Practical Proverbial, from Hebrews, 12 October 2016

And again, “I will put my trust in him.”  And again he says, “Here am I, and the children God has given me.”     Hebrews 2, verse 13.

In this verse, the author of Hebrews quotes (nearly verbatim) the book of Isaiah.  In quoting Isaiah 8:18, he also references Jesus who said, referring to His followers, “My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand.”  We can marvel at how Jesus quotes, nearly to the letter, the exact words of a hundreds-year-old prophet while imbibing them with new meaning.   Or we can marvel at how those words from the prophet (and the Savior) are still relevant today.

Maybe we should marvel at that trust.   God trusts you and I completely, implicitly, despite all that we do to prove we don’t trust Him in return.   Because of that, God protects us and counts us as His own.   Nothing can ever take that away.

Now, I don’t know about you, but from time to time it feels like things get me down.   Bills show up that eat up all my disposable income.  The drought this summer killed off most of my pumpkin crop and, along with it, my money tree.  Folks who say they’re going to come out for a visit never show, leaving you lonely and with a refrigerator full of food.  We get sick but still have busy lives to live.  Wife is irritated.   Kids are irritated.   I’m irritated.

Despite that, God loves me anyway.   I’m special to Him because I’ve been claimed by Him, redeemed by Him, cherished by Him.  He trusts me.  Nothing can ever take that away.   Nothing the devil or the world does can ever make that change.

Or there’s this election.   This damned, frustrating election.   No matter who you’re voting for, the other ‘guy’ is the ‘bad guy.’   Whatever you’re for, someone else is against.   And in our social-media-driven world, you can’t simply disagree:   you must be vanquished.   Don’t go thinking I feel all targeted here:  I’ve done my fair share of targeting, too.   I can’t seem to shut up while there are folks out in Facebookland who disagree with me.   I can’t wait for this stupid election to be over so all this rancor can die down…except it won’t die down.  It’ll double-down.  If “the other guy” wins, there’s going to be hell to pay.   If my “guy” wins, the same thing happens.

Despite that, God loves me anyway.   I’m special to Him in spite of all the crazy stupid things I do to push Him away.   He claims me, redeemed me, loves me, holds me close.  No social media posts or unjust investigations can ever take that away.  Jesus trusts me.  Nothing the devil, Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, or any other sinner politician does can ever make that change.

The same Jesus who cherishes us in life and death is the same Jesus who spoke the words about His followers.   He’s the same Jesus who inspired Isaiah to write his words of prophecy.   He’s the same Jesus who appeals to each of us, each of the 7 billion humans here on the Third Rock, to get to know Him and put our faith in Him.  When we put our faith in Him, we put our trust in Him.   Just this morning, my wife and I were talking over our daily devotion.   Its subject was rebuilding trust after sins.  With Jesus, I’m building my trust in Him who has never sinned against me.   It’s me who’s done the sinning.   I’m the one who let Him down.   And I’m the one who has to learn how to let go of my control and trust in Him.

When I do, I get to see that He holds me close because He trusts me first.   I’m one of His special sheep, one of the people in whom He’s most pleased.   So are you.  When I put my trust in Him, I see that He’s trusted me all along with the precious gift of life.   He gives me something beyond value:   life, that mysterious force which defines and separates us from all other matter.   He knows me by name, by heart, by every cell in the body He gave me.   And despite all the ways I’ve rebelled, Jesus trusts me.  He trusts me and I trust Him.  Jesus trusts me to use the life He gave me to trust Him in return.  Isaiah knew this about Jesus and Jesus said it about Himself.   What say you?

For more reading:   Isaiah 8:17-18, John 10:29.

Lord, I thank You so much that You know me and love me.  Thank You for holding me close, for sharing Yourself, your life, with me.

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