Sunday, January 01, 2012

Will you trust in 2012?


TODAY'S SPECIAL: Ecclesiastes 3:1-15

TO CHEW ON: "God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God's work from beginning to end" - Ecclesiastes 3:11 NLT

In the last little while I have been reading A Second Cup of Hot Apple Cider. The book (an anthology of writings by members of the The Word Guild) contains many first-person stories of difficulty, crisis, and just plain hard stuff.

One woman's three-year-old son dies unexpectedly just after being given a clean bill of health for a chronic illness. A mom of young kids gets a diagnosis of liver cancer. A businesswoman suffers a stroke at age 36. Another mom's 22-year-old son leaves home and hasn't been heard from since. So much pain! How can the wise man possibly say, "He has made everything beautiful..."?

Yet even in all the pain of these stories, each teller does come out with something beautiful. For example, the mother who loses her three-year-old says, "Not everyone loses a child, but at some point in our lives, most of us face something that devastates us ... We will grieve but we don't have to endure a life of continuous sorrow. 'God is close to the broken-hearted and He rescues those of us who are crushed in spirit' - Psalm 34:18. I don't know how He does it, but I've experienced it for myself" - Evangeline Inman, "Live Life to the Full," A Second Cup of Hot Apple Cider, p. 63.

We know we too will face a variety of things in the year ahead. We anticipate the good stuff—babies being born, graduations, weddings, anniversaries, vacations. However, chances are good 2012 will also hold some hard stuff—storms, accidents, illnesses, deaths... Will we continue to trust God, and believe that He knows what He's doing when He allows these into our lives?

The old Bible commenter explains it well:
"God has made everything, as all things in creation are made by Him, for His pleasure and glory, and all well and wise. There is a beauty in them all. So all things in providence. He upholds all things. He governs and orders all things according to the counsel of His will .... Times of plucking up and breaking down, of weeping and mourning, of losing and casting away are all necessary and seasonable and beautiful .... All His judgments will be, when made manifest ... like a piece of tapestry. When only viewed in parts no beauty appears in it. But when all is put together it is most beautiful and harmonious" - Excerpts from Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible on Ecclesiastes 3:11 (emphasis added).

PRAYER: Dear God, help me to trust You implicitly as You oversee the weaving of my life's tapestry in 2012. Amen.

MORE: "Do I Trust You Lord?" by Twila Paris

Today the church celebrates the Feast of the Holy Name of Jesus. The liturgy for this day begins with this collect:
"Eternal Father, you gave to your incarnate Son the holy name of Jesus to be the sign of our salvation: Plant in every heart, we pray, the love of him who is the Savior of the world, our Lord Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, in glory everlasting. Amen."

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