Tuesday, March 4, 2014

In the Den of Thieves

Image Courtesy of  Salvatore Vuono/FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Jesus went straight to the Temple and threw out everyone who had set up shop, buying and selling.  He kicked over the tables of loan sharks and the stalls of dove merchants.  He quoted this text:  "My house was designated a house of prayer"; You have made it a hangout for thieves.  Now there was room for the blind and crippled to get in.  They came to Jesus and he healed them.  Matthew 21:12-14 MSG

As I prepare myself for another re-evaluation with our county for Evie’s service plan, I can’t help but consider the time that Jesus stormed the Temple, and in a ferocious display of anger, destroyed the marketplace that existed there.  According to the passage above, because of the cluttered confusion and grotesque greed, those who TRULY needed to gain access to the Temple were unable to do so.  Once Jesus had purged the Temple of these robbers, those who needed healing were able to come in and be healed.

Does this sound vaguely familiar?  

It did to me. I recall our family being turned down for services at a time when we were the most desperate.  Evie was deep in the misery and mystery of Sensory Processing Disorder, she was routinely missing school due to recurrent illness, and we felt like failures as parents.  Why had we been denied?

It’s quite simple, now that I have time to reflect on it.  Because there is such a rampant believe that we “deserve” this and “deserve” that; because we often walk around with an attitude of entitlement; because there are families who pride themselves on knowing how to “work the system,” the “system” has had to develop a thick shell in order to protect itself. 

We were turned down initially because of the greed and abuse of others.

When we write Evie’s plan, I prayerfully and humbly try to consider what is ABSOLUTELY necessary to have in order for us to HELP Evie.  We know that if we use money, it is not available for others to use.  If we stand at one of those tables in the Temple, there is someone else who can’t get in.   

Jesus has clearly shown us that he will NOT stand for abuse of a “system” that is set up to HELP others.  Regardless of how difficult our circumstances may be, we are blessed to receive any help we can get, and the rest is up to God. 

So, as I said, we are preparing for our next re-evaluation, as well as preparing for our next IEP.  Seeing that God has placed this message on my heart, it may be meant for me, it may be meant for you, it may be meant for someone you or I know.  It's our responsibility to pass this message along, and to apply it to our own lives. 

Pray:  Heavenly Father, I ask forgiveness for any time that I have acted under a belief that I am entitled to anything more than I am given.  I believe you when you tell us that moth and rust will destroy what we build up here on earth, and I ask you to fill me with humble gratitude rather than greed.  YOU are all I need; YOU are all my family needs.  Help me to stay humble and selfless and true to your desire for our lives.

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