Tuesday, April 26, 2011

He has Risen!

"How sweet to hold a newborn baby,
and feel the pride and joy he gives;
But greater still the calm assurance:
This child can face uncertain days because He lives!"
-Because He Lives by Bill Gaither

My husband, daughter and I celebrated Easter with both of our families this year.  It was a sweet and precious time, especially Sunday morning.  We dressed her up in a beautiful yellow dress and an Easter bonnet and took her to church with my husband's parents.  I missed the majority of the service since my daughter is at the age where she still needs to nurse frequently (and she likes to chatter!) but I did come back into the sanctuary with her for the closing hymn, which was this song.  I hadn't sang it in years and this verse held new meaning to me as a mother.  As I'm sure I have expressed before, I am a worrier.  With everything going on the world today, I often wonder what life is going to be like for my daughter as she grows older.  It can manifest itself in worrying about her physical health, adolescence, her spiritual life...you name it!  As we sang this verse in church on Sunday, I looked at my daughter laying in her grandmother's arms and was reassured.  God is not dead...far from it!  He is sovereign and working all things for His glory and praise, even if I don't understand it.  And because He sent Jesus to die for the sins of the world and rise again, I can have hope that my daughter can experience God's forgiveness and hope for a future with Him .  It is my prayer that my daughter will come to know that hope at an early age so that she can face uncertainty knowing that God is still working and that "all things work together for the good to those who love God." (Romans 8:28). 

Saturday, April 16, 2011

This Weekend's Musing

"The descent to hell is easy, and those who begin by worshipping power soon worship evil."
-C.S. Lewis, The Allegory of Love

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Fear of Man and Its Consequences

"He (Saul) waited seven days, the time appointed by Samuel; but Samuel did not come to Gilgal, and the people began to slip away from Saul.  So Saul said, "Bring the burnt offering here to me..."  And he offered the burnt offering.  As soon as he finished offering the burnt offering, Samuel arrived..."
-1 Samuel 13:8-10, emphasis mine

I've read this Bible passage multiple times, but this morning that little phrase, "and the people began to slip away from Saul", really jumped out at me.  In this passage, Saul, who has just been appointed king over Israel,  is waiting for the prophet Samuel to come to Gilgal and offer sacrifices to God.  They are in the midst of a battle with their enemies the Philistines, and it's pretty intense.  People are hiding in caves and tombs (see 1 Samuel 13:6).  The people are afraid and Saul really wants to hear from God on how to go about winning this battle.  As he is waiting for Samuel, seven days go by.  Samuel is still not there, and that's when we see the people begin to "slip away" from Saul.  So Saul does something rash.  He offers the sacrifices himself.  And as soon as he is done, Samuel arrives.  Saul explains to him what happened and Samuel says, "You have done foolishly; you have not kept the commandment of the Lord your God, which he had commanded you...now your kingdom will not continue" (vs. 13-14).  Ouch.

Whenever I read this story, I used to think Saul was pretty stupid.  He should've just ignored the people and waited for Samuel like he was supposed to.  Today, though, I empathize with him.  He was a new king and as he saw people slipping away from him and doubting him, he went ahead and sacrificed anyway.  I got to thinking about how many times I've done that in my own life.  I've heard God give me specific instructions about a situation or a sin pattern in my life, but because I fear what people think of me, I either ignore it or try and jump ahead of what God plans for me.  And it always turns out badly, as it did for Saul.  Today I asked for forgiveness and I'm definitely going to attempt to keep this story in my mind as I try to follow Christ.  I don't want to trade what I think is a "good reputation" or how I think I "should" act or speak for a close walk with God and obedience to Him.  In the end, all of my "kingdoms" will pass away, but my relationship with Him stands forever.  Why not give all of my life to Him?

Saturday, April 2, 2011

This Weekend's Musing

"Virtue-even attempted virtue-brings light; indulgence brings fog."
-C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity