Burrs or Blessings?

In 1948, George DeMestral was out hunting in the mountains in France with his long-haired Irish Pointer. The dog disappeared into the brush and came out with burrs from the burdock plant tangled in her coast. He noted that they were covering his wool pants, too. 99.9 % of us would have been aggravated by the work required to pick those burrs out of the dog’s coat and from our clothing. George was fascinated.

He took some of the burrs to his microscope and examined them carefully, amazed by the tiny ‘hooks’ that attached the seed to any fiber surface. His observation led him to invent “locking tape.”  We call it Velcro™.   A weed seed, that was an annoyance, inspired the quick fasteners we use in so many applications. George DeMestral was always curious, an inventor/engineer who ‘saw’ beyond the obvious because he looked.

We are dealing with ongoing disruptions to life caused by COVID: illness, government policies, death, and economic impact are having a real effect on the lives and emotional health of people around the world.

Christian, what do you see in all of this? 
Aggravation or opportunity?  

I do not intend to suggest that God is the author the mess we’re in.  With time we may be able to sort out causes. But for now, we are invited to be people of vision inspired by faith, who bring the Spirit’s resources into this world. Instead of complaining and whining, we can pray earnestly. Instead of waiting for someone to ride to our rescue, we can become people who care and serve. Instead of attacking those with whom we differ on restrictions, vaccines, and personal choices, we can become people who seek truth and build hope! This is possible IF we are willing to set aside the aggravation we feel (and that is a real thing for many of us) and look for the best ways to  turn a difficulty into an opportunity.

Faith is {Hebrews 11:1 ASV} “the assurance of things hoped for, a conviction of things not seen.”    Genuine faith does not demand that we pretend all is well nor does it require a denial of reality. Faith will give us wisdom and the desire to pray  this – “Lord, do not let me only see the obvious;   let me see the possible; the potential; so that I will allow You to work in circumstances of my life.”  

Some people look for evidence of God’s absence. 
I want to that person who looks for evidence of His Presence.  
Some people complain about what God does not do.
I want to be one who remembers to thank Him for the myriad blessings:  seen and unseen, that  He pours on me day to day.

God promises that if we seek Him, we WILL find Him!

The exiles of Judah, far from home in Babylon, were in a mess. Some concluded there was no future, no hope. They were ready to simply survive. But, God spoke through the ‘Weeping Prophet’ – Jeremiah. “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. In those days when you pray, I will listen. If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me. I will be found by you,” says the Lord. “I will end your captivity and restore your fortunes. I will gather you out of the nations where I sent you and will bring you home again to your own land.” (Jeremiah 29:11-14, NLT)  The faithless probably said, “Nonsense, empty words. Shut up!” No nation that the Assyrians had overrun and destroyed had ever been restored or rebuilt. But, God, declared there was an opportunity to be found in the mess! And, two generations later, we read the stories of Ezra and Nehemiah leading the restoration of Jerusalem, God’s Temple, and the renewal of Judaism.

Have you concluded that your problem has no solution or that God has forgotten your name?  Take a second look. Your impossibility is God’s opportunity. Today, dry the tears. Stop the complaint. Look up, asking for faith to believe, courage to hold onto His hand, a new desire to walk in the Spirit’s life and power. Instead of telling God to get rid of the burrs ask Him to help you to see the answers that are hiding in them. Instead of  looking for a new job, a new church, a new place   . . . ask God to make a new YOU!  Let’s “Be wise … making the most of every opportunity.” (Colossians 4:5, NIV)

Here is a word from the Word. I hope this truth inspires us, sparking faith. 
“Come and see what God has done, how awesome his works in man’s behalf! … 
Come and listen, all you who fear God; let me tell you what he has done for me.
I cried out to him with my mouth; his praise was on my tongue.
If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened;
but God has surely listened and heard my voice in prayer.”
(Psalm 66:5, 16-19, NIV)

Good God Almighty
(sing along, find joy in this happy praise)

I can’t count the times
I’ve called Your name some broken night
And You showed up and patched me up
Like You do every time
I get amnesia I forget that You keep coming around
Yeah ain’t no way You’ll ever let me down

Good God Almighty
I hope You’ll find me
Praising Your Name no matter what comes
‘Cause I know where I’d be
Without Your mercy
So I keep praising Your name at the top of my lungs

Tell me is He good (He’s good)
Tell me is He God (He’s God)
He is Good God Almighty

You say Your love goes on forever
That Your mercy never stops
So why would I assume
You’d be somebody that You’re not
Like sun in the morning
I know You’re gonna be there every day
So what on earth could make me be afraid

Praise Him in the morning
Praise Him in the noon time
Praise Him when the sun goes down
Love Him in the morning
Love Him in the noon time
Love Him when the sun goes down

Jesus in the morning
Jesus in the noon time
Jesus when the sun goes down
Jesus in the morning
Jesus in the noon time
Jesus when the sun goes down

Ben Glover | David Crowder | Jeff Sojka
© 2021 9t One Songs (Admin. by Capitol CMG Publishing)
Ariose Music (Admin. by Capitol CMG Publishing)
Capitol CMG Genesis (Admin. by Capitol CMG Publishing)
sixsteps Music (Admin. by Capitol CMG Publishing)
Sojka Songs (Admin. by Capitol CMG Publishing) CCLI License # 810055

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