Thursday, July 23, 2015

Missionaries don't cuss

Did you know missionaries do not curse? It is just one of the many fine qualities they have.  They never curse because they do not get angry, and of course are too pious.

Can you imagine me using a "bad word" in this blog?  Unthinkable. is thinkable, just not written down.

Generally, I do try to avoid vulgarities of such sort.  When I was living in my parent's home, I remember my father, not chidingly, telling me that vulgarities generally are used out of weakness, when a better developed vocabulary would otherwise provide one with better ways to express surprise, frustration, etc.  I guess that made sense to me.  I was somewhat practiced at using them, certainly hearing them sitting at the back of the school bus as a very young child with all the older kids.  After hearing this, I was convicted to generally try to eliminate them from my everyday use.

Are they wrong, these words we have deemed "bad"?  No, I think not.  Surely we are warned not to use the Lord's name in vain, so aimless use of "My God!" and the like would fit that.  But some formation of letters being, it is the use, the aim, the potential ignorance, the intent, and the passion or hate with which they are used that makes any of them bad.  I have seen in Spanish (as well in English) that a word in one place can be most foul, and somewhere else quite tame.

So what's the point of all this?

I guess the point least for me, is that no matter well adjusted, no matter how much we understand, no matter how much we have a grip on day to day life (or how much we just think we are all of those)...there are times where we want to say "bad" words as we cry out to God for what we do not understand, or what we understand but do not like (death is a result of the fall, illness as well, so we can understand how cancer, Alzheimer's and other illnesses exist theoretically...but seeing them face to face?) or for what troubles our hearts so much that the words to put to the feelings are hard to find other than with the shift key and the numbers at the top of the keyboard.

We talk about prayer, talking with God...but sometimes we need to scream to, or at, God.  We need to cry out, to bear our souls and let come forth what would come.

My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, so far from the words of my groaning? O my God, I cry out by day, but you do not answer, by night, and am not silent. Yet you are enthroned as the Holy One; you are the praise of Israel. In you our fathers put their trust; they trusted and you delivered them. They cried to you and were saved; in you they trusted and were not disappointed. But I am a worm and not a man, scorned by men and despised by the people. (Psalm 22:1-6)

The way I read this, and many other passages...David did.  Job did.  Sure seems like Paul did.

God is bigger than our problems, and our anger.  He can take it.  He is there for us.  After all...

Prayer is not about trying to change God, but about God changing us.  Somebody smarter than I said that (or something along those lines.)

If we are happy...praise God.
And if we are angry...well...take it to the Lord in prayer.

I looked up the history of the hymn "What a Friend We Have in Jesus."  I am continually amazed at the lives lived by many hymn writers.  In this instance, instead of a hymn, this was a poem written by Joseph M. Scriven.  He lost his first fiance the day before they were to be wed, a drowning accident. He left his home in Ireland, and went to Canada to teach.  Again he was to be married, and his fiance became ill and died.  Afterwards...imagine this...he became a preacher, and spent the rest of his life giving what he had to help others and tell them about Jesus.  Oh, and about the time his second fiance died...he got word his mother was sick and dying, and he could not return to be with her.  He sent a letter, and included this poem...which later was put to music, and the rest is history, or His story.

I have said it before, I will say it again...some hymns are so rich in history that we fail to take into account when we sing them.  I will not sing this one the same way again.

What a Friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer!
O what peace we often forfeit, O what needless pain we bear,
All because we do not carry everything to God in prayer.

Have we trials and temptations? Is there trouble anywhere?
We should never be discouraged; take it to the Lord in prayer.
Can we find a friend so faithful who will all our sorrows share?
Jesus knows our every weakness; take it to the Lord in prayer.

Are we weak and heavy laden, cumbered with a load of care?
Precious Savior, still our refuge, take it to the Lord in prayer.
Do your friends despise, forsake you? Take it to the Lord in prayer!
In His arms He'll take and shield you; you will find a solace there.

Blessed Savior, Thou hast promised Thou wilt all our burdens bear
May we ever, Lord, be bringing all to Thee in earnest prayer.
Soon in glory bright unclouded there will be no need for prayer
Rapture, praise and endless worship will be our sweet portion there.

No comments: