I was a young child the first time I was coerced to stick my index fingers into a Chinese finger trap. My reaction, of course, was to try to quickly yank my fingers out, but this only tightens the trap. Lesson learned. Getting pulled into ungodly conversation is a much harder trap to escape; frankly, my lips have ensnared me far worse than my fingers ever have. Rumors, accusations and unfair criticisms are dainty morsels that easily sink deep into one’s heart; repeating them is a deadly trap. Why do so many people feel it necessary to take someone else apart to feel whole themselves? Father, put coals of fire to my lips. Let kindness rule my ears, heart, mind and mouth. Deliver me from lethal lip traps.
John Bunyan’s “The Pilgrim's Progress from This World, to That Which Is to Come” is an allegory written while he was imprisoned for his Christian beliefs. Until we reach the Golden Gates of Heaven we must progress in our walk of faith here on earth. Each time I think I understand God’s ways and means He turns the diamond and new facets of His splendor emerge. For the true believer there is no spiking the ball in the end zone on this side of Glory; there is no settling down where we are in this life. Not only am I tolerant of this constantly changing status, I am genuinely thankful for it. I am being pulled toward eternal purpose that I cannot fathom but I instinctively know awaits me. So I’ll keep my shoes on until it’s over. Lord, though I struggle in Your arms, You never let me go. Keep me moving toward Your perfect will. Help me never miss a turn or stop unnecessarily. Keep me progressing toward Your perfect will.