Shake Well

Published 6:09 pm Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Anna Nicole, Brittney Spears, Lindsey Lohan, Paris Hilton. Everybody knows them. They’re famous. One is dead and no one knew who the father is of that precious baby of hers until DNA tests were completed. The other three are traveling a road that is fraught with pitfalls.

Where is their security?

Brittney was raised in a Christian home, and at one time in her life knew what Christian living was like… at least that’s what she said. Who knows about Lindsey and Paris? It is so sad what I see in their lives; the choices they have made. Choices do have consequences, and consequences can be a really good thing or a terrible thing, depending on the chosen course of action. Their worlds have been shaken up. We can only hope the shaking did some waking.

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Give a person a lot of money and loose any restrictions and there goes a walking time bomb. Lots of money only heightens the character of a person. A person with loose morals will have looser morals. A person with strong ethics will have stronger ethics; generous will be more generous, stingy will be more stingy. At least that is what I’ve seen in this world.

Jessica Simpson had the world on a string. Great job, beautiful home, the “man of my dreams” husband (her words, not mine). And she tossed it all away on temporary pleasure, listening to the call of the world becoming mesmerized by the world like some cobra charmed by the charmer. We all know who that charmer is.

But, their trials are really no different than what you and I face day to day. If you are breathing, you have problems. Troubles follow every human.

Some people’s problems seem bigger than other people’s problems. They are not.

There are several reasons for problems. One reason is that they are common to man. 1 Cor. 10:13 says, “You have been put to no test but such as is common to man: and God is true, who will not let any test come on you which you are not able to undergo; but he will make with the test the way out of it, so that you may be able to go through it.”

They serve a purpose in the Lord. Yes, even for those who are not Believers. Most of the time, it takes hitting bottom where the only way to look is up before a person will realize God is the solution and things run a lot more smoothly when He is in control.

Troubles put a person to the sun test. In Paul’s day, potters would fire a pot and if it cracked, some of the more unscrupulous potters would fill the crack with wax which would conceal the flaw. The heat of the sun would melt the wax and the flaw would be exposed. That’s where the word, sincere comes from. Sun-tested. Flaws exposed. The difference is that we have the power and the choice to bring our flaws to God to be worked on, smoothed out, fixed, or skimmed off so that all the silver left after the firing is pure and reflective of our Father.

Another purpose is the Thorn-in-the-side, purpose. Put there for us to recognize from whence our grace and strength comes, not to concentrate on the pain of the trial. It is so that we, having gone through the fiery trial, can minister to those who will go through the same thing. Nobody takes piano lessons from someone who doesn’t have a clue how to play the piano.

The third purpose is to be a witness by the response to the trouble. Do we react like the seed that fell in the brambles? Get all choked with the cares and worries of the world? Or do we put down our roots, confident in the fact that God is much greater than any problem or trouble? The world sees how we react to our troubles and that can be a much more powerful witness than any spoken word. It is there to reflect God’s glory to the world.

Remember, an extremely good teacher once said, “Sometimes God must shake well before using.”