Friday, March 23, 2012

Watery test

TODAY'S SPECIAL: Hebrews 4:14-5:10

TO CHEW ON: "For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.
Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need." Hebrews 4:15,16

I am, at the time of writing this (February 9, 2012), going through a "temptation."

[Tempted - peirazo: To explore, test, try, assay, examine, prove, attempt, tempt. The word describes the testing of the believer's loyalty, strength, opinions, disposition, condition, faith, patience, and character. Peirazo determines which way one is going and what one is made of" - Dick Mills, "Word Wealth," New Spirit-Filled Life Bible, p. 1820.] (Emphasis added.)

You see, yesterday the water main that supplies water to our townhouse complex burst at a point right beside our unit. By the time we noticed it, water was already pouring into our storage area and the downstairs den.

Today we are using precious water from a store-bought jug to take sponge baths and make coffee while waiting for the plumbers to do something about the water and a restoration company to cart away our stuff so they can rip up wrecked flooring, decontaminate, and fix. Life won't be back to normal for weeks. It doesn't help that this is the second time this has happened.

My default is to feel sorry for myself and whine, even though I know that in the scheme of things, this is peanuts. People are losing their houses due to floods, fires, storms and accidents all the time and generally facing far worse in the "test" department.

And so it is a comfort to read that Jesus was "tempted" in all the ways that we are - Hebrews 4:15. Whether the temptation/test is little or big Hebrews 4:16, is also significant. Because it tells us that because Jesus was tempted/tested as we are, we can count on His understanding us in our temptation. It follows ("Therefore...") that we can "come boldly to the throne of grace" for help."

"Come boldly," writes my Bible's commenter, "literally means 'without reservation, with frankness, with full and open speech.' We approach a throne of grace obtaining mercy for the past and grace for the present and future" - Guy P. Duffield commentary on Hebrews, New Spirit-Filled Life Bible, p. 1734.

I love that invitation to come "without reservation and with full and open speech." No request is too big or too small. God is big enough for me to pound His chest in my frustration over my relatively small problem.

A double-duty of such tests is the way they show us (me, at least) how far we still have to go to reach maturity. It's easy to talk about trusting God and having a good attitude when things are going well, but quite another thing to live these things when life goes sideways.

I need mercy for the way I've reacted to this and other tests, and grace to be sweet and unruffled today as I trust God in my present circumstances, and tomorrow, for whatever that will bring.

PRAYER: Dear God, thank You for understanding me and for inviting me to bring the stresses of life to You. I bring to You the situation in my home. I need grace for whatever this day holds. Amen.

MORE: Whatever Comes - Brian Doerksen




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