Written By Rick Schafer
Home Alone #6 – God Is Here
God Is Here
For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers,neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. – Romans 8:38-39
Beware the Pits
I’ve heard it said that life is a bowl of cherries. But don’t forget, with the fruit comes the pits. With the limited conversations I have had with others, I’ve heard people say such things as how this time is “the pits”, “really sucks”, and “I don’t know what to do with myself.” Yes, these are unusual times, for sure.
From the beginning of the “stay at home” order, due to COVID19, I was in a Bible study of Esther, and now I’ve begun with the Book of Job…seems ironic that during this time I am drawn to the study of these 2 books of Scripture. We have really been blessed by God, and now for an undetermined time we need to live in a way that is strange and foreign to us. A question we need to ask ourselves is one that Job’s wife asked of Job, “Are you still holding on to your integrity?” Will our answer be like Job’s, “Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?”
His wife said to him, “Are you still maintaining your integrity? Curse God and die!” He replied, “You are talking like a foolish woman. Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?” In all this, Job did not sin in what he said. – Job 2:9-10
Our perspective is dreadfully limited. We see only a pinpoint of time, but God’s view is panoramic. God’s big-picture is at work now, and He doesn’t feel the need (nor is He obligated) to explain it to us. If He tried, our answer would be confused because, I don’t know about you, but, I sure don’t know and understand the ways of God. (They are w-a-y out of my league.) Just remember, the Father knows what is best for His children, He loves us to no end, and we can rest in that realization.
This Isn’t Fair!
Are we being treated unfairly? Jesus lived His entire life without doing anything wrong. Yet He suffered a punishment normally reserved for the worst criminals. Though His arrest was a betrayal, His trials a farce, and His punishment a mockery of justice, He stayed calm and spoke the truth with dignity. How we might imitate Christ in our response to these times? As previously mentioned, there is no way I can know the ways of God, but maybe, just maybe, we are here and in this position , as Christians, to set an example for those who do not know the Lord by how we act, live, and respond during this time. I am reminded of Mordecai’s “famous” words to Esther, “And who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this (Esther 4: 14b)
Okay, now, going back to Job, the story doesn’t end with Satan’s departing from the presence of the Lord (Job 1: 12b, 2:7a). There’s a whole lot more to his story, and the more it unfolds, the more we realize that life is not only difficult, it’s unfair. The silence of God’s voice may make us wonder if He is even there. The absence of God’s presence may make you wonder if He even cares. Where are You, God? He is here. And He does care.
Recently, a pastor friend of mine had died due the corona virus. Before He died, he said he’s waiting to “fall back into the arms of Jesus.” His trust is in Jesus’ resurrection. Thinking about that, as well as in a sermon, our pastor spoke about the challenge course at camp, where, for one of the challenges you stand on a board above others, arms crossed, and you fall back, trusting the others will catch you. We fall many times in our lives…God is here to catch us, to hold us, to comfort us, to love us. What peace we have in the Lord, regardless of the circumstances. He cares for, watches over, protects, and helps His creation…that’s us! “Praise be to the Lord my Rock…He is my loving God and my fortress, my stronghold and my deliverer…O Lord, what is man that You care for him, the son of man that You think of him?” (Psalm 144:1-3). “O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is Your Name in all the earth!” (Psalm 8:1). Celebrate the unknown, for God is here. Celebrate and trust Him for the blessings that await us.
Praise God for the blessings He is planning. Let’s not have a “pity party” over the fact that we cannot go about as we are used to doing. Let’s seek out how we can give God honor and praise in “new ways” as He is allowing us time to think and ponder about His great love for us, His children. How can we expand our witness for Him at this time? Rest in His loving care, as Jesus tells us, “Come to Me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28) “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” (1 Thessalonians 5:18) May the love of Jesus lift and carry you in all you do.
And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power ion the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8: 38-39 NLT)
Home Alone #8 – What Are You Holding On To?
What Are You Holding On To? When our boys, and now our grandsons, were quiteRead More
Home Alone #7 – Growing Like Trees
Growing Like Trees What do the Lone Ranger, Green Hornet [Who remembers him?], and BatmanRead More