A Shabby Little Pedestal


Has someone carelessly wounded your heart?  Maybe you spend time every day wondering what went wrong, what you could have done differently, or how you can fix it now.

Maybe you’re not supposed to fix it.  Maybe, just maybe, God wants you to move on because He’s protecting you or because He has a better life for you up ahead without that person.

But let me ask you this:  Did you put this “someone” on a pedestal, idolizing him/her?

God doesn’t want you to have an idol in your life, my friend.  And anything you put above God is an idol. Anything.

That’s right.  Money, success, and possessions can all be idols.  I think most of us get that.  We understand we shouldn’t make those things a top priority in our lives.  But what about another person? Gulp.

The moment you start looking to another person for answers, comfort, and overall guidance first instead of God, you’ve got a problem.  This includes your spouse, your children, your parents, and your BFF from way back when.

You see, God is jealous for you; not in a crazy way, but in a loving and serious way because He wants what’s best for you.  He knows He can love you more deeply and protect you better than anyone else ever will.  He knows your heart.  He knows you.  (In fact, He sees you right now as you’re reading this.  He’s pretty amazing like that.)

And God knows He can fulfill you, comfort you, ease your pain, bring you joy and lots of laughter, hold you when you crumble, lift you when you slip, whisper when you’re alone, take your hand and lead you the right way, sing alongside of you, and bring you smiles from the inside out.  And His love isn’t something that is here one day and gone the next.  It really is forever.

All He wants is for you to love Him back.  First.  He’ll give you enough love to share with those around you and you’ll learn from Him how to love them even more.

But until God is first in your life, things can be pretty painful.  I know.  I’ve been there.

For a long time, I went to everyone BUT God.  I didn’t think I could hear from God, not really.  And I thought the things that mattered to me wouldn’t be that important to God, so I tucked Him away in a corner in my life. Maybe later, I reasoned, I’ll go to Him.

But from the corner I tried to keep Him in, God started to peel away people from my life. At first I felt hurt and abandoned.  Then I realized God was the One who was really hurting.  I hurt Him every time I picked up the phone or ran to someone else with a problem or exciting news.

I’m not saying God doesn’t want us to talk to those we’re close to…of course He does!  They’re blessings from Him.  But if they come before God, if their opinions and advice come before His, we’re in trouble.  We may as well find ourselves a fat piece of wood and start carving.  We can label it “idol,” stand the thing up on a pedestal, and admit we’ve got a problem.

So how can you make this right with God?

First, tell Him you’re sorry.  Then ask for the Holy Spirit to help you every time you feel the urge to run to someone else first.

Before long, you’ll be excited to have a little alone time with the Lord just so you can pour out your heart to Him.  You’ll find yourself singing to Him in the car, laughing because you hit a horrible note and you know He’s smiling anyway.  You’ll drop to your knees to thank Him when the good news you’ve been waiting for finally comes.  And you’ll feel His arm around you, His hand upon your head as He pulls you close when you break down and cry because someone has been careless with your heart once again.

Maybe while your heart is healing, God will open your eyes to a new blessing, making that pain fade like an old photograph in a discarded album.

And God will be smiling upon you because you will finally realize His throne in heaven casts an awfully big shadow on that shabby little pedestal.

“You must worship no other gods, for the Lord, whose very name is Jealous, is a God who is jealous about his relationship with you.” (Exodus 34:14 NLT.)

Leftover Macaroni and Cheese


Do you invite friends or family over for dinner only to offer them the leftover macaroni and cheese you had the day before? Is popping a bowl of dried-up macaroni in the microwave for a few minutes good enough?

Please don’t misunderstand me. There’s nothing wrong with leftovers.  I personally love the challenge of trying to make something new out of all that leftover Thanksgiving turkey.  But is that really the best I can do?  Do I really want to just throw something together and hope for the best when I want to offer my best?

Do we do that to God? Are we just throwing something together, some half-hearted prayer to impress Him by our effort only to hand Him our wish list, our “want” list?  Or maybe we try to sneak in with a “thanks” first, hoping that’s good enough.

Do you offer God the leftovers of your time, waiting until the end of the day to pick up your Bible or to think of Him? Or maybe you know He’s asked you to do something; He’s called you to a specific task.  But you rush off and do all the things you want to do, or the countless things others expect you to do.  So when it comes to God and His task, you’re fresh out of time and energy. Maybe tomorrow, you think.

Maybe tomorrow? What if God said that to you?  What if those desperate pleas, those late-night tears were pushed aside, ignored, because God is simply going to do everything else first?  Let me tell you, His to-do list is probably a lot longer than yours.  And what if He puts you last?  Oh, He would have enough energy and time of course.  He’s God.  But if you’re last, how long would you have to wait?

Are leftovers really good enough for your relationship with God? It all depends:  Do you want your relationship with Him to be dried-up and lukewarm like your macaroni and cheese?  He doesn’t want that.  But the decision is yours.

“So, because you are lukewarm-neither hot nor cold-I am about to spit you out of my mouth.” (Revelation 3:16 NIV.)