22 July 2010

FAIL MAIL

I am overflowing with resentment and bitterness. If it were not for that little piece of me that is compliant and listens to His Holy Spirit there is no telling what I might write here today. My face is as red as fire and twice as hot. I am angry. I am hurt. I am disappointed. This is so much more than a fruitless trip to the mailbox. It always is. The situations in life are the context wherein the content of our hearts are revealed.

Overdrawn, overwrought, overtired. Overtly defiant. Covertly collapsed. Pay no attention to that woman behind the wall....

I am teaching about the biblical concept of peace in a couple of days. Ain't that a hoot? How long can I throw a pity party while studying God's idea of peace? About .001 seconds. Months ago when planning this I had no idea what series of events were being put in place... things over which I had absolutely no control. But He did. He knew that I would need His peace, His shalom now. His timing is always perfect and my heart is always in need of repentance.

And so I am reminded that shalom is much larger than our concept of peace. Our language doesn't begin to describe His peace. Biblical peace is not the absence of conflict. It is the assurance of wholeness and completeness in our redemption and restoration with God. It is knowing that when we die, it is well with our souls. It's hard to maintain frustration over temporal things when you know you're deserving of hell and through no merit of your own you will experience His eternal shalom and not His eternal wrath.

Will this stubborn heart of mine ever learn to rejoice and rest in His providence and mercy?

Lamentations 3:31-38
31 For the Lord will not reject forever,
32 For if He causes grief, then He will have compassion according to His abundant lovingkindness.
33 For He does not afflict willingly, or grieve the sons of men.
34 To crush under His feet all the prisoners of the land,
35 To deprive a man of justice in the presence of the Most High,
36 To defraud a man in his lawsuit-- of these things the Lord does not approve.
37 Who is there who speaks and it comes to pass, unless the Lord has commanded {it}
38 {Is it} not from the mouth of the Most High that both good and ill go forth?

Hebrews 4:16 Let us therefore draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and may find grace to help in time of need.

2 Corinthians 12:10 Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ's sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.

Matthew 6:31-34
31 "Do not be anxious then, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'With what shall we clothe ourselves?'
32 "For all these things the Gentiles eagerly seek; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.
33 "But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you.
34 "Therefore do not be anxious for tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. {Each} day has enough trouble of its own.(NAS)

1 comment:

billhaynes said...

All-Sufficient, all-knowing, all Sovereign King,
When we come into Your presence we see the Glory of Your perfections,
the throne of Your eternal and Universal empire, the ten thousand times ten thousands who praise You.
Impress our minds with the consciousness of Your greatness,
not to drive us from You
but to inspire us to approach You;
not to diminish our confidence in You,
but to lead us to admire Your great condescension
You have been mindful of us and visited us,
taken care of us since birth,
cared in all conditions for us,
fed us at Your table,
drawn curtains of love around us,
given us new mercies every morning.
Help us remember that we look for even greater blessings –
a hope beyond the grave,
the earnest and foretastes of immortality,
holiness, wisdom, strength, peace, joy;
all these You have provided for us in Christ.
We grieve to think how insensible we have been of the claims of Your authority, and the endearments of Your love;
how little we have embraced Your truth,
trusted in Your promises,
feared Your threats,
obeyed Your commands,
welcomed Your warnings,
responded to Your grace;
but not withstanding what we deserve, we live.
May Your goodness always lead us to repentance,
and Your longsuffering prove our salvation.

Nothing like a Puritan prayer to get us on the right track.

Your pastor, Bill