Saturday, February 28, 2009

Deuteronomy 7:17-26, Psalms 30 & 32, Titus 3:1-15, John 1:43-51

“What gain is there in my destruction, in
my going down into the pit?

Will the dust praise you? Will it proclaim
your faithfulness?” (Psalm 30:9.)

Many years ago, I watched helplessly as my father was struck with
three major health crises in the period of a few months. The strongest
and smartest man I knew was suddenly weak and helpless and at
the mercy of the medical professionals around him. As time went
on, it became clear that, while he would heal to a certain degree, a
part of him had “died” and would not return. It seemed so unfair
that someone who had served his family, his church, and his community
with such devotion should be put through so much pain and
suffer so much loss. What could possibly be the point?

As time went on, it became clear that this was not a one-time
“lesson” intended to make a point, but rather another event in the
ongoing life of a man with so much to give. Despite limited mobility
and endurance, he continues to serve his community through
supporting an ESL class, serving on the City Council, and leading
his church through membership on its governing board. Oh, and
he’s the best grandfather in the world! God really had no lesson for
him that he didn’t already know – bad and painful things happen to
all of us, but only God decides when we’ve had enough. We cannot
serve God if we focus on our pain and loss, but we can serve him
by utilizing our experiences, both good and bad, to shape the way
we serve others and to glorify God on earth.

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