Saturday, May 17, 2014

Fearless times

memorial bouquet
TODAY'S SPECIAL: Psalm 31:14-24

"But as for me, I trust in You, O Lord; I say, 'You are my God! My times are in Your hand.'" Psalm 31:14,15a

On one day about a month ago I witnessed two funerals. One was the state funeral of the former Canadian Finance Minister, Jim Flaherty. He died suddenly and unexpectedly of a heart attack less than a month after resigning from his finance minister duties. He was 64.

The evening of that same day I and my husband attended the funeral of a friend from church, a loving family man, enthusiastic and energetic gardener, gregarious, joy-filled child of God. Lack of appetite and weight loss had sent him to his doctor in January. By early April an aggressive cancer had taken his life. He was 64.

At such times our conversations are often full of expressions like, "His life was cut short," "He went before his time," "He had so much more life to live." Sentiments like this are even more common when the one who dies is a youth or child. The world treats these no-sense deaths like a cosmic "Oops." The way Christians talk could lead the listener to suspect we too believe such deaths are circumstances that have slipped out of God's control for a minute.

Here David in one breath tells God he trusts Him and in the next voices the certainty his times are in God's hands.

[Times - eth means time of an event; usual time; experiences and fortunes; occurrence, occasion.]

As I see it, saying that one's times are in God's hands pretty much includes everything: the things that happen and their timing; the time—in years, days, hours, minutes, seconds—that one has left on earth; one's experiences and fortunes; and what happens on any given occasion.

I ask myself, can I say with David that I trust God and believe my times and the times of my loved ones are in His hands? Do I believe that, even when events are painful and seem random and meaningless?

When we include the fact of God's love in this thought, it becomes more palatable. For not only is God sovereign—in charge of our times—but He is also love:
"And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love and he who abides in love abides in God and God in Him. … There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear" - 1 John 4:16,18.

It's as we trust God's love for us in the midst of our times (held safe in His hand)  that we can live without fear of what will happen next to us and those we love.

PRAYER: Dear God, help me to live without fear as I entrust my times into Your loving hands. Amen.

Unless otherwise noted all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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