Glimpses of grace seen in the everyday

Posts tagged ‘trust’

When God Roars

Indignation, and admittedly fear, welled up in me as I read news this morning of repression, oppression, injustice, vindictiveness and vile wickedness perpetrated by those who have power over others.  Some say, “Does God care?”  I discovered a wonderful blog this week http://ourrabbijesus.com/articles/mr-spocks-god-mistake-of-western-theology/ where the author addresses the question of whether God is impassive or passionate.  She quotes Rabbi Abraham Heschel:

Man’s sense of injustice is a poor analogy to God’s sense of injustice. The exploitation of the poor is to us a misdemeanor, to God it is a disaster. Our reaction is disapproval; God’s reaction is something no language can convey.

She goes on to say–

God is not indifferent or disinterested—he’s an Arab father who is crushed by his son’s apparent lack of love [as in the parable of the prodigal son]. God is a mother bear who roars a warning if you get too close to her cubs. God is a jilted boyfriend who’s beside himself when he spots his true-love on another guy’s arm. Israel’s God is not less emotional than we are, he is even more. (brackets mine)

So how should I respond when I hear about terrible injustices and even fear that the same things might eventually be perpetrated on me or those I love?  In Psalm 52, David’s heart cries out against Doeg (see the story in 1 Samuel 21-22) who had betrayed him, predicting how God would one day bring him to ruin, drag him out of his tent, uproot him from the world of the living and shame his memory.  Then as David winds down, he calms his own heart with these words:

But I am like a luxuriant olive tree in the house of God. 
I trust in the covenant-loyalty of God forever and ever. 
I will give you thanks forever for what you have done. 
And I will hopefully and expectantly wait for you…

To tell the truth…

 

A lie doesn't become truth

On the Internet I read how people don’t trust one another anymore. 

In Proverbs I read that God delights in truthful people and honesty in business. (11:1;12:22)

I am puzzled by the scornful epithet “knockout truther” being applied to someone concerned over the recent rash of crimes by that name. 

What is wrong with truth?  Do we prefer lies? 

What’s to Believe?

Recently, a favorite motif for home décor is one word:  “BELIEVE”

believe

It sounds so noble, but does it mean anything?  “Believe” is a transitive verb, requiring an object.  In other words, one has to believe something.  That might be the truth or a lie, a fact or fancy, a dream or reality.  What we believe makes all the difference. 

Some may believe in themselves, in fate, in the goodness of mankind (!), etc.  As for me, my belief / trust is in the absolutely reliable God–the powerful, wise, and loving Creator of the universe and of me.  Is the object of your trust truly trustworthy?

My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly trust in Jesus’ Name.

     On Christ the solid Rock I stand,
     All other ground is sinking sand;
     All other ground is sinking sand.

When darkness seems to hide His face,
I rest on His unchanging grace.
In every high and stormy gale,
My anchor holds within the veil.

His oath, His covenant, His blood,
Support me in the whelming flood.
When all around my soul gives way,
He then is all my Hope and Stay.

When He shall come with trumpet sound,
Oh may I then in Him be found.
Dressed in His righteousness alone,
Faultless to stand before the throne.

 

What if…

Habakkuk is famous for his statement of hope in the the face of impending calamity .  First he describes the total devastation of all the staple foods of his land, then he switches the focus to his all-sufficient God and holds it there. 

Even though the fig trees have no blossoms,
and there are no grapes on the vines;
even though the olive crop fails,
and the fields lie empty and barren;
even though the flocks die in the fields,
and the cattle barns are empty,
yet I will rejoice in the LORD!
I will be joyful in the God of my salvation!
The Sovereign LORD is my strength! 
(3:17-18)

How might we paraphrase this for our day?

Even though drought burns up the crops of the Midwest
and super hurricanes devastate coastal cities;
even though the stock market crashes, 
our jobs disappear and fuel grows scarce;
even though mysterious diseases run rampant
and nuclear war breaks out;
(and all the other horrible things we imagine and fear)—
yet I will rejoice in the LORD!
I will be joyful in the God of my salvation!
The Sovereign LORD is my strength!

AMEN!!  Rainbow

First Things First

Here are excerpts from the lyrics to a song I ran across.  Pretty poignant.

We say, “Show me, and I’ll trust You”
God says, “Trust me and I’ll show You.”

We say, “Heal me, and I’ll praise You,”
God says, “Praise me and I’ll heal you.”

We say, “Bless me and I’ll follow,”
God says, “Follow and I’ll bless you.”

We say, “Change me and I’ll love You,”
God says, “Love me and I’ll change you”….

You’ve got to put first things first, get your heart out of reverse,
for the highest will be servants, and the lowest will be kings…

(Words by Claire Clonginger, copyright 1987 Paragon Music and Word Music.)

A Ship in a Harbor?

“A ship in a harbor is safe, but that’s not what ships are made for.”  So said a poster we used to have on our wall.  I have always struggled with the desire to be “safe.” 

Think of a child learning to walk.  Between the safety of the chair he’s hanging onto and the outstretched arms of Daddy across the room, there’s a zone of vulnerability.  Will he take the chance?

Between the security of where I am right now and the goals God has for me is a lot of uncharted water–and I can’t swim!

What has God made me for?  I read today about people who began and accomplished amazing things in their 90’s.  And I’m not even 60.  What am I afraid of?  Will I take the chance?  I want to say yes.

Why Can I Trust?

Circumstances seem to be rushing our world toward certain despair.  Our only hope can be in God—but why?  The combination of three of His attributes are my assurance:

God is wise and all-knowing.  He truly knows what is best and how it will all come out.  (Without this, power + love could be ineffective.)

God is all-powerful and sovereign over all.  He is able to do anything and has it all under control.  (Without this, wisdom + love could be impotent.)

God is good and loving.   He has our best good at heart.  (Without this, wisdom + power could be evil.)  He has promised to “cause everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.” (Rom 8:28, NLT)

Therefore I can trust Him!  My heart echoes Peter’s words, “Lord, to whom else would we go?”  (John 6:68)

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