Seeking God: Safety in his arms

Seeking God: Safety in his arms

Reading: Psalm 31:1-5, Ezekiel 34:15-16

Christ: I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. They will come in and go out, and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. (John 10:9-10)

I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full..jpg

Think: God has promised restoration to those who turn to Him in belief. When I’m overcome with fear, does my heart remember my true safety? Or am I quick to forget the power of His promises?

Pray: Dear Lord, Thank you for being our rock and fortress. We entrust our spirits into your hand. Amen.

Miracle surgery restores sight to children: Why drag God into it?

Miracle surgery restores sight to children: Why drag God into it?

As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”

“Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him.

John 9:1-3

I  love the videos of people seeing or hearing for the first time. I saw this one on my Facebook feed today and of course, had to watch it.

Two blind sisters see for the first time

20/20/20 is a foundation that pays for children to have these surgeries done, who could otherwise never afford them. Without them, the children would be needlessly blind. The surgery given to them is called a “miracle”, and indeed it is. So many happy tears, faith and hope in humanity: restored.

Then I saw the comments on the Facebook post. Do we see joy for these girls? Encouragement to the good people who have made this happen? Do we see praise for the existence of mercy in this dark world?

Nope. Just a bunch of people turning on each other, scoffing and spitting on those who chose to praise God for His work. Just like in real life. I stand back from my immediate reaction and think: The Internet is only an extension of the actual broken world full of actual broken people (myself included). Why wouldn’t it be like this?

Capture

Why drag God into it? I used to think like that too. One spring break I went on a trip to Mexico to build houses with my youth group. The first night we were there,we huddled in a group and took turns praying. One person prayed: “Thank you Jesus, for all the work you did today.” I’ll never forget the ignorant yet innocent question I blurted out within that circle of believing Christians: “What did he do?”

It was an honest question. I didn’t mean it rudely, but it didn’t make sense to me. Wasn’t that me out there, carrying sheets of dry wall all day in the blistering sun? Wasn’t that us, nailing planks together, and toiling our arms off painting the wall? What work did Jesus do today? How does he get credit for work that I did physically? I don’t understand.

I’ll also never forget the looks of disgust I received. I often wonder about that moment in time. Why did no one ever take me aside? No one ever approached me regarding my little outbust. Especially those leaders. Wouldn’t that have been the perfect opportunity to teach a seeking 14 year old something amazing about the Gospel?

And these commenters, the people all around you as you go through your day who ask, “What did he do?” What do you tell them?

Do you recoil in disgust that someone has the audacity to either know or refuse to know God? Or do you take them aside lovingly and explain to them the hope that you have in Him?

I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

Galatians 2:20

And if you cannot talk to them, can we not pray for them? That one day, when God sees it fit, they will also know the joy of faith and hope and belief.

It is written: “‘As surely as I live,’ says the Lord, ‘every knee will bow before me; every tongue will acknowledge God.'”

Romans 14:11

 

 

through faith we are guarded

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.

1 Peter 1:3-5

How does faith guard us? Peter says that through God’s power we are being guarded by our faith. But our faith is given. It is not something we can manifest on our own, nor is it something we can get rid of on our own. The true faith that is bestowed when God decides to calls us to himself is a safeguard; a secure and invisible binding to the Truth even if we cannot ourselves comprehend that which we believe.
It makes me feel secure and safe that the God of the universe is using his enormous power to preserve our faith. I don’t have to try to be faithful in vain, He won’t let me go, he won’t let anyone pluck me out of his hand, and that includes my faith. It means that the same power that rose Jesus from the dead, and spoke the stars into being, is also being used to have mercy on one small sinful girl whose life is a second long. What is this faith I have? How precious and miraculous it is that we believe. What is this force that causes us to seek an invisible and loving God, against every natural impulse that makes us human and sinful. The old testament says in many places that God does what he pleases. And he was pleased to send his only son, and his spirit to me.
Now how to respond? Faith is not another thing we throw into our shopping bag. Respect it! Allow it to flourish by feeding it. For without faith, it is impossible to please God. He gave us faith, he helps us keep it, his power guards it for us, and we must make sure not to treat it as nothing. How can I feed my faith today?