice causes us to stumble and fall. We snap under the pressure of a difficult relationship and no one seems to care or even notice the pain we feel. But then, like a Shepherd searching for that one lost sheep, God turns to us and hears our cry. He lifts us out of the darkness, gives us a safe place to stand and fills our heart with a new song of praise. And He uses people to do it all. In fact, God delights in using people to reach out and minister to other people who are wounded and lost.
God created us to need each other. We are daughters of the King, sisters in Christ and Girlfriends in God. When one hurts, all of us should feel the pain. When one of us has fallen, we need to reach out, link arms and hold on until the storm has passed. Who needs your love and encouragement? Remember the lesson of the missing "B" and ask God to love others through you … today.
Father, I know You want me to share the love I have found in You. Forgive me for the many times I have been too busy to see the needs around me. Break my heart for those who are in pain and feel hopeless. Encourage them through me, Lord. Fill my heart with Your love so that I can give it away.
In Jesus' name,
Now It's Your Turn
Read Galatians 5:22-23. "But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control."
Make a list of the attributes listed in Galatians 5:22-23. Beside each one, write the name of someone who needs you to live out that quality in their life. Here are a few examples to help you get started:
Love: Jane - my neighbor who is struggling with her teenage son
Joy: Sally - my friend who has just discovered she has breast cancer
Peace: Linda - my friend's sister who is going through a divorce
Make a specific plan for meeting each need. (I will take Jane to lunch.)
Put a time limit on it. (I will take Jane to lunch on Thursday.)
Record your experience in your journal.
More From The Girlfriends
Gwen, Sharon and I were recently able to get together for some long overdue girlfriend time. Yes, we had a total blast! But as we talked and shared, we all had the same burden - to tell you that God really does love you! We want you to know that we love you so much, but that God loves you more!
God's truth is for today. Every time we hear the Word of God, we are then responsible for applying its message. I wonder what would happen if we, as Girlfriends in God, put into action the truth we already know. I have a challenge for us all. This week, let's be "God with skin on" to the people who cross our path each day. That includes that nosy neighbor, irritating boss, difficult child … as well as our best friend.
I would love to hear what God does through you this week because you were willing to step out in obedience. Email me at: email@example.com.
Need help? Beat holiday stress to the punch by getting Mary's book, Escaping the Stress Trap today!
Join women from across the world in Mary's Online Bible Study, Light for the Journey. Don't miss the new study that begins today - When an Ordinary Woman Meets an Extraordinary God. Enroll now and have access to all of the 2010 studies. Check it out!
Originally published Monday, 04 October 2010.