Monday, August 11, 2014

"Don't I Have a Choice, Mom?"

Today I read from the 1st chapter of Ezekiel.
"While I was among the exiles by the river Chebar,
there the hand of the Lord came upon me."

The prophet Ezekiel was among the 3000 upper class Jews
exiled to Babylon after they angered God
for worshiping other gods.
But even if they were far away 
from the temple in Jerusalem,
God still spoke to them.

 We don't need to be in church to hear God
or see His hand in our life.
Many of us box God in.
We only take Him out on a Sunday,
during mass, during a prayer meeting,
where we sing our hearts out in worship.

But what about the rest of the week?
When we have to make an important decision
at work? About our schedules?
About our priorities?

I remember when my son was young and he did not
want to join the youth camp of our community.
He asked me, "Don't I have a choice, mom?"
I answered, "You do!
You have a choice whether to enjoy it or not!"
It's the same with us.
We don't have a choice about God being 
sovereign, having a say in our life.
But we DO have a choice whether 
we work WITH Him or fight Him!

 "I will stand at my guard post and keep watch 
to see what He will say to me..." Habakkuk 2:1

I find the book of Habakkuk interesting because 
the prophet complains to God about how 
He is managing the world- so much violence and destruction! 
I am reminded of Charles Templeton, 
a charismatic evangelist who would hold 
successful crusades around Europe in the 40s and 50s with Billy Graham. 
But he became an atheist partly because of this same complaint. 
How can a good God permit all the 
 misery and violence and evil in this world?

God answers Habakkuk: "Write down the vision clearly...
for the vision still has its time,
 presses on to fulfillment, and will not disappoint. 
If it delays, wait for it...The righteous shall live by faith."
 (Hab 2:2-4)

I think the key is the last verse. 
We need the eyes of faith because 
faith looks beyond the circumstances and 
rests on God's wisdom and His promises. 
The world has not changed much. 
Listening to the news about Gaza and Iraq can drive us to despair. 
What is God doing? Why does He allow any of it? 
Why did God allow Jesus to be humiliated and crucified?

 I like the answer of Peter Kreeft, a Roman Catholic theologian. 
He compared Calvary to Judo: 
“The enemy’s own power is used to defeat him… 
Satan’s end was God’s means. 
God won Satan’s captives – us – back to himself 
by freely dying in our place.”

So I try not to question God and His ways. 
I will just trust and have faith. 
I will continue to stand at my guard post and keep watch!

 "The Lord was not in the earthquake...
after there was a tiny, whispering sound..." 1 Kings 19

In this passage, the prophet Elijah is told by God 
to go outside the cave because "the Lord will be passing by." 
There was a strong and heavy wind that 
crushed rocks but the Lord was not there. 
Then came an earthquake. 
No, The Lord was not there either. 
Next came a fire. Not there. 
Then...a tiny, whispering sound.

 Sometimes we expect that if God wants 
to speak to us, it will be terrifying. 
But most of the time God speaks in
 a still, small, unobtrusive voice. 
It is so easy not to hear Him. 
It is so easy to dismiss his overtures to us.
 I believe that all God does is draw us closer,
 a wooing, a loving. 
But because there is so much in the world 
clamoring for our attention, we miss it. 
We miss the flowers growing, the birds, the food on our table.... 
It really takes a decision on our part to LISTEN, 
to be filled with gratitude, to answer 
God's offerings of love with a song of praise!

1 comment:

  1. These ATC's are gorgeous...Love the collage o f colors and the beautiful drawings. Thanks for blessing us with your wonderful entree at our Challenge at Word Art Wednesday...Please join us again in our new Challenge starting today. Want to share this verse with you from Psalm 147:11. "The LORD delights in those who fear him, who put their hope in his unfailing love." God bless!

    JO ANN


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