Questioning God’s Creation

Have you ever wondered about the incredible wisdom of God’s creation and wished He had done some things differently? Maybe He could have added something here, taken something off there. Love handles? Were they really necessary?

Sometimes I have wished that I had eyes in the back of my head. Like when I had kids. They would have served me well. When I’m preaching I sometimes wish I had better eyes. Have you ever had trouble getting your bifocals to match up? This week I got a pair of new glasses. My eye doctor asked if I had considered having surgery to fix them? Then I would only have to wear reading glasses. Oh ya, that makes sense, I thought! Trade one pair for another? I’m pretty okay with glasses. I read a lot. I have worn glasses my whole adult life. When they are off it still feels like I’m wearing them. And when I’m preaching I can take them off to avoid seeing people sleeping.

I mowed my lawn one morning this week. It was a beautiful morning. Afterwards I grabbed my Round-Up and sprayed some weeds. I was moving along the back of the house looking for weeds and spraying like crazy. I was focused! Focused enough to walk right into the corner of the deck that was strategically positioned at the height of the top of my head. “Shoot!” I said. It hurt bad. It hurt really bad! I could have said something else but I’m a pastor. So it was shoot!

I rubbed the top of my head. That always makes it feel better. Nope, it didn’t. Blood. Oh great. Just what I needed. On the way in to the house I had a conversation with God. “Just what I needed,” I said. “Why couldn’t you warn me?”

Then I wondered. Why didn’t you put eyes on the top of my head? Just one would do. I could part my hair in the middle so I could see. Then I heard God say, “Why don’t you just wear a helmet when you are spraying weeds?” Cute. My conclusion…God has a warped sense of humor! I hope it gave Him a good chuckle because it only gave me a headache and a big scab on my head.

Remember Popeye? “I am what I am,” he would say. Pretty profound words when you think about it. I am what I am. Capable, intelligent, fun, loving; yet broken, sometimes kind of dumb, easily upset and angered and at times even unlovable.

The apostle Paul says we have the treasure of God’s love and grace in “jars of clay.” Beautiful jars, created in God’s image are you and me. But still made of clay. So we are easily chipped and broken. Fragile. We even bleed. But beautiful. That’s how God made us. It is how He made you. And after He did, He called you good.

Today I give God thanks for making me just as I am and for loving and accepting me just as I am. Two eyes are enough. Love handles…okay. Forgiven, redeemed on the cross and given new life every morning…priceless! Only by grace.

See you at the Lighthouse,



Shocked? Sadly, No.

I have been away for a few days and waited until I returned home to comment on the sad and tragic death of Robin Williams. Suicide is becoming all too common these days and when someone of Robin’s stature takes his own life it makes us all sit up and take notice.

I was a big fan. I loved his comedy. Yes, I go all the way back to Mork and Mindy and Happy Days:) That said, Williams greatest contribution to humankind may not have been that he made us laugh. He was quite open about his battle with addiction and depression. In doing so he helped others to a degree that most of us will never know. His openness conveyed to others that they were not alone. It gave hope to many, that someone with the same struggles could make such a difference in this world. He made everyone laugh, but for those with a similar disease, a smile could not help but emerge and ones posture could not help but straiten up when listening to one who also knew the darkness and sadness that is ever present in a battle with addiction and depression. And this man who understands, can make us laugh and can transport us into a story that stands outside our pain. It’s pure magic.

The world has been shocked by his sudden death. For those of us who have battled addiction and depression, we are not shocked. Saddened yes. Disappointed that one of us who made such a difference in this world and who brought positive attention to the ravages of these diseases has succumbed to it? Indeed. But shocked? No. For many, it is an all too familiar story.

I’m often asked why such terrible things such as addiction and depression exist in this life. Why indeed? What I know is that they are not God’s intention. It is part of the brokenness of this world. We followers of Jesus say it is part of the fall. It is part of our sinful world…death, decay, disease and pain. The hope is that one day it will be no more. No more death, and no more suffering. No more disease. No more tears.

My concern right now is for those of you who think you now see an easy way out. As the world mourns you see it is not an easy out. In no way is it easy. Nor is it the right way. It is not God’s way. I understand, believe me, I understand. Many of you do too. If you battle addiction and/or depression you understand the words of the psalmist, “though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death.” What I also want you to understand are the next words, “I will fear no evil.” Why? Because God is with you! God is with you. God is with you!

Shocked? No. Saddened? Yes. Hopeful! Absolutely!!!

There is help out there. It may not seem like it. It may be hard to ask. But there is help. There is a God who loves you so much and people who stand ready to respond. The Lighthouse shines the hope that there is safety and security in Christ Jesus. Follow the Light. God is with you. So are we.

See you at the Lighthouse,