Welcome marathoners in and for Christ. (1 Corinthians 9:24; Hebrews 12:1; 2 Timothy 4:7) Exhausted, depleted from running the Godly, good, and being-a-blessing-to-others race? Welcome. Sit. Relax. Let’s feast.
Feast of the Heart exists to help bring about Christ-centered “reformation, revival, and constructive revolution” (Francis Schaeffer, Death in the City) so that God will be glorified and people blessed.
Reformation… we seek to abide by and serve up the true truth, pure doctrine of the Bible
Revival… we seek to model biblical Christians living in word and deed
Constructive Revolution… we seek to spread the true gospel right where God has planted us with urgency, compassion, and radical self-abandonment
Series Preface: If You’ve Not Yet, Please Take a Moment to Remember the Context of “DON’T Let Sleeping Dogs Lie”
[In part, “The Proverbial saying, “Let sleeping dogs lie.” means we should avoid interfering in a situation that is currently causing no problems—but might do so as a result of “interfering”, speaking up, shedding light, judging between right and wrong, or making an uncomfortable, revealing observation in any way, shape, or form.
Please spend some time chewing on this claim: a) In a culture where [radical, unresolved] emotional ambivalence—defined as “the coexistence of opposing attitudes or feelings toward a person, an object, or an idea; warring, contradictory, incompatible emotions remaining unresolved in a person’s spirit; particularly complex emotions characterized by tension and conflict that is felt when someone experiences both positive and negative emotion simultaneously”—is the NORM… b) the vast majority of people make an unspoken covenant between each other to “Let sleeping dogs lie.”… Or, in other words, AVOID bringing up ANYTHING that reveals the rampant and disturbing emotional imbalance, warring in BOTH party’s spirit. Breaking this pact can be accompanied by high relational risks.
Discomfort, dissonance is the enemy of the emotionally unintelligent, worldly, conflicted human being. This is why we’ve invented 10,000 different ways to distract ourselves. So, we agree with one another: let’s not stir one another up! Rather, just let sleeping dogs lie. And yes, regarding this dilemma, the church has taken on the same attributes as the world: Don’t go bringing up “the messy stuff.”” (John Dozier, The Training Table, November 8, 2017)]
We’ve poked at some interesting and challenging sleeping dogs like,
I pray that you may have been awakened in some way.
Our Feast at The Training Table Today is the Sleeping Dog, “Time Heals All Wounds.”
Purely on the level of common sense, if you or I had the unfortunate experience of a heart attack, and we found ourselves just out of the ER, after being revived, and lying on a gurney with a Cardiac Specialist nearby, how would we respond to the Doc’s recommendation,
“Let’s just give this some time.”
“Okay,” we trustingly yet sheepishly reply. “Is that it? How much time?” we inquire of the white-coat come to rescue us.
“All the time it takes to heal, correct itself, and get stronger,” the now-somewhat-suspect specialist dictates.
“So, your prescription is simply apply time to the situation?” we triple-check.
“Yes… absolutely. You don’t have to go to medical school to know that time heals all wounds!” As the Doc departs to attend to the next time-cured patient…
It’s like the time I came home from the grocery store and purposely placed a standing rib roast on the counter; my wife stuck her head into the other room where I had been reading for two hours and said, “Are we supposed to do anything to that beautiful piece of meat sitting on the counter?”
“Nope… just give it some time, dear.”
Moldy-stink meat anyone?
Here’s The Rub
Just in case any marathoner for Christ at The Training Table needs a reminder, ever since The Fall (Genesis 3) the ONLY effect TIME ALONE has on anything of any kind in the universe is entropy, DECAY, rust, maggot food, stench, and falling apart until whatever TIME is being applied to the object returns back to the dirt, and is food for worms.
What The Trinity put in place to reverse the curse of death, actually DEFEATED hell and death in time and for eternity, BUT, for the time being, the physicality of death and decay are still present—until Jesus returns to make all things new. Yes! in Christ, things are now PARTIALLY NEW—but that’s on a spiritual level; the first most fundamentally important level that exists: We must first be spiritually born again to avail ourselves to God’s plan to make all things new… in time and for eternity!
Short of that, even though the process is slowed by God’s most merciful Common Grace, all life is rotting away, inexorably, day by day… all things fall apart.
Jesus Christ is The Victor over death and hell itself! “According to the Bible, Jesus was God manifest in human flesh. (John 1:14; 1 Timothy 3:16; Philippians 2:5-8). When Jesus died, he died a man’s death and because he was the one and only righteous man and the one and only righteous God, “it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him” (Acts 2:22-24). Though it was impossible for God to die (Psalm 102:25-27), it was not impossible for God to take on humanity in order to die a man’s death as our substitute, propitiation (1 Timothy 2:5,6).” (Things Revealed)
NOW… Take However Much TIME We Need… And Apply THAT to Our Wounds…
More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.
1 Peter 5:10
And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.
For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.
Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”
He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”
Is Time Really On Our Side? (Rolling Stones)
It ALL depends on how time is used. Time is fixed, and the scope of our participation is variable. And there’s only two ways to use time: For God or against God. To glorify God or glorify self. To love or to be indifferent. For truth or for falsehood. For darkness or for light. We see, in fact, it’s not that complicated. Or is it—due to the limitless ways Sin and sinning influences all of life.
Look at all the Bible-based truths above: Every jot and tittle of God’s love and truth applied to whatever time God allows us on earth is meant by Him to be REDEMPTIVE, reparative, restorative, corrective, purifying, “resurrective”, and eternally bound. Time used in ways that suppress the existence of God (Romans 1:18-32), and insist on the array of humanistic approaches to restoration and healing wounds is time [very] poorly spent: “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.” (John 3:36)
Time alone does nothing but lead to death. Time used to avail ourselves to God’s timeless truth and love, in His Word and by prayer and service, is time supremely well spent!
Time spent as a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17), being conformed to Christlikeness (Romans 8:28), made more and more joyous (James 1:2-5), suffering for Jesus’ sake (Romans 5:3-5), wounded yet redeemed and peaceful (John 16:33), increasingly mature, perfected, holy, and used of God (2 Corinthians 4:8-10), and sacrificially participating within a community of faith (Acts 2:42-47)… IS TIME WELL SPENT!
How do principles and practices akin to, “Time heals all wounds” come into being, vogue? The quick and uncomplicated answer is that if/when we don’t have the Bible-based, spiritual, emotional, psychological, and physical wherewithal to know and wisely use time in a healing and redemptive manner, we can do nothing else EXCEPT simply apply time, separate/isolate ourselves, be silent, and let things sit and rot…
I’m afraid, deep down inside—which is where the healing and redemption is most needed and desired—both parties, “the hurting and the supposed, time-champion healer,” who are both party to the often nervous, protective, and shallow consolation, “Hey, hang in there, time heals all wounds,” … You see, both parties are left with a gaping wound of anonymity: neither party can be seen, reached, let alone consoled. Both parties are party to keeping company with time… just time: Not The Redeemer of All Things, including time (Philippians 3:13-14), but The Timeless Maker of Time (2 Peter 3:8)—done just for us to steward our time in ways that glorify God and bless others.
The plight of the heart resides on both sides, the contorted and the supposed comforter, and there are SO many hearts that are SO afraid to be deeply loved and deeply doing the loving, that the most paltry or ignominious consolation or compliment is as acceptable as pinch of artificial sweetener … When the most deep, sweet, and beautiful healing and redemption is available in Christ, by faith alone, and as part of the same supernatural family, with no more shame, and a willingness to “GoDeep!” and enter into the wounds and chaos of this heartbroken world!
Every second of time used to glorify God and bless others will be redeemed in time and for eternity. Let’s not waste our time, our tears, and the promised treasures God will bless us with if we use time as the precious commodity that it is. And please, let’s not allow our squeamishness about silence, offering real hug, being present, weeping, and listening to a broken heart to simply barf our something as untrue and self-soothing as, “Hang in there; time heals all wounds.”