2020 is an example
|“By the breath of God ice is given, and the broad waters are frozen fast.” Job 37:10 ESV Bible verse hand lettering marker sketch.|
Life’s journey includes meeting and passing through unexpected experiences.
Expectations may happen as we plan; yet, out of the blue, we are sometimes surprised! Situations come up without warning, or they may creep in gradually—for obvious or unknown reasons—prompting us to redirect our steps and take a sharp turn.
- power trips to manipulate and control, fear or impose fear by abuse, numb with alcohol, indulge self-pity, self-isolation or mandate isolation, destruction, unfairly punish, blame-shift and inappropriate stubborn ways stemming from immaturity, pride, anger, and selfishness
- prayer, volunteering, creativity, kindness, compassion, helping, encouraging, sorrow, confessing wrong doings/thoughts, repenting, gratitude, and receiving/offering forgiveness are ways to reflect love—not earning—celebrating mercy and salvation in Christ
On Superbowl Sunday I went outside to wander. Leisurely passing time before a social gathering, I remembered Kansas friends who would be cheering for the Chiefs. Fishing is a common sport for food and fun on Minnesota lakes—from shorelines, docks or boats in summertime and through a hole drilled in thick winter ice. What a positive thrill it is to notice the bait nibbled and bit! To successfully reel in the catch requires knowledge and skill; yet, often bait is untouched and sometimes fish get away. Those of us who don’t hunt and fish still enjoy outdoor adventures all year. The day was exceptionally mild for February so I skipped snow boots and put on walking shoes instead. I began to seek nature photography when I spotted a breathtaking scene—the sun beautifully lit a little village of ice fishing houses out on Lake Waconia. Roadways were plowed through the snow to accommodate traffic on the lake. Unknowingly, I crossed a spot where a shack had been parked and accidentally stepped into a slush covered ice fishing hole. Yikes—my leg was suddenly submerged below knee and I was extremely startled!
“God isn’t the cause and source of sin and death. Yet God Himself makes use of the curse of sin—suffering and death—for His good purposes. In doing so, He most often works in a hidden way.” —Matthew Harrison in Does God Will Suffering and Affliction?
Amazingly, there are things to be thankful for during unpredictable hard times. Praise our Creator!
We need the Bible to remind us what lasts and what doesn’t.
“Praise the Lord! For it is good to sing praises to our God; for it is pleasant, and a song of praise is fitting. … He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. … He hurls down his crystals of ice like crumbs; who can stand before his cold?” Psalm 147:1,3,17 ESV
The Bible invites us to look deeply into the troubles of life through eyes that trust in the merciful hope we have in Jesus.
In the light of Christ, freedom to be truthful is enjoyed. Aspects of Christian life may be compared to figure skating choreographed to a theme. Easy? Not at first—it takes practice—it becomes easier, yet requires effort and endurance. Creative, skillful, graceful movements to a dynamic rhythm in musical harmony is observed, learned, practiced, performed, celebrated. This excellence is not self-taught, but beginning the day we are physically delivered into earthly existence until the the day we exit and pass into the next life, we depend on parents and others to teach us about Jesus, support and help us move honestly through life’s physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual challenges. Christians need church in order to belong and remain devoted to God—to join in and participate within a supportive network.
- Listen to a talk titled Elihu Proclaims God’s Majesty
- Watch a great video summary illustration of the book of Job
“The Lord shows He is our Redeemer, despite what we may suffer in this life.” The Lutheran Study Bible on the book of Job
Not all receive the prize. Great
power, justice and pardoning love belong to us only by grace.
Some are waiting for a man-made vaccine, a cure for covid-19, or a variety of things to go their way before they go about living on the terms they perceive as how things should be.
Our Creator provides man with knowledge and means to come up with solutions sometimes, yet this is not always so. We don’t know if the Lord will or won’t provide a vaccine or cure before He returns. We do know He patiently directs our steps as we trust in Him. His broad plan is to bring sinners to the Light and how He accomplishes this is beyond our speculation. God’s goodness is incomprehensibly immeasurable. We either reject His gifts or we respectfully receive them, pray and go about life as the Lord wills.
A team of judges at an Olympic figure skating competition determine who receives the gold metal. On the Last Day, God is the one and only judge for the fallen people he created. He does not regard any who are wise in their own conceit; He rewards sinners who by Christ’s mercy and grace are eventually delivered into an eternal life with Him.
Dear God, replace our pride and fears with courage and Truth. Thank You for supplying Your perfect Son as our Savior and for faith to fully trust Your mercy. Amen.