Stumbling Blocks and the 2017 Eclipse

September 1, 2017

            My pastor stood not more than fifteen feet in front of the congregation.  He had led us into the conversation of stumbling blocks, defining them as “a way of thinking, impregnated with hopelessness, contrary to God.” Raising his hands level with his eyes, he shielded his face partially from one of the overhead lights, explaining as he did so, that our negative and ungodly thoughts literally obstruct a part of our view of God.

            I could not help but see a correlation between this concept and the recent eclipse that darkened parts of the United States just days ago. During the eclipse, my children and I found ourselves on a beach on Fire Island––swimsuits on, with sand buckets in one hand and eclipse glasses in the other. We were expecting a hot day with temperatures looming over 80 degrees. However, almost the entire time we were on the beach, the air was cool—almost too cool to be at a beach. At first, I thought it must have just been the breeze off the ocean, but sometime after the eclipse had ended I noticed the air was getting much too hot to stay out in the sun.

            Of course, it dawned on me then that the temperature had been so cool because the moon was blocking so many of the sun’s rays from reaching us. In the same way, the worldly thoughts we choose to fill our minds with will hinder God’s extravagant love from being fully felt by us. What blessings we must miss when we fill our minds with worldly thoughts! No wonder God has to tell us to think on whatever is true, honest, just, pure, lovely, of good report, virtuous, and praise worthy (Philippians 4:8). It’s because whenever we fill our heads with anything but this, we eclipse God in our lives!

            Thankfully, God does not leave us to become frigid in the shadows of our sins and fleshly thoughts, but rather He adorns us with a “power that worketh in us” (Ephesians 3:20). The Greek word for this power is Dunamis (δύναμις), which is where we derive the English word for dynamite. This is speaking of a power beyond our ability—a power mighty enough to align celestial objects and keep them spinning in the dark recesses of space! With this power, we can overcome the world by bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5).

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