Tuesday, February 18, 2014

empty assurance

It was garbage day and the trucks had already been by. I was rolling our trash cans from the curbside back to the garage when I heard a clatter down by my feet. I looked down to see that my inhaler had fallen from my pocket onto the pavement. I quickly snatched it up and stowed it back into my pocket before parking the trash cans in their designated spot, then I hopped into my car to drive to work.

I was about halfway to my destination when I started to feel a little wheezy. Now, I don't know about other asthmatics, but for me, this feeling is usually accompanied by a twinge of anxiety. But as I looked at the passenger-side seat where my inhaler now sat, I instantly felt a sense of reassurance.

That anxiety, the sense of urgency and panic, all abated with the sight of a bright red canister. But as I lifted the mouthpiece to take that first glorious hit, I realized this beautiful bright red canister was... just a canister. As I bewilderedly riffled through the console, cup holders, and floor boards of my car, the cartridge was no where to be seen...

All I had was empty assurance. I slowly realized that the cartridge had fallen out of the canister when I dropped it on the pavement earlier.

Fortunately, I wasn't too winded and I made it to work safely where the nurse had a spare inhaler in the office I could use. Everything was fine, but what a frightening feeling that was to have so much confidence in something, just to realize it was completely useless! But isn't that how we live our lives? Don't we seek reassurance from empty things; healthcare coverage, money, personal belongings, indulgences, psychology and self-help? I don't believe that there's anything wrong with these things, but it's important to remember that these things are hollow shells. There is no life in them, and they will not sustain us alone. It's in the way we receive these things that truly brings reassurance; when we see beyond the gifts to look into the face of the Giver.

I don't want to be the kind of person that gets a sense of relief from the sight of bright red plastic. Instead, I want to be the kind of person that gets a sense of relief in knowing that I serve and am loved by a big, all-powerful God who heals and comforts us, and inspires earthly physicians to create miraculous things like Albuteral inhalers. I long to develop a faith so powerful that every time I remember my God, I instantly feel peace. 

I want to live in true assurance. 
Every. Single. Day. 
And why shouldn't I?

"13 When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, 14 having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross. 15 And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross." -Colossians 2:13-15

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