Dear Church Family,
When Bonnie and I left the church after the evening service on March 1st, we anticipated being gone for two Sundays—it will soon be seven Sundays! We certainly did not imagine that would be the case, but it is a reminder of two things: how quickly and relentlessly time passes, and how unpredictable our lives can be as they unravel under the hand of God.
Job, in the midst of his suffering characterized his life by saying,
Job 7:6-7 “My days are swifter than a weaver’s shuttle, And are spent without hope. Oh, remember that my life is a breath! My eye will never again see good.
While he properly understood the swiftness with which the human life runs out, he, in the midst of his trials, under-estimated the goodness and mercy of God. It seemed to him that his life had fallen into a freefall decline and that if it continued on that course; well, there was no hope.
But his life was not in freefall, it was in the hands of One, who even while Job was being tried, was mitigating those trials and would soon bring them to an end, filling his life with blessing and a new sense of joy and peace.
Which brings us to the unpredictability of life. There is an inclination in many to always suspect that this unpredictability translates into tragedy and sorrow just waiting around the corner. But if we are in covenant with the living God, through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, that view of life is inaccurate.
If you have a relationship with God, which binds you to His love and mercy, the truth is that it is just as difficult to predict just how that love and mercy will reveal itself tomorrow, whether in trial or blessing, as it is to know exactly what difficulties lie ahead. Nevertheless, that love and mercy have their undeniable place in the road ahead.
Psalms 65:4-7 Blessed is the man You choose, And cause to approach You, That he may dwell in Your courts. We shall be satisfied with the goodness of Your house, Of Your holy temple. By awesome deeds in righteousness You will answer us, O God of our salvation, You who are the confidence of all the ends of the earth, And of the far-off seas; Who established the mountains by His strength, Being clothed with power; You who still the noise of the seas, The noise of their waves, And the tumult of the peoples.
If all our expectations rest in men and women, their wisdom, their strength, their fairness, their reliability—well, then, woe to us. But our lives are not in the hands of men, women, governments, or institutions; they are in the hands of God, who uses those things as means to work His will. It may be that the policies of people and governments may result in hard trials, but even while we are passing through them, we are not alone or at their mercy.
Isaiah 43:1-2 But now, thus says the LORD, who created you, O Jacob, And He who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; You are Mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, Nor shall the flame scorch you.
Policy makers will sit and plan, go over their models and make their predictions, but generally speaking, the goodness and mercy of God toward those who are in covenant with Him are not figured into the model, any more than His sovereignty and justice are a part of their planning. They imagine themselves to be, with a few exceptions, all on their own—but we know that we are not. When we look at life, as quickly as it does unravel, as being securely in His hands, then…
Isaiah 32:18 My people will dwell in a peaceful habitation, In secure dwellings, and in quiet resting places,
Dear LORD and Savior, our days do run out more swiftly than the weaver’s shuttle, but they are not without hope. You are our God and our hope is in You. Father, when the course of our lives seems to turn against us, when our trials linger and challenge us in unexpected ways, may we turn to You in faith, trusting that Your promises, sealed to us by the precious blood of the Lord Jesus Christ cannot fail.
We thank you, that even when we seem to be in the grip of things that we cannot control, You are always in control, holding us and those we love in the hollow of Your hand.
Dear LORD, where our loved ones are in need, send Your wise and loving help—heal, strengthen, encourage, correct, instruct, and grant peace all according to Your wise and perfect judgment. And teach us, our Father, that in the unpredictability of this swiftly passing life we should be looking for and expecting to see, even in our trials, Your goodness and mercy.
Thank You for promising to answer us by awesome deeds of righteousness, in Jesus name, Amen!