Monday, July 16, 2012

Maintenance Blessings

“You hem me in ---behind and before; you have laid your hand upon me…when I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body” (Psalm 139:5, 15b).

I’ve been learning about a neat new drug for basal cell skin cancers. Its story begins with a trans-membrane receptor we can call Patch (PTCH1). Inside the cell, Patch has a leash on SMO, a bratty kid who wants to cause trouble. Outside the cell, Patch is waiting for Sonic the Hedgehog. When Sonic the Hedgehog approaches, Patch reaches out to greet him and drops the leash. SMO then runs off and flips all the switches that start the cell dividing. When Patch or SMO is mutated, SMO is always loose and the cells are always dividing and basal cell skin cancers can grow. This is an amazing mechanism for cancer development and we now have a drug to block the uncontrolled process.

Can you imagine that within millions and millions of skin cells in our bodies, SMO is constantly being restrained so that our skin can remain under control?

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about maintenance blessings from God. My prayer life is so often focused on the great urgent needs of my life. When God delays on these, I get into a bland “What-has-he-done-for-me-lately?” mode---still loving my Lord, but with a settled sadness in my relationship with him.

I pray for the urgent needs of my kids, not realizing that day-by-day my God has kept them safe.

I pray for my spouse, not thinking of the arms of protection God keeps wrapped around our relationship.

I pray for unanswered dreams, forgetting dream after dream that God has fulfilled in my life and forgetting His blessings that have prevented the necessity of thousands of other dreams.

I sometimes assume that life just happens and we are injected intermittently with a pain or a pleasure that drives us to our knees. In truth, we live each day with SMO trying to break free. We walk through each day with gifts from God that we fail to appreciate. God is constantly holding the leash and God is constantly providing opportunities for joy that I fail to receive. Our life is wrapped in these maintenance blessings. Every now and then we need to open our eyes and give Him thanks.

Dear Father,
Thank you for all of your protection and all the blessings that I never open my eyes to appreciate.
Amen

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