The other night groceries were getting put away. We bought a little extra to hold us over during the quarantine. The extra things were being put on some higher cabinet shelves. You knew it was bound to happen. An overreach… (we’re not tall people) …and you heard it. There was a thud…there was the sound of broken glass…there was marinara all over.  So we “quarantine” the kitchen off as Caroline and I begin the cleanup. The sauce made its way onto the countertop …it was on the cabinet doors…it was on the floor…it made its way to the center kitchen island. Come on…it was just a jar of marinara. (By the way, husbands, that wasn’t a good time to remind your wife of the benefits of buying plastic jars.) It was a HUGE MESS. Wherever we looked there was evidence of the fall.

We had to make sure we got every drop of the sauce off of everything. My job was scooping it off the floor where the majority was puddled and splattered. (By the way, husbands, don’t ask your wife if “you want me to save what I can scoop up?” the answer will be a firm NO). There were big chunks of glass and little shards of splintered glass at the oddest places on the kitchen floor. It took awhile but we wiped down everything. Every piece of glass was found (whether by sight or bare foot). Kitchen looked pretty much back to normal.

Well, a couple hours later our son walks into the kitchen. We explain what happened and all the work that went into cleaning the mess up. We said to be careful in case a piece of glass slipped our view and vacuum. We certainly didn’t want him to be hurt and to be aware, in case. “Make sure you watch your step”. Fair warning, right?

Then he looks at us and says “you know it’s on the ceiling too?” My wife and I look up…and there it is a nice splatter on the ceiling. We hadn’t looked up to see that the sauce made a U-turn. Up I go on a ladder, cleaning the sauce off. (By the way, husbands, marinara sauce stains white ceiling within two hours) A little “magic wipe” made it almost invisible. If you were visiting us, you wouldn’t see it…unless you read this before I paint.

All of that for the spiritual application, the part where GOD explains to me what He wants me to learn from this…the part I will now share with you.

Currently the world is in turmoil. People are scared. There was a spiritual fall, we see the evidence of it wherever we look. Now it seems we’ve all been on a greater search for God in all of this new mess. Even as Christians, we have a feeling of uncertainty with what’s going on even with the hope of God in our lives. We pour over scripture, listen to sermons online, “Zoom” small groups and watch church live-streamed. These are all GREAT things we should be doing while stuck at home. It gives us peace…it gives us assurance…comfort. But there is that small fraction where we’re putting on a happy face pretending we’re okay with all this. Kind of like, I know God’s got it all in control but…I’m losing it.

While so many unsaved may shake their fists at a God they usually deny or some Christians may say this is a judgment from God. I think we are simply looking for an easy escape…a reason…an intelligent sounding answer to ease our fears. Maybe, just maybe God is trying to get our attention…just to recognize His Holy presence in all of this mess. He’s being louder than a still small whisper to a world that He STILL loves so dearly. Maybe we’re too busy looking down and around and not looking up.

We are so busy trying to lay blame and clean up the mess and find the obvious “below us” that we failed to look up and see what we didn’t expect would be there…the One who is “above all”.

King David talked about looking up in Psalms 121:1 I will lift up my eyes to the hills from whence comes my help? Why did he look up to the hills? Because David spent a lot of times in the hills, often being RESCUED. To him the hills represented salvation. That could have been from animal attacks as a shepherd, hiding from King Saul or hiding from his son Absalom in the mountains of Hebron. Those hills represented GOD protecting him. So for him to “look up” to those hills were times he also looked up for God’s help. David continues, Ps 121: 2 – My help comes from the Lord, Who made heaven and earth.

We look around us and see evidence of “the fall”. It’s messy. For us now, looking at things going on “down here”, many of us are thinking “end times”.  We’re done for…when we’re not. For now, we are stuck down here…not HOME…yet.

Luke 21:28 NKJV says, Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near. The Amplified version translates it this way: Now when these things begin to occur, stand tall and lift up your heads [in joy], because [suffering ends as] your redemption is drawing near.”

Joy when suffering ends? Stand tall…lift your head, your eyes…redemption is “drawing near” …look for it, its closer than it is further. (Marinara was as close as our ceiling…but we missed it.) No wonder even John says in Revelation 22:20 He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming quickly.” Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus! He was a guy looking…he had his eyes skyward with expectancy…anticipation…certainty. Look up…your redemption draws near.

David finishes out Psalms 121:3-8…

He will not allow your foot to slip; He who keeps you will not slumber. Behold, He who keeps Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep. The Lord is your protector; the Lord is your shade at your right hand. The sun shall not strike you by day, nor the moon by night. The Lord shall preserve you from all evil; He shall preserve your soul. The Lord shall preserve your going out and your coming in from this time forth, and even forevermore.

Be Bold, Be Blessed,

Pastor Steve