What can bring joy in the middle of a long, difficult road? I imagine that some of the Psalms such as the 105th Psalm, could have brought much comfort to those who knew the pain of being carried off into years of exile. Such extended valley experiences require looking at the big picture. The Psalmist looks not just at what is happening at the moment, but what has happened over history. When the immediate picture is set in the long-term picture, we can see more clearly the hand of God in the story- history, Biblical history, and our history. In the recalling, we find joy, and the strength for working through the long valleys.
Monday, July 18, 2011
Jacob had a God moment. Though he must have heard the same promise from his father and his father’s father about his family being blessed to be a blessing to the entire earth, it did not become real to Jacob until he had his own face-to-face with God himself. The significance of the encounter was life-altering! He made the time and place a marker, a reminder for the times to come when he needed to recall that God was on his side, that he had a good future, and that God himself was with him. God is here with us, also. Jesus, Immanuel, is the fullness of this reality, and may we recall the God-moments in our lives as our own markers: God is with us, God has a great plan for us, and we are blessed to be a blessing!
Monday, July 11, 2011
War and Peace is more than a classic book- it’s a tale that most any family could write from personal experience! Such is the case in this story in the book of Genesis, with prominent characters in our story of faith playing leading roles in a drama that still unfolds to this day. Aside from the fact that God’s plan all works out in the end, we should also take note that the actions of one generation toward the next can help set the stage for long-term effects. With two twin boys, each with very different gifts and talents, we find out that one is a momma’s boy and one is decidedly dad’s favorite. All kinds of calamity will result from this disparity. The disparity is that each child is not affirmed for their uniqueness. We all want to think of ourselves as a person of worth, and giving this affirmation while our children are young helps set the stage for a smoother road in life.
Tuesday, July 5, 2011
Just like Abraham, we wonder what will be the outcome of the next generation, and what can we do to pave the way for them. Abraham desired that his son, Isaac, have a wife of faith. He knew that God would have a hand in the matter, just as in his birth. As the potential wife-to-be, Rebecca had a surprising amount of power and control for such a time and place, in the face of arranged marriages, she had the power to say yes or no. But Rebecca and her family were people of faith, and saw God’s hand in the course of events. Abraham and his family had a huge calling- to be a blessing to the world! Within this blessing and calling, there was still plenty of room for all the characters to have freedom to make decisions and be an active participant in the story. And it was no suffering to submit to this plan! Isaac and Rebecca found a beautiful love from which to build a life together. God’s plan is for us to have life, a life with many blessings!