I Blog For Books

31 January 2009

Word Association

As you probably know, spring semester started yesterday. One of the classes I'm taking this spring is Microbiology. As an introduction to the class, our instructor gave each of us a small, blank piece of paper. She called out two words, and our task was to write down the first thing that came to mind after each word. The majority of our responses were just as she expected - negative connections between the words she gave us and the answers we chose. Today I'm going to take a very brief look at word association and how it can be applied to our everyday lives. (written 8 Jan 2008)

When asked to participate in free association, my responses are just as varied as yours would be - yet there may be no connection at all between my line of thinking and yours. Does that make either of us wrong? If I were asked to say the first thing that pops into my mind when I hear "Satan," truthfully, the answer would be "devil" accompanied by the stereotypical rendition of a red creature mostly human in appearance with horns and a forked tail. Remember, though, that Lucifer was an angel before he was cast from heaven! When you hear the word "God" (or "Jesus" or "Christ") what comes to mind? I visualize God as love and kindness, and love would probably be the first thing that comes to mind. If God is love and Satan is the devil, will it always be that clearly defined? Unfortunately no. Satan can take on many forms and faces.

Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 11:14 "And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light" (NIV). Rereading that verse reminded of a country song called "Somebody's Knocking" sung by Terri Gibbs that was released January 1, 1981. In the song, Gibbs says "Somebody's knocking, should I let him in? Lord it's the devil, would you look at him? I've heard about him, but I never dreamed ... he'd have blue eyes and blue jeans" Puts a slightly different visual into your mind doesn't it? The song goes on to state in the second verse "I'm getting weaker and he's coming on strong, but I don't wanna go wrong." I'm not sure what Edward Joseph, Jr Penney, and Jerry Gillespie were thinking when they wrote those lyrics, but think about them from the perspective of your faith. Satan has been portrayed through the years in many forms and fashions in both literature and entertainment - and one simple fact remains: He will do anything in his power to turn us from God. The happy fact behind that? God is more powerful than Satan can ever be, and will keep you close with His protection if you but ask Him and believe that He will.

God IS love, and loves us all unconditionally. Satan, regardless of the picture you have, loves himself and loves turning someone from God. Be strong, be steadfast, and BElieve. God will do the rest if we but trust in Him. I thank Him for being by my side even when I did not ask Him to. I give thanks for His strength when I am weak, and thanks for His faith when mine falters. Associate yourself with the love that is everlasting!

"But he said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.'" Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong." ~2 Corinthians 9-10 NIV

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