Wednesday, July 25, 2012

This is the Day...

the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.

Another 24 hours. Thank you, God. Right? 

Here's a question: did God simply create this specific period of hours, minutes and seconds, then hand it over to us to fill up in whatever way we wish?

Maybe we should begin the discussion with this question: does God have absolute control over everything he has made?

Let me tell you what happened to me yesterday morning: right out of the box, before I had barely had my first sip of coffee, I faced a trial, a temptation, an overwhelmingly sinful urge.

My wife came into the room with a bad (how I perceived it) attitude. Those of you who know me also know how I react in these situations. So you will understand that it was by the grace of God alone that I gave the soft answer, that turneth away wrath.

Where did that come from, so early in the morning? This woman God gave me (Adam's phrase, I believe) demanding (it seemed) that I be hateful to her.

Can it be that God has provided not just the day, not just the joys and blessings, but the sorrows and the temptations? Our loving Heavenly Father?

We're on dangerous ground here. James 1:13-14 specifically states that God does not tempt us, but that our temptations spring from our own reactions (to unfolding circumstances).

Here's a clue, I think, from Jonah, chapter four: the phrase "God provided" occurs three times; two of God's providings are distinctly unpleasant to Jonah. We find the origin of the modern phrase, "mad enough to die."

I don't think I've been called to preach the sermon that will lead 120,000 people to repentance and salvation.

The psalmist is calling me, however, to rejoice in the day and all it brings. Whatever God may "provide."

Which reminds me of Augustine's prayer: "Lord, command what you will, and give what you command."

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