Most Sundays, I post a brief lesson about the Christian life based on Christian scripture. I don’t preach. My goal is to understand what the writer intends to say, and what the hearer hears. I leave the what it really means to others, smarter than me, and bolder. I can’t write and think about this without bias, and I address it when I see it. I’m comfortable with Catholic, Orthodox, and Protestant theologies, and with some atheist ideals. It was Augustine who said ‘all truth is G’s truth’ and I gladly sup coffee around that campfire. My Christian belief is an expression of faith, not logic, and whatever I glom onto, I hold loose in an open hand.
I don’t need to say it but I will – for posterity: COVID is kicking everything. We wear masks at work and schedule around teammates who are sick or taking care of loved ones. People bicker like children about freedom and why President Trump doesn’t wear a mask and why we can’t toss down a few beers at the local restaurant with a dozen friends, sitting on each other’s laps. We can’t go to stores as we choose, and I haven’t been to a bookstore in months, forcing me to read what I fell in love with during my previous fourteen forays there. My wife needed to go to the doctor a couple of weeks ago, and they required a COVID test before scheduling a time. In short, we – at least in America – are living as if we’re not G’s chosen people, able to freely do whatever we damn well feel like doing whenever we feel like it. Lot’s of us mimic a petulant four-year-old.
That being said, I’m reading through the Bible now in chronological order, using the Blue Letter Bible site’s Daily Bible Reading Program: Chronological Plan. It’s fun and a learning experience to read the Psalms and minor books alongside the backbone books of the Hebrew Scriptures.
Today, though, I read a Psalm, and a short passage applied directly to me.
I complained with a coworker yesterday, and he agreed that we are ready for COVID to go home and to get back to normal life. He’s in the same susceptible demographic that I am and agreed that he was tired of the whole thing. We did a poor job comforting each other. “Only another year to go,” I guessed. “Hmm. Hope so,” he sighed.
Then I read this passage this morning:
Strong words from a man who often prayed for protection from his enemies.
But this spoke to me. I had an issue at work this week. Not from an enemy, but just a lousy week when a few things I was sure would go right went wrong. Because of me.
But here is a verse to take home, to write on the inside of your wrist. Bad news holds no fears for him. Let’s be honest here: this in no way guarantees a winning lotto ticket or a safe ride home on bald tires in the snow, or a negative cancer test. Nothing in the verse says that G protects you against any of the millions of pieces of bad news we can hear. It’s simply an observation that for the person whose heart is firmly set on trusting the Father, there is no fear in bad news because we know who holds the ultimate keys to history, both personal and corporate.
What’s the take home message?
The take home message is easy: trust in G as the author of your ultimate history. As easy as that sounds, it’s also contrary to our nature and eminently difficult. But a worthy goal to pray about, ponder, and grab hold of in what ever measure you can. Every day I ask for a bigger scoop. Be careful about what you ask for, though; learning and maturity often come through struggle. Remember the words of Jesus: every branch that does bear fruit, He prunes to make it bear even more.”
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Selah and Blessings