This past Sunday afternoon, Jamie had a full-fledged panic attack for the first time in a while. She and Rachel were going to get some dinner and, well, something happened that triggered her anxiety and PTSD and she had an attack.
Last week, Jamie had ordered a seat belt for Gabriel to wear in the car. He was in the back seat, buckled in when the attack happened.
She had been told that the seat belt is not to be hooked to his collar but to the harness. This is because if we were ever in an accident, if the belt is attached to the collar, it could damage his throat and neck and possibly kill him...and we don’t want that!
When in a car, the seat belt doesn’t limit Gabriel’s movement too much, but it does keep him in the back seat, which is where he stays anyway.
When Jamie’s panic attack started Sunday afternoon, Gabriel was stuck in the back seat. He was doing everything he could to get to “his girl,” but the seat belt only allowed him to lick her face (which is one of his tasks).
Witnesses report that he was using all of his strength (and he is a very strong dog) to get to Jamie. Had the seat belt been attached to his collar, he probably would have injured himself...or worse...that was how badly he wanted to help “his girl.”
As Jamie and I were talking about this on Tuesday afternoon, a thought hit me (she wasn’t surprised, you shouldn’t be either).
Gabriel did everything he could to rescue Jamie. He very well would have injured himself or, possibly, killed himself to get to “his girl” when she needed him.
Does that remind you of anyone else? Romans 5:6 tells us, “For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.”
When we needed Him the most...when we were unable to help ourselves...Christ did everything He could, up to and including giving His life, to help us: because we are “His girl" (and boy).
Dink, Art, and Mickey have an enormous responsibility. As Shepherds of the flock here at Eastgate, they often times have to make choices and decisions that are, well, difficult to say the least.
For example, this past weekend. I had received a few text messages and phone calls about Sunday’s services by around noon on Saturday. Obviously the weather was bad and travel difficult, but they wanted to wait until Sunday morning to decide if the weather warranted canceling services.
Later on Saturday afternoon, I sent them a picture of the parking lot from the security cameras that show the parking lot. Even in the pictures, it was obvious that it was a sheet of ice.
Realizing that the temperature was not going to go up over night, they made the difficult decision to cancel our both of our Sunday services.
But by 3:00 on Sunday afternoon, those same cameras showed that the parking lot was pretty much clear. The ice/snow had melted and evaporated. Some would say we could have met Sunday night, even though it had been cancelled.
The trouble is that some areas of the parking lot and streets that were in the shade most of Sunday may have looked clear, but were not: black ice is what it is called.
My point is that, while the danger wasn’t apparent, it was still present. We don’t want anyone to slip on the ice in our parking lot (or anywhere else).
So, in this case, the elders were not only watching out for your souls (Hebrews 13:17) they were watching out for your body as well.
But “black ice” isn’t just limited to parking lots and roads. It is present in our spiritual life as well. Satan will throw temptations your way that are obvious. But, just when you think it is “safe” and you’ve gotten through the danger, he will throw something you are not expecting your way to make you slip and fall. So watch out!
Oh, and be sure to thank Dink, Art, and Mickey for the job they do.
The following is a PSA, sort of…
Several of you asked me on Sunday about why Rachel had not gone back to Harding. She will be going to Harding this semester, but to HUF (Harding University Florence...yes, that’s in Italy (the country, not Texas)).
She has to be at the Little Rock airport on February 6 to fly to Atlanta, then Paris, then Florence. We will post her “temporary school address” on the bulletin board once February gets here.
She will return from her 90 day semester abroad on Thursday, April 25 (at 10:50 PM, if anyone would like to pick her up at XNA...just kidding, but you could come with me if you want).
Am I excited about Rachel’s upcoming adventure? Considering she was only born a couple of days ago...NO! I’m not ready for my daughter to be half a world away (four hours is plenty!).
I remember how “long” it took me to grow up: forever! The first 18 years of my life were the longest 18 years ever!
But here I am 20+ years after becoming a dad and, I just don’t believe it could have been that long. It certainly hasn’t been long enough for my baby to go to Europe without me!
A parent’s perspective of time is a lot different than their children’s perspective. 10 minutes of “time out” is an eternity to a child; it’s a blink of an eye to a parent.
2 Peter 3:8 tells us, “...with the Lord one day is as a thousand years and a thousand years as one day.” God’s perspective of time is certainly a lot different than humans.
God is not bound by time. Time means nothing to Him. He is eternal: always has been, always will be. That’s a difficult concept for our human brains to comprehend. The parent/child time measurement isn’t perfect, but may help us understand.
I’m just hoping that the 90 days Rachel is in Italy seem more like a day than a thousand years!
Well, here we are in 2019! I hope that all of you had a joyous holiday season and I hope that you are ready to have a joyous and prosperous 2019!
If, as a congregation, we are going to be joyous and prosperous in 2019, then we must also be committed to God’s Word...as a congregation and as individuals.
I saw the following over the Christmas break and it stuck with me...so I wanted to share it with you.
Apparently Japan is running out of ninjas. In the small city of Iga, the birthplace of the ancient ninja warriors, officials cannot find enough martial artists to perform for tourists, even though the job can pay up to $85,000 per year. Part of the problem is that the city’s young people are moving to larger cities, and there are just not enough candidates available who are willing to go through the intensive training, even for the great paycheck.
Isn’t that similar to the situation we have in the Lord’s church? The ancient practice of Christianity is often not as appealing to our younger ones, who instead are being drawn to the “bright lights and big cities” of denominational practices. The intensive training required to be a warrior for Christ is seen as too difficult, even though the reward–heaven–is extremely high!
Let us pray and encourage more young people to take up a true and deep study of God’s word. “The harvest truly is great, but the laborers are few; therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest” (Luke 10:2).