Wednesday, February 10, 2016
Shepastor: "Blessing in a Different Way..."
For many years now I’ve heard preachers and Bible teachers speak about the “Dead” Sea… “Nothing can live there…it is stagnant, selfish…waters flow into it but it gives nothing back…” I heard ministers use the Dead Sea illustration when doing stewardship appeals, referencing the fact that it holds all that it gets and therefore it is basically useless, characterized by death.
On our recent trip to the Holy Land, both my husband and I, along with the other participants on our trip were shocked as we approached the Dead Sea. Instead of some murky, nasty, ugly body of water, we saw a beautiful, crystal blue sea, outlined with white rock salt! The tour guide explained, “You all have named it the “Dead Sea,” but we (the indigenous people) call it the ‘Salt Sea.’ It is true that nothing can live in this body of water because of its high salt content, but it is not dead…it is life giving, full of rich minerals, calcium, potassium, sulfa, sodium. The ancient kings and queens used to come here and use this Sea as their private spa…soaking in the mineral rich waters to soothe their aches and pains, increase their skin’s elasticity, making it smooth and youthful.”
Today, people come from all over the world come to soak in the edges of the Salt Sea. Beautiful products that soothe and heal skin and joints are made from the Salt Sea. Ironically, people are now using “Sea Salt” more and more to season their meals because it is believed to be better for our bodies than regular table salt. God had a purpose in creating the Salt Sea, not for death, but for life!
As I considered the mischaracterization of this beautiful body of water, I began to think about how often we mischaracterize the gifts, the blessings, the opportunities, the wonders God has given, purposed and made for His glory. I began to think about how often we dismiss, name ugly, reject and even demonize things that don’t fit into our “cookie cutter” mindsets and modus operandi.
How often do we dismiss children and adults that are “differently abled,” assuming they have very little or nothing of significance to share? How often do we overlook or even demonize those who offer something different in terms of gifts and talents that don’t necessarily suit our taste (different forms of music, art, writings etc.) How often do we reject the very ones that the Lord sends us because they don’t look like us, talk like us, behave like us, process like us?
Jesus called us the “salt of the earth.” Salt preserves. Salt can purify. Salt gives flavor. The Salt Sea is not dead. It simply blesses us in a different way. May we resist the temptation to label things as dead and useless, without first considering God’s purpose for the creation.
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Until Next Wednesday,
In Faith, Hope and Perseverance,