The recent eclipse serves as a reminder that the heavens declare the glory of God, and that we do well to take notice in wonder and worship. The following is from Philip Britts, a 20th century British anabaptist writer, farmer and poet. He calls us to retain our childlike wonder as we see the power of God in a thunderstorm, or observe the miracle of the sea of grain growing in the fields.
"A young child believes in miracles, as a natural or normal part of life, because it sees the miracle in everything. And in that seeing, that seeing of miracles, to which our older eyes have become dim, the child is very near to God. Verily, unless we become as a little child, we cannot see the kingdom of God. Let us beware then of doing anything that can pull any child away from its vision, away from God. If ever we find that we have no time for the children, that we are too busy to talk to them, or too tired, let us consider well what is that business we are about--is it really more vital than to share time with a child, is it really more our Father's business?"
Not every why question can be answered. Our perspective is simply too limited, our minds too finite, our reason too tainted. We cast our cares upon the One who cares for us. We trust, even in the most trying of times, knowing that God is worthy of it. He alone knows and loves us perfectly.
Below is a quote from Fred Epstein that I found very thought-provoking.
'The question, “Why do children suffer?” has no answer, unless it’s simply, “To break our hearts.” Once our hearts get broken, they never fully heal. They always ache. But perhaps a broken heart is a more loving instrument. Perhaps only after our hearts have cracked wide open, have finally and totally unclenched, can we truly know love without boundaries.'
The Book of 1 John is a mighty testament to the love of God.
He Himself is defined by the character of agape love (4:16).
Jesus is the ultimate demonstration of that love (3:16).
His perfect love drives out fear (4:18).
As you go through this week, allow His love to both comfort you and compel you. He knows you fully, and loves you through and through. This is our spiritual "Red Bull", energizing our spirits to extend costly love to others. Actually the Scriptures have a better phrase than spiritual red bull, it's called living water.
I was chatting with a friend recently who has faced adversity, and we were reminded of the wonderful truth of James 1:2-4, that testing develops endurance and strong faith. As my trust in Jesus grows, whether I feel stronger or not, I truly am. Relying on His strength is the spiritual sweet spot that adversity invites us to. His grace is sufficient.
"Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing." (James 1:2-4 NLT)
Pastor Ward Parkinson