Monday Morning Devotion-November 1, 2021
Hole in Your Pocket
You have planted much but harvest little. You eat but are not satisfied. You drink but are still thirsty. You put on clothes but cannot keep warm. Your wages disappear as though you were putting them in pockets filled with holes! Haggai 1:6
One thing that I really enjoy is my morning walks. I have designated them as prayer walks because in the peace and quiet of the neighborhood, the earlier I walk the quieter it is, I find comfort in visiting with the Lord. Lots of good, some even great, ideas have emanated from these 2-mile walks.
But°isn't there a BUT to everything these days. My morning walk on October 6th, a day that will live in infamy (pardon my pilfering that very old saying) in my walks forever. As I was close to finishing my walk that day it was starting to drizzle rain. I discovered, much to my dismay, that I did not have the plastic bag with me. The one that I put my cell phone in if there is a possibility it will rain on my parade°uh, walk. The one that protects my cell phone.
Now that would be catastrophic! Getting my cell phone wet and possibly putting it out of commission is one of the worst things that could happen. But something even worse happened. In my hurry-up to beat-the-rain effort I clumsily tripped and fell face first on the concrete sidewalk in front of our neighbor's house, a mere 25-feet or so from our driveway.
Stunned and struggling to get to my knees I discovered lots of blood cascading down my face. On first effort to get up I fell again. Then I decided, if I'm going to keep falling it would be better to do it in the grass, so I rolled over into a grassy area.
Thankfully no one was watching this fiasco. Finally, got up and made it to the house and looked in the mirror. And what to my horrified eyes did appear? My, use-to-be handsome face, was a bloody mess.
What followed was a day in medical confines. The nurse, who cleaned up the cuts at my doctor's office offered the information that it looked like I had a broken nose. When the doctor came in he said: "It looks like you have a broken nose." They sent me to the emergency room where the radiologist said: "You have a broken nose." Guess what? I had a broken nose amongst all other cuts and abrasions.
Here's the point of all this. While I was feeling blessed to overflowing with all these great walks in my pocket. My pocket had a hole in it, and they all fell through it.
So why did this happen? Well, it happened because I was careless. Wasn't God protecting me on these walks? Yes, he was. I had over a thousand event-free walks covering 2,500 miles since 2017 as proof.
But this one walk with an unhappy conclusion happened because I was more concerned about protecting my cell phone and staying dry than the main thing for safety°watch where you are stepping!
Now here's the good news. The hole in my pocket has been sewn back up and is starting to fill with the Lord's blessings again. I didn't miss a single walk. But I have slowed down and shortened the distance and am very careful where I am stepping and sure that I am keeping my balance. Thank you, Lord. And°Oh Yeah°My face has cleared up. All the bruises and abrasions have disappeared.
In the Old Testament book of Haggai, we get the reference to pockets with holes in them. The Jews who had returned from Babylon to rebuild The Lord's Temple, still had not completed the task---10 years later---they returned to do. Let's look at what was going on. The Life Application Bible sorts it out:
"God asked his people how they could live in luxury when His house was still lying in ruins. The Temple was the focal point of Judah's relationship with God, but it was still demolished. Instead of rebuilding the Temple, the people put their energies into beautifying their own homes. However, the harder the people worked for themselves, the less they had, because they ignored their spiritual lives. The same happens to us. If we put God first, He will provide for our deepest needs. If we put him in any other place, all our efforts will be futile. Caring only for your physical needs while ignoring your relationship with God will lead to ruin."
This story and my own personal story have a purpose. No matter how satisfied we are with what's going on in our lives it is important to stop from time to time and check our pockets. Are these pockets carrying all our blessings starting to have worn spots in them that might turn into holes that let those blessings fall through?
Full pockets are a sign of a right relationship with God. They should show that we are putting our relationship with Him first, above all else. Are the blessings we have in those pockets things that the Lord provided because we are His friends and consult him in life decisions, or did we bypass him and latch onto some or many of them by ourselves? Are we sure we are continuing to do the right things?
Do we pray, read His word, and focus on having a right relationship with our Creator each day? If we find lots of things to complain and grumble about, we may find that we do have holes in our pockets. When we think we have latched on to something good it might not be as good as we thought it was going to be.
The apostle Paul says: "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." Realizing that enables us to avoid those holes in our pockets that the wear and tear of a life without Him can cause.
Prayer: Lord help us to use the strong threads that our relationship with you provides so we may sew up any holes in our pockets. Amen!