Thursday, March 24, 2005
You can have some say in what seat you get on an airplane. In fact, I usually reserve the kind of seat I want in advance. But you don't have any say in who your neighbors will be. Like the children who were in the seat behind me on one flight. My first clue that it was going to be an interesting flight was their squealing and crying before we ever took off. Mom just didn't seem to have her young daughter and her younger son under control, but she was trying. As we took off, I heard her tell her daughter loudly, "Don't squeeze your brother's head!" That sounded like a reasonable request to me. Then she gave a reason, "You know he's got a fever and he keeps throwing up!" Oh, great! For some strange reason, I instinctively ducked. The way I figured it, a straight trajectory would carry anything that came from that boy's mouth right to my head. I looked at the passenger next to me and we both just kind of shrugged and bent our heads down. Well, nothing terribly gross happened, but all during the flight, I kept thinking about those flu germs flying all around me and I hoped I'd taken enough Vitamin C that morning!
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Spreading Your Germs."
Most of us don't get too excited about someone spreading their germs all over us. In fact, if you're considerate and it's possible, you'll stay home and keep your germs to yourself.
That's what Miriam should have done - keep her germs to herself. Her story is in Numbers 12:1 in our word for today from the Word of God. "Miriam and Aaron began to talk against Moses because of his Cushite wife. 'Has the Lord spoken only through Moses?' they asked. 'Hasn't he also spoken through us?' And the Lord heard this. At once the Lord said to Moses, Aaron, and Miriam, 'Come out to the Tent of Meeting, all three of you.' So the three of them came out Then the Lord came down in a pillar of cloud; he stood at the entrance to the Tent and (He) summoned Aaron and Miriam." God goes ahead and confronts them for the critical germs that they were spreading. Verse 9 says, "The anger of the Lord burned against them and he left them." Ultimately the Lord's instructions to Moses were these, "Confine (Miriam) outside the camp for seven days." Sounds a little like quarantine, doesn't it?
It's obvious that God is very unhappy, very angry, when we start spreading our emotional and spiritual germs around. After all, we know it's just courtesy to cover our mouth when we cough or sneeze, to stay away from people when we have a fever, to do everything we can to protect others from being infected with our germs. We need to think that way about the germs we spread with our words, with our attitude. We've got a complaint, so we cough that complaint all over everybody else. We've got a criticism of someone, or a conflict, or a frustration with someone.
Do we cover our mouth and keep it to ourselves? Not usually. We spread those germs to other people who should never be involved. We're feeling depressed, or down, or tired, or stressed, but we have no right to infect others with that infection, too!
You say, "What do I do with all this junk then?" There is someone asking for your germs, who's ready to take them. Psalm 142:1-2, "I cry aloud to the Lord; I lift up my voice to the Lord for mercy. I pour out my complaint before him; before him I tell my trouble." Take your germs to the Doctor! Dump your complaints, dump your frustrations and your anger and your hurt on the only one who can really fix things and change people, the One who can give you perspective, and give you the joy again. Your germs can't infect Him, but they can certainly poison the people around you. If you're not feeling well emotionally or spiritually, please keep your germs to yourself!