Wednesday, July 9

Another day.............

"Oh give thanks to the LORD, call upon His name; Make known His deeds among the peoples. Sing to Him, sing praises to Him; Speak of all His wonders. Glory in His holy name; Let the heart of those who seek the LORD be glad. Seek the LORD and His strength; Seek His face continually. Remember His wonderful deeds which He has done, His marvels and the judgments from His mouth, O seed of Israel His servant, Sons of Jacob, His chosen ones!" 1 Chronicles 16:8-13 (NASB)

The song by Casting Crowns, "Praise You in this storm", has been playing over and over in my mind as I wake up each morning. The sheer effort that it takes, as I prepare myself yet for another day of stress, worry, and uncertainity, to lift up praises to the Heavenly Father defies even my ability to completely do so effectively.

If I look at the world through my all-too human eyes, I quail at the sheer mountain that I've the adacity to climb. Who am I and what am I thinking?

But I draw my focus, sometimes unwillingly, to God and the promises He has made. Do I feel that God is in control of this runaway bus, careening through the structural integrity of my life, or do I question His ability to even care about such a man as myself? I cannot accept the sacrifice that Christ made upon the cross, crying out "It is finished", and not believe that this massive God is not without His hand upon my life, His plan in place and actively moving forward. I cannot believe that my faith, fired with the call of the Savior, is barren and without hope. I can't, simply because everything that I see, that God points to me for understanding and wisdom, shows me that there is no loss in what I have gained. I cannot lose what God Himself has given to me.

I look to the times of David, a man after God's own heart, and the struggles he faced, this promised leader for the Israelite nation and the line that would bring the Messiah to earth as prophecied. I look to that servant who was dismayed at the arrayed army before him and quailed before the prophet in fear until God revealed the Heavenly Host surrounding the physical army itself---protecting His children. I look to Paul, and all the times he was in prison and suffered in a multitude of ways physically. I look to the story, the narrative of God's word and works, promises and hope.....and I cannot help but praise Him, even in the midst of uncertainity and chaos.

I was bulit to move in this mess, and I will move.

Why do I have this hope; as I prepare to lose my apartment, struggle to keep my car running---all under the hope that I will be employed by the end of the month?
Mary Stewart Van Leeuwen, an leading evangelical scholar and professor of psychology and philosophy at Eastern College in Saint Davids, Pennsylvania says, "Much of it hinges on your view of scripture. Are you playing proof-text poker with Genesis plus the Gospels and Paul’s epistles, with everything else just sort of a big mystery in between—except maybe Psalms and Proverbs, which you use devotionally? Or do you see scripture as being a cosmic drama—creation, fall, redemption, future hope—dramatic narratives that you can apply to all areas of life?"

The more I struggle, the more I dig within the 'cosmic drama' of the Biblical story. I see God's strength within those who follow Him, and I see God's compassion and mercy displayed upon those who have turned from their sinful ways, time after time. I see biblical truth, in the midst of the blinding pain of this broken and fallen world. And I know, regardless of the circumstances or even where I am tomorrow, God is there and His hand is upon my shoulder.

Each time I feel so lost, so alone, in this mess; God whispers "I am with you." When I decide that I am unworthy of any salvation and rescue, God points to the Father who threw a big feast when his son returned home. He points to the birds of the field, the flowers of the plains, and reminds me of my worth.

I arrive at work each morning, my heart and soul recaptured by the Father. And, though the problems don't fade away, I can smile.......

For I know that God will what God wills.

And He reveals to me each day what that Will is.

To praise Him.......

even in this storm.

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