Wednesday, February 8, 2017
As a pastor some of us know has been known to do before his sermons in church, let me start off today’s blog with this corny little joke: I hope you don’t mind. Do you know what a pea cup is? Answer: A Mexican man’s truck. Okay, with that out of the way, what do you think of when you hear the phrase “pick-up?” Does an energy boost come to mind, or a medium sized truck, or an impromptu basketball game among friends, or something else? Since I see them all throughout the day, I know what the phrase almost always reminds me of. In fact, we’ve got more than a few around our house and I bet some of you do too. I am referring to the stray dog(s) or cat(s) we took in some time back, those we “picked up.” In most cases, these were abandoned, forgotten, or rejected little critters which were left behind to tend for themselves. They were lost, cold, alone and hungry in the world, that is, until someone like you or me took them in, picked them up, if you will.
We’ve had many “pick-ups” through the years and they all have their own little story. One of them, which is still around today, came to us this way a few years ago when my wife was still working: She noticed this sleek, little black shivering dog which was constantly looking for scraps among the dumpsters by the back loading dock. Of course, my wife felt sorry for this poor critter and we brought her home with us. I immediately named her Yodie because with her flappy, lifted up big ears, she resembled Yoda from the Star Wars movie. Well, Yodie was very pregnant when we brought her home and soon gave birth to a litter where only one puppy survived. Her puppy was white and shaggy haired with black spots, quite the opposite of her mother. Her name is Chappie and, unlike her mom, lives with us today. And Yodie? Well, she’s just a stone’s throw away from our house. Here’s what happened: My neighbor saw me one day in the back yard when I was carrying and caressing her. He immediately liked what he saw and asked if I would be willing to give her to him. Since we have a few other “pick-ups”, I let him have her. Today, Yodie is well fed and healthy, lives the life of a queen and sleeps in bed every night with my neighbor and his wife. That’s quite a change from the hard life she knew before, don’t you think?
I’ve told you all this because, whether you see it this way or not, many of us have had a Yodie experience. Without Christ, we were really nothing in the world. Until we came to Him, none of us can truthfully say we were under the care of Someone who really loved us. That’s all changed now and we’ve really gone from rags to riches. I am reminded of this verse which Samuel’s mother, Hanna, wrote: “He raises the poor from the dust and lifts the needy from the ash heap; He seats them with princes and has them inherit a throne of honor.” (1 Samuel 2:8) Our “pick-ups” are loved today like never before. So are we, because, as the song says: “No One Ever Cared For Me Like Jesus.” How great it is to be really loved and cared for!
God’s word for today: (1 John 4:19) “We love Him because He first loved us.”