June 24, 2020
2 Corinthians 4:16-18“Therefore do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. “
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Thinking about where we are in this Summer of 2020. How easy it is to dwell on what we cannot be and do. And then, perhaps with an effort, to think of the blessings that will surface as we pass through this time and remember we are being restored and renewed even in such a time as this.
It is encouraging to hear of the challenges and changes that people are encountering. People finding out what life is really like at home with the children all day, every day. No commute to work; even no work. More home cooking – even discovering a younger member of the family who likes to cook (even if it is only cookies). In this peculiar time that has caused us to stop, we can look, listen and perhaps learn something we would never have thought of before (or may have thought of, but avoided until now).
I find I often need a reminder or two of how great is our God; of my view versus God’s view of all life. I think it was David Watson who once made this distinction between our view and God’s view. In the English countryside hedges and stone walls often limit ones view of the surrounding land. Sometimes it seems like we are restricted to what amounts to tunnel vision. Then think of God’s (omniscient) view, as it were from a balloon or ‘plane flying overhead. The view is very different; the countryside is laid out for miles in every direction. All the hedgerows and walls, our limitations are in clear sight. But our God sees ‘inside’. So I believe it is with our lives before the Lord.
Sight and time seem to become linked. How far and how much we can see seems to be related to the ‘time’ we are presently in – looking back, looking forward, or just present. (Perhaps you need to think about that one.) And as much as we struggle with daily life and try to make sense of where it all leads, remember what our Lord can do with and through his faithful followers. Try and take the longer view. I always enjoy Corrie ten Boom’s illustrations. Read on.
During Corrie presentations to audiences, she would often hold up the back side of a blue cloth of embroidery with hundreds of tangled threads hanging down from it. Many wondered if she was holding up the wrong side by mistake. As she held up the messy side of the embroidery, she would ask, “Does God always grant us what we ask for in prayers? Not always. Sometimes He says, ‘No.’ That is because God knows what we do not know. Look at this piece of embroidery. The wrong side is chaos. But look at the beautiful picture on the other side – the right side.” Triumphantly, she flipped the cloth over and revealed an extravagantly embroidered crown – symbolizing our crown of eternal life. The crown was beautifully stitched with threads of many colors but also gold, silver, and pearls. “[In our lives] we see the wrong side, but God sees His side all the time. One day we shall see the embroidery from His side and thank Him for every answered and unanswered prayer.”
For some, these days of privation drag on and the cry of the heart becomes, ‘how long O Lord, how long.’ And maybe we don’t get an answer! But we have and are to claim the Lord’s presence with us (Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I shall fear no evil; for you are with me.) That is the very nature of God – to be with us, always and for ever. “…. Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth.” (Revelation 1:5)
When I was a child, I laughed and wept, time crept;
When as a youth, I dreamed and talked, time walked;
When I became a full grown man, time ran;
And later as older I grew, time flew;
Soon shall I find while travelling on, time gone;
Jesus, then grant me Eternity.
On a current topic, the CBC is putting on an event this coming Thursday, June 25, at 6:30 pm called “We Need to Talk: Systemic racism in Alberta”? Here is the link from CBC: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/community/cbc-alberta-systemic-racism-forum-1.5614452
Boy to school chaplain: Christianity has been in the world for 2000 years and look at the state of it.
Chaplain: Water has been in the world longer than that and just look at the state of your neck!
A wise school teacher sends this note to all his parents on the first day of school: ‘If you promise not to believe everything your child says happens at school, I’ll promise not to believe everything they say happened at home.’