Practical Proverbial, from Hebrews, 19 June 2017

Remember those earlier days after you had received the light, when you endured in a great conflict full of suffering. Sometimes you were publicly exposed to insult and persecution; at other times you stood side by side with those who were so treated. You suffered along with those in prison and joyfully accepted the confiscation of your property, because you knew that you yourselves had better and lasting possessions.  Hebrews 10, verses 32-34.

Is this calling us to actively give up our possessions?  Is it telling us to be content in all circumstances, even when we’re being mistreated?   Actually, yes it is.   It ISN’T saying “be happy about it.”   God doesn’t tell us to enjoy suffering.   But He does tell us to put our trust in Him alone and be content with Him because He is more than enough to overcome any suffering.  He doesn’t promise Easy Street:   He promises to abide with us on any street.  Is this also telling us to turn the other cheek?   Again, yes it is.  When suffering happens, we should focus our joy on it’s true source, Jesus.   Instead of focusing on hurt, to stop the ‘bleeding’ of our suffering, we should focus on He who is with us even to the point of turning the other cheek to the one who is making us suffer.

A few days ago, my Billy Graham devotion reminded me that “joy” doesn’t equal “happiness” as the world defines happiness.   Brother (and sister), I understand this.   I’m sure you do, too.  Without divulging too many whines, my family is going through a difficult time.   For the moment, my wife and I are unemployed.  Just as He did the last time we went through this, God has a plan in all this.   To be honest, we don’t know what that plan is right now, but we do trust Him and His daily provision.   We’re still eating; we’re still breathing; midnight to midnight, we are still above the dirt.   Everything else is a gift from Him, even the struggles.  We pray the time will be short, and we’re blessed to be able to use it to do things that need to be done here on our farm.   God is good all the time and all the time God is good.

Yet it can be a struggle to see happiness or joy in this.   “How could it” you might ask?   “Dave, you’re on the unemployment line again; you expect to be happy?”  Happy no, joy yes.   Every struggle, even unemployment or financial struggles, is an opportunity to make a choice for Jesus.  The verses aren’t saying that my problems will disappear.   It’s only saying that my unseen baggage from them can when I fix my eyes and hope on Christ.  If nothing else, why not ease that emotional burden?

And let’s get real:  the author of Hebrews wasn’t talking about a First-World situation like unemployment or paying your bills online.   He was talking about struggles like being tortured in Roman prisons.   About living in a world with astronomical infant mortality, real starvation, life expectancy of 45 years, and a host of other problems that most of us can’t fathom.   The first audience for verses 32-34 was comprised of people who lived in the primitive first century nations of the Mediterranean.  He was telling them to put all their trust, their hope, their everything on the shoulders of Jesus and let Jesus take the heat.   The author was telling his reader to rejoice in Jesus even when the branding iron struck your flesh, or you were kidnapped to row in a galley, or your family was sold off into slavery because you couldn’t pay your debts, or when they nailed you to a cross.

My puny problems pale compared to those things.   If our ancestors could trust Jesus through things like that, I can too.

I’ll admit:   it’s a struggle.   We are having to ‘skinny down;’ going through possessions, putting our farm up for sale, applying for jobs (literally) all over the world.   It’s hard to face being let go and rejected; it’s hard to face doing without things you’ve worked for or desire.   It hurts to go through this.  Jesus understands that.   He’s with us during these times and is calling us to put our faith in Him.  When the tough times are past, the lessons He’s teaching us today will come in handy.

For further reading:  Hebrews 6:4, Philippians 1:29-30, 1 Corinthians 4:9, Philippians 4:14, 1 Peter 1:4-5.

Lord, help me to trust You in all things.   Forgive my weakness and how I’ve failed You.   I trust You in Your teaching, Your provision, and Your discipline.

Practical Proverbial, from Hebrews, 16 May 2017

Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. Hebrews 10, verse 23.

If you’ve read this blog for awhile, you know that I recently started a new job.   My previous company laid me off in December.   Now, I’m 50 and have been working in one capacity or another since I was 16.  This wasn’t the first time I’d been rolled off an account or even laid off a job.   Yet this has been the first time that my confidence has been rattled to the core.  I started a new job 3 months ago and, by all measures, it’s going very well (I’m leading a great team of really talented people).  Yet I’ve become ultra-sensitive to perfectionism, working to try to get things just right even as I know that isn’t a sustainable goal.   For the first time in my life, I’ve encountered anxiety, even panic attacks.   Couple that with some pretty heavy depression, a bunch of other stressors, and it’s a tough combination to live with.  I’ve come to dread  every time someone from my new job calls or e-mails, wondering if this is the message where the ax falls on my neck again.  50 is a tough time in life to be having to start over.

It’s as if I have forgotten how to hold unswervingly to the hope I profess in Christ.   Except that my faith is still solid. All through this, I’ve known deep inside that God was still real.  I’ve almost instinctively known that Jesus is with me, and that whatever I’m feeling, He’s beside me to help me.   That’s proof of Hebrews 10, verse 23.   And yet I’ve still been hurting.

Earlier, I was talking with my atheist friend who, once again, chided me for believing in “space fairies.”   I replied to him that it’d be better if he got to know the One he calls “space fairy” now, in thanks and admiration, instead of later in fear and dread because he will come to know Him whether he calls Him names or not.   Again, this is something I know inside of me because I believe what God has said through His Word and through His nature & history.   Yet in a world of doubt, anger, and hurt, is it any wonder that people like atheists would reject faith they can’t see, even if the One they reject is faithful and bears real hope?

Perhaps it’s natural to occasionally question one’s faith, even as the God in whom we have faith doesn’t question us.   He is always present, always the same, always diligent, always loving.   He’s God; He can’t be any other way.   We aren’t God; we can’t be God and shouldn’t try (after all, there really are no true atheists…).  I can only speak for myself in saying that I truly believe in all God says He is and that I don’t doubt that He’s saved me.   Yet I still question where He is and His purposes when things like this job loss come to me.   I didn’t deserve it, but it happened.   It has wreaked a lot of changes, some good and many not, in my family’s life, and I question “why”.

Perhaps the best answer is still the one God gave to Job, namely that He’s God and I’m not and I should just be comforted by knowing that.   Way back in the book of Job – probably the oldest book in the Bible – God upheld the hope of His faithful servant who, like me, questioned when bad things happened without rejecting his belief in his Maker.   It’s ok to be sincere about saying “Lord, this really sucks right now.”   It’s ok to be sincere about feeling bad when things make you feel bad.   It’s ok to be sincere in saying “I don’t want this.”  Vent those feelings and share those thoughts; that’s good, even Godly.   And then let them go and come back into His fold, remembering that He gives real hope for here and now, not just forever.  He who promised it is faithful in all things and at all times.

For further reading:  Hebrews 3:1, 1 Cor 1:9.

Lord, it’s been really tough lately and I’ve been hurting, questioning why these things have happened. I believe in You, though, and I know in my heart that You are with me.   Uphold me now and continue to give me the courage to face each new day.  Thanks for what You do and who You are.

 

Practical Proverbial, from Hebrews, 28 February 2017

Every high priest is appointed to offer both gifts and sacrifices, and so it was necessary for this one also to have something to offer.  Hebrews 8, verse 3.

Think about that first statement:   every high priest is appointed to offer both gifts and sacrifices.   I’ve never been part of a committee to hire a pastor, but I know a little bit about the process.  The pastoral calling is a calling, to be sure.   But it’s also a job.  Like other jobs, you’re vetted by potential congregational employers.   You network with other pastors and peers.   You can move around from place to place, moving  up, down, and around the pastoral chain of command.   And you can be fired or promoted.   You’re called by God into the ministry, but you’re hired by people to do the job.   You’re appointed.   You’re appointed specifically to perform pastoral duties that other leaders in other careers don’t perform.

Except Jesus.   Jesus wasn’t a Levite; we’ve talked about this before.   Jesus wasn’t part of the political structure in the synagogues or at the Temple.   Jesus was taught and trained by rabbis as a younger man (so much that He was frequently called “rabbi” (or ‘teacher’) by His followers), but he wasn’t an ordained priest.   He didn’t serve in the rotation to offer sacrifices at the Temple.  No, Jesus was the high priest simply by virtue of Him being Himself.   It wasn’t that the rules didn’t apply to Him:  it was that He kept them so perfectly that they no longer mattered.

So if Jesus isn’t an appointed priest, why does He need to have something to offer?   You know the answer:   He doesn’t, at least not by virtue of His being divine.   No, Jesus offers His personal sacrifice not for His sins, which were none, but for yours and mine, which are legion.  The priests of Jewish antiquity would slay animal sacrifices, then sprinkle the blood on altars and on the people as a way to remind them that their sins were paid in full.   Once a year, he would even sprinkle blood on the Ark of the Covenant to fulfill God’s command and serve as yet another reminder of that salvation.   Jesus sprinkled His own blood on the sins of all mankind so that all men might benefit once.  Those animal sacrifices would no longer be necessary.

If you’re an unbeliever, this is the part where you’re saying “so what, big deal.”   Fair enough; yes, actually, fair enough.   Your lack of belief in the need for all this would be understandable.  Yet Jesus still offered it for you as well.   And what else He offers is something that wouldn’t have been available any other way except by the shedding of His own blood:  access.   Jesus offers access.   You reject that access if you choose to dis-believe, but He offers it too you anyway.

Jesus offers access to real peace, tranquility while living out the rest of our lives here on the Third Rock.   Jesus offers access to understanding of how belief in Him is the foundation of intellect and the purpose of reason.   Jesus offers access to the communion of saints, participation in a millennia-old following of the greatest people in history.   Jesus offers access to freedom, freedom from guilt and shame and all the negative things that can bog a man down.  And Jesus offers access to Himself, an opportunity for you to have a personal relationship with Him, one on one, so that you might share in His love and glory while giving those things to Him as His due:  all by loving other people as an expression of loving Him.   He created everything in love.   You get personal access to Him, our creator, because He offered Himself as the ultimate sacrifice for things He didn’t do.

Make no mistake about it:   Jesus Christ is the central figure in all of human history.  It isn’t Marx; it isn’t Confucius; it isn’t Mohammed; it isn’t the Buddha.   It is Jesus and Jesus alone who stands at the center of all human history, human endeavor, human thought, and human potential.   He appointed Himself to supersede and make complete the need for and history of ritual sacrifices.   And in doing so, while at the center of all that is, He offers true access to what only He can offer.   Tell me, good friend:   why would you resist that?

For further reading:  Hebrews 2:17, 5:1, 9:9, 9:14.

My Lord and my God, I praise You for offering Yourself as the only atoning sacrifice for my wrongs.   I praise You and thank You for giving me access to You and, through You, to an eternity of love.

Practical Proverbial, from Hebrews, 21 February 2017

Unlike the other high priests, he does not need to offer sacrifices day after day, first for his own sins, and then for the sins of the people.   He sacrificed for their sins once for all when he offered himself.  Hebrews 7, verse 27.

This is a comforting thought.   On days like yesterday, I’m overwhelmed.   I realize that my version of ‘overwhelmed’ right now is pretty first-world.   I’m not starving to death; I haven’t recently lost loved ones; I have a home, food, clothing, a job (which is why I feel overwhelmed), and so much more to be thankful for than anything about which I could complain.   Yet the weather outside is gloomy and rainy, and my senses are overwhelmed, mainly because of the job I mentioned.   I’m blessed to announce that I’ve started in a new full-time position just yesterday, so now I find myself struggling to get up to speed quickly.  God has provided as He always does, and I feel like I’m trying to drink from a fire hose.  I can’t remember which sites to go to for which items, the new laptop doesn’t log into the customer Citrix portal, I don’t yet know who to go to when I need help, I don’t want to mess up, and there is so much more that I don’t know about this new position than what I do know.

Boo freakin hoo, Dave, and waaaah.  I’m 50, employed, and living in America.   Snap out of it, boy, and get with the program; it’s only been one day and it takes time to get up to that speed.  Except that, even though I’m a 50 year old employed American, I still feel overwhelmed.   Yes, in time I’ll catch up and learn how things are done on the new job.   But for today it has me sort of bowled over.   There is so much to take in and I feel inferior until I do.   Even a little gun-shy having been released from my last position.   Yet in the middle of all this, there’s something important to remember:   I can do this.   I can do it because Jesus is on my six.

Did Jesus ever feel overwhelmed?   I’m betting He did, yet He didn’t spiral downward in some pity party.  He stayed true without sin.  Jesus experienced every non-sinful emotion that you or I experience.   He was fully man yet fully God.   Think about it:   He lived fully as a man without succumbing to the temptation to feel sorry for himself, or to let the world push Him in a direction that would drag him past temptation.   He was tempted, but He resisted it by keeping His eyes on the Father.  He proved a man could fully live without diving into transgression.  It can be done, even if I’ve never done it.   I’ll never be sinless, but I don’t have to be mired down by sins going forward.  That means we can overcome, we can get up to speed.

When I’m overwhelmed by things I’m learning, tasks to get done, and all the stuff that goes with starting a new job, I find it comforting that the man who saved me from my eternity of death was never tainted by sin.   His work was done the way our work was designed to be done.   We were designed to do perfect works for Him – even managing projects! – yet every one of our works since Adam has been radically imperfect.   Enter Jesus, who made right the crooked path, who lived a sinless life so that He could restore balance to what man and sin unbalanced.  He didn’t have to earn His bread, but He did.   He doesn’t need to offer up substitute sacrifices to atone for things He did wrong because He never did anything wrong yet, when the chips were down, offered Himself up as the real, not substitute sacrifice, for bonehead things that I’ve done.   Or you.   Or the pope…feel free to go down the list.

Because of Jesus, I can do this.

For further reading:  Hebrews 5:1-3.

My Lord, abide with me.   Guide me, steady me, counsel me, and teach me to be patient and to give it my all.

 

Practical Proverbial, from Hebrews, 6 February 2017

And it was not without an oath! Others became priests without any oath, but he became a priest with an oath when God said to him:  “The Lord has sworn and will not change his mind: ‘You are a priest forever.’”  Because of this oath, Jesus has become the guarantor of a better covenant.  Hebrews 7, verses 20-22.

Zero in on that last sentence.   “Because of this oath, Jesus has become the guarantor of a better covenant.”   God swore an oath on Himself.   There is no higher guarantee possible.   Nowhere in the universe can you find a surer promise than one God makes and swears by Himself.   It WILL happen.   Nothing can deny it, nothing can stop it, nothing can change it.  When God says He loves you, He loves you unquestionably.   When God says He will provide for you, He will ALWAYS provide for you.   When God says He forgives you, He completely and fully forgives you in every way He promises.  When God guarantees the better covenant of His salvation, it is permanently guaranteed.

Just last week He proved it again to me.   He didn’t need to prove it, but He did.   You’ll recall in the last proverbial how I confessed my bitterness against my former employer.  I’ve been out of a full-time job, and I’ve felt deep anger over it.   I was working part-time in a new job but it wasn’t getting us by.   It seemed like a waste of their time and mine, and I was beginning to feel despondent.  Through all of my sin, God still promised “I love you, I will provide for you, I forgive you, trust Me and Me alone.”   I never doubted that, but I also never fully surrendered to it either…until I did.

You can’t make this stuff up.  That was Thursday.   Friday morning I went back to my part-time job which had been challenging me all week.  And Friday morning I was supposed to have heard news from a recruiter, news about a new position; I didn’t.   By noon, still nothing.  It was deeply disappointing, and I didn’t want to stay with the call center.   I sat there thinking of anything I could do to change the situation, but there was nothing…nothing except God.  About 1:30 or so I finally made peace with Him.  More appropriately, I surrendered to His will.   I silently prayed “if this is where you want me, Lord, I’ll give it my all.   I’ll give it my best.   I’ll do whatever You want me to do here.”   It wasn’t what I wanted, but it was what God wanted.   He had me where He had me for a reason and He would never let me down even when He provided what I didn’t expect.  Not five minutes later, I got the call about the new job and accepted it.

Stop right here for a gut check.   This isn’t some prosperity gospel; this isn’t some “God will be good to if you only do X, Y or Z.”  That kind of thing is a lie.   God isn’t a wishing well.   God isn’t some Pavlov trainer where if you give him a prayer He gives you a treat.  God chose to bless me by answering a prayer on HIS schedule, HIS way, not mine.   He could just as well have not given me what I wanted.   He could keep me there; He could send me where He wanted to.   I don’t start the new job for a week or more, and it could indeed turn out that the new job is a bust, or a harder challenge, or a path to more unemployment.   That doesn’t matter.   What does matter is that a man surrendered his will to his God, and His God always kept His promises.   God had kept His promise even before I realized it.   He always had.  God had been providing for me all along.   God had loved me all along.   God had blessed me where He had me even before the job search started.

All that is because God swore by Himself that He would always be God.   He then proved it by sending the God-man, His son Jesus, as our only Savior and as the true priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.   I don’t deserve it; neither do you.   We’ve never done anything to earn it or deserve it or make it happen…but God did.   He did it because He’s God.   We aren’t.

Sure, you can pooh-pooh all this.   You can say that my Indeed.com application was processed and that my new employer and I negotiated an arrangement.   You can insist it was all started as coincidental, and that we engineered the outcome we desired.   You can say those things and I’ll even listen to them, perhaps even find a few grains of truth in them.   Then I’ll tell you that my God is bigger than all those explanations.   He’s bigger than a job, or a website, or some process, or anything you or I could engineer here on the Third Rock.  God is bigger than us, or our emotions, or our plans, or anything we can conceive.   And He’s pure love.   His pure love is guaranteed by the better covenant that He Himself engineered on our behalf.

For further reading:   Numbers 23:19, 1 Samuel 15:29, Malachi 3:6, Romans 11:29, Psalm 110:4, Hebrews 5:6, Luke 22:20.

My Lord and my God, You alone are God.   You alone are good, and You alone saved me.   Thank You forever for that, and for providing for me, and for giving me what I don’t deserve.

Practical Proverbial, from Hebrews, 2 February 2017

The former regulation is set aside because it was weak and useless (for the law made nothing perfect), and a better hope is introduced, by which we draw near to God.  Hebrews 7, verses 18-19.

You can read it as easily as I can:   these verses are talking about law (and, in context, about the divinity of Jesus, our true priest forever in the order of Melchizedek).   Let me draw another parallel for you, though.

I’m struggling to not hate right now.   If you’ve read these words for awhile, you know that my (now) former company laid me off at the end of December.  They didn’t need me anymore, and I hadn’t done anything wrong or illegal or immoral.   They simply didn’t need me anymore and I wasn’t a fit in the company culture; they didn’t want me, so they let me go.   Since then, I’ve been working part time in a call center.   There, I recently switched to a new account because the previous one also scaled back.   Along with two of my co-workers, I’m learning how this company uses a system I’ve known for over fifteen years.   It should be a good fit for me, especially as a part-time gig, yet I feel more discouraged than I have in months.  I’ve interviewed for a number of full-time positions but none has come open yet, at least not for me.   It’s discouraging to be out of work, and my wife and I are scaling back our spending drastically, contacting creditors, and trying our best to keep afloat.  I’m worried, and scared, and I feel ashamed to be out of work when I would so much rather be moving forward in success.

As a result, I find myself struggling to stay away from the selfish spiraling of blaming my former employer, of succumbing to hatred.   If you hate the people who hate you, they win, and that would simply make another wrong.   I thought I was doing the right thing in the way I led the projects they had me working on,  but the culture there had become mistake-free.   I made mistakes, didn’t do what they wanted me to do even as some of what they wanted me to do was wrong.  I find myself fighting off the urge to truly hate the men who put me on the street, to wish on them pain and hurt like they’ve inflicted on me.   It’s a real struggle; it’s a real fight, like two parties are warring for my soul.   I’m so angry and feel so hurt, and I’m really trying to not feel sorry for myself.   There are so many other people struggling worse than we are.   Yet I find myself wanting to scream at those men, to meet them in an airport someplace and punch one of them in the eye, or worse.   It was unfair, it was cruel, it was just plain wrong what they did to me, and I feel an empty burning anger inside of me because of it.

Now is the time to re-read the verses and address what God is saying in them.   In all I’m going through, God isn’t indifferent.   What was behind me is behind me.   God bless the folks still working for those wretched men and I honestly hope they do well.   As for me, God has me out of there for a reason.   In that, God is teaching me things, first and foremost reminding me to rely on Him.   My God is bigger than some job.   It isn’t Pollyana-ish to say again and again that something good is coming.   I don’t know how soon it’ll happen, but it will happen.   Until then, in good and in bad, God is still with us and is providing what He knows we need.   He has me doing what I can to move forward along a new path.  What is now in the past is rightfully in the past, relegated there because God is growing me beyond it.   It’s no longer needed for the path He has me on.

This whole job-searching process then becomes an exercise in trust, in trusting God.   He prepared me in the past for things I need to know now.   All that He’s going to use to put me in some new place has already been set in motion, even if I can’t yet see how it all fits together.  It’s frustrating, it’s anger-inducing, it has my emotions on edge and under stress.   It did the same to Job, and to King David, and to Elijah, and to Jesus in Gethsemene.  God is active in where He has my wife and I, and He’s building us up for work He’s readying for us in the days to come.   God is drawing my wife and I nearer to Him.   Imperfect as we are, we’re close as one and closer to God than we have been in a long time.   That will bear only good fruit.  What it bears will be washed in Jesus’ hope.

I still want to sock my old manager in the eye, though.   But instead of that, I’ll pray the “Fiddler on the Roof prayer,” the one the villagers asked of their rabbi concerning the tsar.   “May the good Lord bless and keep him…far away from us.”  God’s active in their lives even when they were (I feel) unjust to me.   In a way, I hope He’s active for their best as well.

For further reading:   Romans 8:3, Romans 3:20, Galatians 3:20, Hebrews 3:6, James 4:8.

Lord Jesus, thank You for saving me when I so don’t deserve it.   Bless those who persecute us, and lead me to the new place You have in store.

Practical Proverbial, from Hebrews, 6 January 2017

When God made his promise to Abraham, since there was no one greater for him to swear by, he swore by himself, saying, “I will surely bless you and give you many descendants.”  And so after waiting patiently, Abraham received what was promised.  Hebrews 6, verses 13-15.

God takes His own time to keep His promises.   Yet all through history He has kept EVERY promise He’s made.   He’s proven Himself to be reliable.   Do you find it as tough to wait on Him as I do?  It took DECADES for Abraham to see how God was keeping His promise.  It took DECADES for Moses to answer God’s call fully and see how God had delivered the Israelites.  It took CENTURIES, even MILLENIA, for people to see how God had kept His promise to send a Savior to deliver mankind from sin.  Why do I get so pissed off when I feel God hasn’t answered me immediately?   Is the problem with God or me?   You know the answer.

Now, this isn’t to cop out and let God off the hook.   Have you ever considered that God didn’t respond or answer in the way you wanted because He knew you couldn’t handle the response?   That becomes an act of mercy, not of withholding.

Case in point:   job hunting.   It’s thrillingly maddening.   It’s frightening, exhilarating, motivating, depressing, and completely necessary when your full-time position ceases to exist.   Concerning my predicament, my comment must be “all glory to God.   So far so good.”   Things are moving along well, and years of preparation and accumulating skills are paying off.   Yet behind all that, making it go forward (even making it go sideways every now and then) is the prepared, skilled hand of God.   I’ve felt His pull in everything that has happened, and because I know He’s involved, I know things will turn out just fine.

Yet they don’t turn out on my timeline.  I want the new job now.   I want to feel secure again, to not have to get up every day and beat the reeds for some new lead.   I want to know that I’ll be able to provide for my family, and pay our bills, and do the great things we have planned for this year.  To be honest, I’m scared to death every day of being a middle-aged statistic and becoming one of the millions who can’t find work; one of the millions who can’t find ‘something to eat’ in the middle of a field of plenty.

Gut-check time:   It’s not about me.   Get off the “I” train, Dave, and check your six.   God’s there.   He’s the one covering me and what I do in this life is about Him.   It’s about serving Him in whatever capacity He’s placed me.   It’s about serving His kingdom using that preparation and those skills, and that means sometimes doing it in unconventional ways.   And it means trusting God no matter what, even when I don’t understand why He’s moving me the way He is.  Now is the time to be thankful some doors are closed.   Behind them could be things that aren’t meant for me, or that could somehow make things worse.

Abraham waited a generation before seeing how God kept his promise.   He was a very old man, in his 80s, when he answered God’s call to up and leave everything he’d ever known.   Then he waited another 20 years or so before fathering Issac:  the promised child through whom God would eventually redeem mankind.   Issac waited decades before marrying the woman he loved, then waited longer before setting in motion the plan God intended all along.   Jacob did the same.   So did his son Joseph, then Moses, then David and Solomon.   Humanity waited centuries before their descendant, Jesus, arrived to make all things new.   And it has been two thousand years since Jesus promised to come back and then left.   All along, God has been active, planning to do great things through His very good creation, man.   All along, God has been working to reach all people, not just the prepared ones, so that all people might come to know Him and be saved.

Do you seriously think He doesn’t know what He’s doing?   Do you truly think He’ll let us fall without being there to build us back up again?

So I keep looking for the new job.   And I’m interviewing.   And I’m doing what I can, when I should, to do my part in gaining new full-time employment.   Like I said, so far so good.  It’s all a gift from God.  In God’s good time, a wonderful opportunity will present itself.   Until then, it’s not about me, so I get to keep the faith and move forward.

For further reading:   Genesis 22:16-17, Luke 1:73, Genesis 21:5.

Lord, I believe in You.   Thank You for sustaining me, for preparing me, and shepherding me through scary, cold days.   All glory to You.