Monday, January 26, 2015

Blizzard Warning and Rotten Oranges


We had just bought a bag of oranges from our local fruit and vegetable market, and we didn’t realize the problem at first. My daughter sneezed every time she was in the kitchen. My face itched and my eyes watered. The fumes from an orange-gone-bad began to infuse the room with its pungent fragrance.

My husband discovered the mold-encrusted orange last night, double bagged the entire bag of fruit, and threw it in the kitchen trash. Problem solved. Well, not so much. This morning, I went into the kitchen and discovered that the mold spores continued to invade the kitchen and dining rooms. I opened the back door for several long, cold minutes to air out the area, but the double bagging didn’t stop the odor from permeating two floors of the house. The only way to get rid of the issue was to get the oranges out of the house, which I did post haste. Now, problem solved for good.

After the orange cleansing, I was on my way to work with this blizzard warning blaring on every radio station. The National Weather Service is promising that at least two feet of snow will invade our world. As I drove, I noticed that the local Department of Transportation has already been salting the highways and ramps. With two to three inches falling per hour, I wonder how futile is this attempt at preparation. No amount of salt or sand will make the roads safe for travelers in the next 24 hours.  

And then these two completely different things came together in my mind. What is there in my life that I’ve been covering up, double-bagging but leaving in my “house?” Have I been trying, in vain, to deodorize and air out issues that need to be taken to the curb? For me, it’s evident that those things have been like that rotten orange. Until I get rid of them entirely, the moldy spores will continue to contaminate any good fruit I may have.

And in other words, what have I been trying to “salt?” The roads I’ve been taking may be the right ones, but am I trying to salt away a blizzard of things that need to be dealt with?

I know the answer for myself. But I share with you because I daresay that I’m not the only one holding onto rotten fruit and attempting to hide a blizzard. And these can be things that we think we’ve already dealt with. For example: Forgiving someone who may or may not deserve it. Letting go of bitterness and resentment. Forgiving yourself, and learning to love yourself and see yourself as God sees you. (1 John 3:1, Ps. 139:14) Each of us needs to allow God into these and any stony places in our hearts so they can be made flesh again. (Ezek 36.26)

Listen, I believe the Lord would have us to know that He loves us with an everlasting love. He sings over us with JOY! He gives us a hope and a future. He’s made the most monumental sacrifice anyone could ever make because of love. He's ready, willing, and able to lead, guide, and love us into the truth that will set us free.

It’s time to stop salting our blizzards and give Him our rotten fruit. He will turn our sorrow into dancing, and He’s ready to make something beautiful out of our lives!
 
Something Beautiful
Bill Gaither

Something beautiful, something good
All my confusion He understood
All I had to offer Him was brokenness and strife
But he made something beautiful of my life

If there ever were dreams
That were lofty and noble
They were my dreams at the start
And hope for life's best were the hopes
That I harbor down deep in my heart
But my dreams turned to ashes
And my castles all crumbled, my fortune turned to loss
So I wrapped it all in the rags of life
And laid it at the cross.