Standing Out

When my son was little, he was sick, a lot. Nate was born with an immune deficiency that first reared it’s ugly head right after he stopped nursing. He got sick, really sick, and my tiny four month old baby, developed his first case of pneumonia. Trip after trip to the Pediatrician’s office yielded nothing but another round or two of antibiotics and not much else. Their attitude seemed to be a bit callous to me, as they didn’t seem to want to find out just why my child was so sick with ear infections after ear infections (which were minor in comparison to the other stuff), asthma, and bouts pneumonia that he experienced. Then came Dr. Thomas Selznick, a family doctor in Michigan, someone that I saw when I was ill. Nate was with me at the time, he was sick, and I was at my whit’s end. Dr. Tom was immediately concerned about Nate, and asked me if he could take care of my child. That’s when the relationship was formed with a Doctor, who is most beloved by myself and my son. By the time my son was almost five years old, he had pneumonia ten times – the very last bout was especially vicious, with pneumonia, followed by double pneumonia and with mononucleosis thrown in. The Doctor had never seen mono in a child so young before. Until he grew out of his immune deficiency, we spent time at Dr. Tom’s office, lots and lots of time. They became like family to us, and sometimes I felt like we were a fixture there. We knew each and every book at Dr. Tom’s office, and by far the Dr. Suess books were the most favorite. I cannot tell you how many times we read Green Eggs and Ham; One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish, or some of the many others that were there to occupy and entertain children. Dr. Suess books are indeed fun and extremely entertaining for children and adults alike. And with all of the silliness embedded in the words and pictures, there’s some great words of wisdom. 

So here’s how my mornings usually go: I get up in the morning and look at my Bible reading for the day, next I engage the lesson on the First 5 app and soak in their teaching on the reading for the day, then I reflect. I listen for God’s prompting for what He wants to tell me, and in turn what I need to write about. Then I begin to research (the internet is a great thing if you know which sources of information you can trust). So this morning as I was thinking about Philippians 1:1-11 and the corresponding lesson, a quote came to mind: “Why fit in when you were born to stand out?” I have heard the quote before, and have read the quote, but could not put my “finger” on where it was from and who said it – so the research started. And much to my surprise and delight, Dr. Suess was listed as the source. I am unable to find which Dr. Suess book this particular quote comes from, but I guess that’s not the point. 

In Philippians, Paul says: “And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” (Philippians 1:6, ESV) That means that when we profess our faith in God, and accept Jesus as our Savior, He gives us the Holy Spirit to dwell within us. We are saved and sanctified – set apart for special use, and brought into the purpose which God intends for our lives. We are special, we are loved, and God makes us holy. When we live out our lives according to God’s design and purpose, then we are in the process of being sanctified. Notice the words set apart? We are meant to be different than others who are in the world. We are meant to reflect all glory to God, and draw others to his light. 

So, don’t immerse yourself into the things of this world that do not reflect God’s heart. We know that there is so much darkness and evil out there. We know that Satan prowls around like a hungry lion waiting to devour us and discredit our witness. We know that the pressures that society exerts is often counter to what God says. If you spend time in God’s Word, you’ll receive the wisdom that you need. Spend time in prayer, and purposely quiet yourself so that you can listen to when God speaks to you. I have found the greatest growth of satisfaction in my spirit when I journal what God puts on my heart – so if you don’t journal your reflections, perhaps you might want to consider that. Surround yourself with godly mentors and accountability partners. To reflect God’s light, you need to spend time soaking up the Light. Ask God, He will supply all that you need. 

Don’t blend in – stand out blessed ones.

“Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” (1 Peter 5:8, ESV)
“Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (John 8:12, ESV)
“Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.” (1 John 4:4, ESV)
“For you are a people holy to the LORD your God, and the LORD has chosen you to be a people for his treasured possession, out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth.” (Deuteronomy 14:2, ESV)

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