Thursday, March 4, 2010

Mid-Day Devotion 3/4/10

Joseph the Carpenter, Georges de la Tour, 1645

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.”
Isaiah 55:8-9

If there is a God…

If there is a God and He is so good, if He is so righteous then why does He let bad things happen to good people? Why does He let so much suffering and sorrow occur? Why is there so much hardship in this world? Why is there so much pain and difficulty? Why are there always challenges before us as we struggle to overcome them? If there was a God, a just God, then wouldn’t this world be perhaps even just a little bit better because of it? Wouldn’t it be just that much better because of Him?

How many times have we heard questions like that as people have, in looking around at the world as it is, struggled to see God in it?

Inescapable is the fact that we live amidst a hard, harsh world, so prone to cruelty and suffering. There is proof of it all around us as we find that our capacity for compassion and love is tested by the ongoing turmoil of everything around us. After, how could it not? There is a brutal, bitter captivity that seems to surround this corporeal plane as we see families living in destitution, forced to choose between food or shelter for their children, as disease claims on life after another, withering away at the body and the minds of the people as they find that their lives are drawn to a painful halt. In the far reaches of our society captivity and bondage become such an easy game to play as the innocent are ripped from their lives and held hostage, as slavery still seems to lift its ugly head, leaving us to wonder if we are any the more civilized as a people as it seems to persist regardless of how much we have struggled against it.

Families are torn apart, life is held to be cheap, flesh is bought and sold, and we are left with this lingering feeling as we wonder to ourselves where could God be in all of this?

We yearn for His truth and for His righteousness, we long to see His face as His hand is lifted for the cause of those who suffer amidst the abiding struggles of this world. Yet, the more time that passes, the more it seems that anguish and agony have won the day the harder it becomes to see God in all of this as we try so hard, as we struggle so deeply, wishing for an end to the trials and tribulations of this age.

Yet, for as much as we may wish as we abide in a world so prone to sin and iniquity, so much subjugation and oppression, whether of the body or the mind, the spirit or the soul, God’s ways are not are ways, nor does He always reveal Himself in the ways that we want Him to reveal Himself. Our own ransom from the bitter captivity to sin, death and the devil reveals that unto us in the most apparent of ways in our lives.

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)

Even while we were lost to our transgressions, even s the old adversary, roaring like a lion, sought to devour our souls, laying waste to our spirits, it was through God that we were set free from the dark, grim hold that would have otherwise forever separated us from the love of the everlasting. In the most unlikely of ways, God revealed His grace and His mercy unto us as only He could in a manner that defied reason as finally we were brought to the light of His compassion through Christ Jesus.

Through one man true liberty, abiding and transcending, was brought into this world as our captivity was set to flight, no longer to ensnare us in the slavery to the Devil. Though sorrow so easily followed us and there seemed like there would always be hopelessness where we had thought there might be hope, peace was proclaimed in our lives as the true son of God and the true son of man died for our sins and triumphed over the grave. The child of a carpenter and a poor girl with so little that it confounded them that God would bestow so much grace unto them that the long awaited Messiah would be carried in womb of Mary rather than a rich or a priestly family with so much more to offer unto him, it baffled them and defied reason.

But then God’s ways are not our ways and His thoughts are not our thoughts…

In the most unlikely of ways, in the most unlikely of circumstances He showed that unto us in the transcending, encompassing mercy that He brought to bear in this world.

If this then is the miracle of God’s love unto us then how much more should we then trust that He is there amidst all of the challenges and the trials of this temporal existence, showing forth His transcending, encompassing love in all that we see and all that we face.

Yes, it may seem as if God is far distant at times or like He is far removed from the trials and the challenges that we face amidst this world, it may even make us wonder where He could be in times such as these. The answer though is as it always has remained, He is there for His children, contending with their cause, struggling for them in this world of sin and iniquity, ensuring that though pain and suffering, sorrow and agony may come they are comforted in the blessed hope of His transcending love that nothing will be able to separate them from Him.

Yes, that may be hard, it may defy reason in our mind as we are left wondering about the things of this world. That though is the way that God works, confounding the wisdom of the wise and putting to flight the understanding of this temporal existence as He shows unto us that He truly is the Lord and God of all.

Let not the blindness then caused by this world separate you from the love of God as you find that it is harder and harsher than anything you could have otherwise imagined. Instead know that there is a loving Heavenly Father moving through the course of all things, in all things to make His will known. It may not be seen by us at first, it may not be known by us at first, but, with the passage of time, it will be made clear unto us as His mercy is made manifest in this world in the lives of those who are the most in need. Then shall all questions be put aside as we come to know the transcending love of the Lord in our lives.

Lord, grant this blessed understanding unto us all…

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost, Amen.

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