Truth, Perception and Reality

My right arm has been hurting; the pain is concentrated in my elbow, but radiates from just a little above the elbow down to just above the wrist. If I spread my fingers out and up it hurts from the fingers to the elbow; it’s been hurting like this for several months. When I shake a hand or pinch my laptop to put it in or take it out of my bag—that really hurts.

Tonight Elisa rubbed a concoction on my arm made of Lemongrass and Copaiba Essential oils mixed in coconut oil… within five minutes the pain was completely gone—and believe me—I keep testing it to make sure this is real! I’ve tried all kinds of other stuff, starting with the normal things: Advil, Tylenol, glucosamine with chrondoitin and MSM, tumeric pills, but nothing has touched it.

Earlier today someone close to me told my daughter that they don’t approve of us buying and using essential oils; that oils don’t work and are a waste of money.

We started using them because a friend was using them. One of my daughters had been struggling with swimmer’s ear and infections for a couple of years—even stopped diving because of it. Her ear was bothering her again, and this friend gave Elisa some lavender and a oil mix called “Valor” to rub behind my daughter’s ear and down the side of her neck. By the time they had walked from the YMCA to our van the ear pain was gone.

Several years ago at my job, we used to do this demo where we would put a properly configured competitor’s firewall and a Check Point firewall configured with just one rule—Any, Any, Any, Accept—in front of a laptop representing the internal network, and then launch Metasploit attacks at the laptop. The attack would blow through the Cisco Pix firewall like butter and yet be stopped by Check Point because of our Application Intelligence (i.e., deep packet inspection). 

I expected users of the competitor’s firewall to flood us with requests to displace their product with Check Point. But that didn’t happen; you know what did happen? They became angry; some even threatened me, demanding that I not reveal the results of this demo to their boss.

I have a fairly uncommon (though not unique) understanding of Scripture that causes me to realize that God never wanted His people to stop observing the 7th Day Sabbath (but has no problem with Sunday worship), and never changed His mind about what animals He wants people to eat and not to eat.

I did not come to this reading of Scripture carelessly or quickly. I first became convinced after a careful, exhaustive, 3-year investigation of Scripture and of theological and church history. In the intervening years since completing that first study, I have twice torn my belief system down to the foundations, considering whether I could be mistaken, digesting the literature and arguments of the opposing viewpoints with an earnest willingness to change my understanding yet again should God so lead, and should the facts bear out that need.

And yet, on multiple occasions I have had people consider a portion of my viewpoint for 10, 30, 45 minutes, or a couple of days and declare me wrong, without having gone back to the original languages, without having considered all the data, without having looked into manuscript variants, in short, without having done their due diligence. I understand; it’s hard work, and who wants to be different from most of their friends, and from people they deeply respect?!

But this all strikes me as deeply tragic. Your elbow doesn’t need to hurt any longer, you needn’t bank somewhere using insecure “security,” and you needn’t any longer have your spiritual vision and perception clouded by consuming unclean food. But what am I to do?

Should I shout the truth from the nearest street corner? Should I only mention the truth to people who ask? Should my response be the same for all three topics, or different for essential oils than it is for spiritual matters? They both relate to the health of God’s children…

I don’t know the answer to those questions, but even if I never discover the “right” answer, I still have to get up tomorrow morning and live according to some practice.

People don’t typically operate on the basis of reality, but out of their perception. 

“TRUTH is reality as God perceives it,” —R.C. Sproul.

May we all be earnestly determined to see through His eyes, and humbly willing to let Him open our eyes, even when it costs us—but also humbly willing to accept His timing for when to open our eyes to new vistas, when to keep us from that which we are not yet ready for, and His timing for when to open the eyes of those we care about.

“I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe.” Ephesians 1:17-19 (NIV)