Monday, February 15, 2016

NO HURRY

     Are you toe tapping, breathing deeply and rolling your eyes when a friend does not show up on time... or are you the late friend hustling to keep the appointment? I once read an article in which a man in an eastern culture accused a westerner of worshiping idols. The American denied it. The African insisted. He said, "I watch you. When you enter a room you search until you find it." The idol was a clock.

     Perhaps not so much in Central or South America, but in North America, it's true. This part of the west is concerned about time. One of the first things the Lord showed me as I started this journey was that there is a perfect balance in Him. We do need schedules to get things accomplished. We also need to be able to let go and trust Him when unforeseen events come along.  

     A second lesson I learned early on was that the enemy will push for a quick decision. Father God is patient. He gives us opportunity to understand. As a new believer I prayed, "Lord, I love You and I will serve you, but I need friends." I'd hardly finished praying when the phone rang. It was an invitation to a party. Wow! That fast! He answered! It was not God. We had fun. I enjoyed the evening, but godly fellowship it was not.

     Solomon who placed first in wisdom, said, "To everything there
 is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven." (Ecclesiastes 3:1 NKJV) and God's timing is perfect. A microwave will cook fast, but can't produce the flavour of a marinade.In Psalm 31:5 David said, "My times are in Your hand." (NKJV) To step back, pray and consider what is involved may give a perspective not possible with a quick decision.


     Isaiah speaks of Christ as our Counselor (Isaiah 9:6) and who better? The One who knows the end from the beginning and wants nothing less than the best for everyone would never steer us wrong. No need to run ahead or lag behind. We can step out of the time struggle and rest in Him. 

     

Monday, February 1, 2016

HOW MUCH?

     How much do we need to be happy in this life? I've just returned with friends from a few days in Central America visiting with some of the poorest of the poor in that land. In the busy urban centre when we asked people if they had a need we could pray for, some asked for healing or family concerns or a good job.

     In a remote neighbourhood we came to the home of a man who lived with almost nothing. I doubt that the covering over his shelter would keep him dry through the rainy season. Under a single grate supported by bricks he had built a fire for cooking. We asked if there was something he would like us to pray about. There was nothing. 

     He was as delighted to show us his Bible as someone of wealth might be with a valuable work of art, and his joy may well have been greater. Perhaps at some time he'd lived in more comfortable circumstances. He didn't say, but one day he will move into a place the Lord Jesus is preparing for him that will surpass anything he could ever imagine.

     We walked up a muddy road from his home to a church where believers were gathering to worship before dark. No complaints about the setting of the air conditioner. The structure was open air. And hearts were open to worship God and share His goodness with one another.

     The Apostle Paul said he'd learned to be content whether he had plenty of this world's goods or little. (Philippians 4:11) It was never Father God's plan for any of His children to be in want. David knew God was pleased to see His children prosper. (Psalm 35:27) John encouraged Christ's followers to pay attention to the well-being of their souls assuring us that prosperity and physical health are related to our thinking, choices and attitudes. (III John 2)

      With so many turning their backs on God, Satan has access to rob mankind. Many suffer through no fault of their own. They contend with circumstances that have developed from events and decisions of others. Our Lord is willing and able to help us as we recognize the enemy's lies and choose to receive what Father God has provided and offers.

     Even while we are coming to realize and obtain our spiritual and natural inheritance, we can have joy. Can possessions without loving relationships satisfy? To know God loves each one and can supply every need, to have caring fellowship with others who serve Him... both the gentleman in the rain forest and the believer living in relative comfort are blessed.