Soap Free

I purchased a ‘soap free’ brand of shower lotion last week. It smells great, foams nicely, washes very well, and has added moisturizers to soften the skin. What I didn’t read on the back of the packet until later however, was a myriad of tongue twisting ingredients including Methylchloroisothiazolinone. Seriously, that is one word!

Why do we take natural things out to replace them with artificial substitutes which aren’t even good for us? I was given a block of chocolate this week which was gluten free and had no added sugar, yet still had 36% fat. No wonder it still tasted nice! But before I go have a bath with my original soap and a block of real chocolate 😉 , let’s ask that same question about life.

A friend of mine, Simone, shared this week about her family’s situation in returning to work after being involved in full time ministry. She described what many of us face – the difficulty of keeping up a daily, meaningful relationship with God when the reliance on Him for our daily needs is not blatantly obvious. In ministry we often need to rely on Him for our financial needs, our ministry goals, our prayer life, our humility, and the grace and strength to keep serving. But sometimes we easily slip into the trap of securing our own finances with work, opting out of ministry roles when things get too busy, praying only in emergencies, and getting by on our own merit. These artificial props of life not only do nothing to further God’s kingdom here on earth, but relying on them damages and erodes our relationship with God.

Simone pointed out that whatever role or stage of life we are in, it is vital that we are demonstrating to our children our reliance and dependence on God. It is our desire that they grow into young men and women that not only follow Him but are committed to joining Him in His work in this world. How do we do that while we are working, running a house or running after kids? By grabbing hold of miniature mission opportunities, by serving on an impromptu schedule, by being open to God’s leading even in the busyness of life and choosing to say ‘Yes’ to Him in those circumstances.

It is situations like giving someone a lift when its raining, taking a meal to someone who is sick, giving a Bible to someone who is searching, or listening to someone who needs to talk. Even if it puts you out, even if you don’t have time, even if it doesn’t come naturally. Cause that is what life is meant to be! Jesus thrived on interruptions. Eg healing the widows son (Luke 7:11-17), the woman with a bleeding disorder (Luke 8:40-48) or a blind man by the road (Mark 10:46-52). And divine appointments often come in the interruptions and hassles of life. Interruptions are the natural substance of life in which God works. So don’t be too quick to chase after those things that will make your life more comfortable or secure while neglecting the real ingredients of life. It’s an artificial way of living.

Jesus said “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” John 10:10 (NIV)

One Response to Soap Free
  1. Pam
    March 24, 2009 | 9:37 am

    I too was in full-time ministry with my husband and both re-careered in to the secular marketplace. It’s been ten years now and I’ve learned alot along the way. Thanks for the good Word!