A flood of images washed over me: of wives whose husbands would never come home again. Firefighters, police officers, emergency crews, medical technicians, and many brave, good men who weren’t trained to be heroes but who stepped up to the job. There were mothers who would give anything to have their sons or daughters arrive late or infrequently, just to have them walk through their doors again, and daughters and sons who wondered why daddy hadn’t come home, who would miss out on memories that my children were able to make.
My words for you this day, while I think of so many of you putting your foot forward for your next step on that tightrope, are prayers for joy in the soaring moments and the gut-wrenching struggles; for confidence in what’s true about your sure foundation in Christ regardless of insecurities that swarm around decisions about math books or DVDs or ability to keep your children healthy and growing in wisdom; for strength for the long days and rest for the sleepless nights; for union with Christ, wherein we find our only rest and from whom flows our only strength.
In short, I pray for perseverance.
Fellowship and communion cannot happen where everyone arrives as rulers of their own little kingdoms. There is no glory in winning the argument over the best way to do a potluck.
We are none of us safe when we act against God.
What Jonah wanted was the world his way, and he was discontent and rebellious when it was denied him, even to the point of being willing to give up his soul.
If I’m not careful, that’s where I end up, too.
I can only be sufficiently satisfied in my own heart when I stop looking outside my heart for contentment—and that is only through the grace of Christ.
This promise is not just Abraham’s; it’s ours as well. We may not be “fathers of many nations,” but whatever our purpose, whatever our call, God beckons us to surrender our weaknesses to His power. In his economy, all bodies raised from death to life have a place in his plan. Life invades these dead-unable-to-sustain-life bodies—a picture of resurrection. What glory!
We have a wonderful opportunity to know the exquisite richness and beauty of God’s word and to share its bounty with others. To approach it without acknowledging Him reduces it to meaningless history or storytelling. To read and study it without honoring the Author’s intent risks burdening yourself and others with the shackles of legalism or moralism. It becomes irrelevant as soon as we dismiss the context God has determined for each passage and each word. We attempt to usurp His authorship when we insert ourselves into the text as the hero, stealing glory from God, who alone deserves praise.
This article first appeared at Servants of Grace on May 17, 2021, as part of the series, “Fighting Biblical Illiteracy Through Study and Discipleship”.
In the city of God, we can find satisfaction, and in that satisfaction, glorify our Creator, Sustainer, and Redeemer. Why would I scan the horizon or search the bottom of the sea for more? My purpose is defined only in this language of God. I am without meaning without him.
In time, we put away the implements or gadgets or devices; just like in time all of our things become obsolete, unnecessary, unfashionable. They get put away, or simply never get picked back up again as demand and desire pass them by. Rust or mold or worms complete the ruination. Such are the things of this world.