Voluntary Confinement

Getting Stuck In The Snow Is Not Voluntary Confinement

Ed, my old neighbor from Saskatchewan, had a laugh at my expense when he heard we were snowbound again. Third time this winter our city has been shut down by massive amounts of snow. Even Vancouver on the coast an hour west of us has broken snowfall records that go back to 1948. “We have been under voluntary confinement at home, which is better than being stuck in snow or the ditch,’ I told Ed.

My old neighbor likes to hear me say, that Melville, is much better at snow plowing and snow removal than here in Chilliwack. Usually, there isn’t a need for snow removal here, but this year is proving it refuses to be an ordinary one. It is a record breaker and not in a right way, in my opinion, but the weather is above caring about what people think of it. It is next year country here in Chilliwack; next winter will surely be better than the present one when it comes to snowfall.

I told Ed that I am working on adjusting my attitude from not this much snow again, to a more positive, we should be good at this by the third time. Everyone knows grumbling is pointless, but like sin, it seems to be one way to cope with life. Skiers, no doubt, are thrilled with the record snow falls this winter. It is another opportunity for me to think seriously about getting some winter boots.

When it comes to our relationship with God, our attitude is a major concern to God. In Isaiah, we are told that people were fasting, but they were frustrated that God was not blessing them for honoring Him in this way. Fasting was a voluntary suffering of going without food, for, time, to grow closer to God by prayer and repentance. Sometimes all the people would fast to show God a spirit of sorrow over their sins. Often, it was an individual undertaking.

Isaiah warned the people that God was not pleased with their fasting. It was not acceptable to the Lord that they fasted, but at the same time were oppressing their workers. They did not share their bread with the hungry or bring the homeless into their house, or clothe the naked. They fasted but spoke in wickedness, sought their pleasure, and were ready to quarrel and fight. They were fasting before God and others, but they lacked an attitude or humbleness, prayer, and repentance so God could not bless their fasting.

Their fasting was like salt that had become tasteless or had lost its saltiness. Salt-less salt was no good for anything but to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet. The peoples’ fasting was like a lit lamp that was put under a basket so that the lamp was hidden or gave no light.

It is no easy job to have a humble, prayerful and repentant attitude before God. Good attitudes are not permanent like milking cows. When you are milking cows, they never stay milked. How did Paul keep a positive attitude as a missionary to the Gentles? He said that his message to them was nothing except Jesus Christ and Him crucified for sinners.

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