Before I ever got out of bed this morning I was faced with thinking about reality and quite frankly not liking where my thoughts were turning. You see, I wanted an answer and I wanted God, my Father, to do something about it right now. I was also wondering why there were so many lessons to learn and why it had to take us so long. I thought I was willing to learn.
Have you ever played chess? It is a game of strategy where one must not just casually make a move; one has to consider what one’s opponent is going to do next. If this is a serious game you know he is a very sneaky character and you have to be careful. You might be saying to yourself at this point “what does that have to do with me?”. That’s a good question - I asked it myself.
Many of us have the habit of scanning the newspaper to see if there is anything worth reading and listening to the news late at night to be sure we are not missing anything. If you are one of those you may be wondering what God has in mind next and just exactly how much time is He going to give us to correct our upside down thinking. Your next thought is probably “how sad” and then you go back to your every day agenda assuming that tomorrow will take care of itself. What will it take for the One who loves us to get us to stop, look, listen and then put our hand to His plow?
How many people do you know that have really believed they could do it right the first time only to find that they were not as smart as they thought they were. We rarely can get away with wishing for a second or third chance so the answer seems to be that we need to practice it and practice it and practice it until habit makes it become automatic. And besides practicing what we can actually see we have to continually strive to learn more and then more until we become what we believe. If you are thinking that seems rather hard you might want to remember that our God knew we would have to be as little children and use the tools He provided for us to learn. It is in the Bible that we will find recorded all that we need to live the lives He planned for us to live.
What did you just say? You will put it on the calendar to do tomorrow. You will have to agree that is one of our biggest problems; we assume we will have tomorrow. In 2nd Corinthians Paul leaves us this advice – God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work (9:8). Now, before you attempt to remind me he was talking about money may I remind you that money is only one way to offer a gift and frequently a gift of love and/or service is often of more value.
Malachi told the people of his day that Before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord (4:5) He would send Elijah, the prophet, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers, lest I come and strike the earth with a curse (6). Paul, who gave his very life for the love of the Lord told the people of his day – I do not write these things to shame you, but as my beloved children, I warn you (1st Corinthians 4:14).
Paul recognized that there was only one reality and one solution – that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head – Christ (Ephesians 4:14-15).
For the past there is forgiveness; for the present there is divine companionship; for the future there is absolute assurance - L. Nelson Bell