06 July 2018

This 'n' That

When I sat down yesterday to draft this post, I didn't know what to write. Honestly, it's not been a great week and I'm dreading what today will bring. Some of you may know the details, most of you probably do not. It's been a very stressful few months and just as I was anticipating some things easing up, another shoe dropped. Still, God, in His amazing goodness, offered great encouragement yesterday. As I anticipate today, I am thankful for yesterday which, in the context of this week, was a really good day.

When things blindside us, it's really easy to ask, "Why?" I've done it a lot this week, even knowing the foolishness of doing so. In the end, though, the "why?" doesn't really matter. What does matter is, "How? How am I going to get through this?" and there's only one answer to that: God. He wasn't blindsided and His grace and strength are sufficient to carry us through whatever path He has sovereignly ordained for us to travel.

Once we've established the "how?" we must quickly move on to, "What next?" lest we become paralyzed by our circumstances. This is where I'm thankful for the way God has wired our bodies. The shock and numbness that we can sometimes experience in times of trial are indeed gracious mechanisms granted us by the Lord. It allows us to plow through or jump over each hurdle, make difficult decisions, and even appear strong when inside we feel like a sobbing, helpless child. And we cannot move forward with that "what next?" without prayer. Over the past few days, I've wondered how this circumstance is supposed to help my prayer life, because I find myself unable to pray and not knowing what to say. But God knows that.
In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words; and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. (Romans 8:26-27)
That's a good and gracious God. And in the end, things could always be worse!

So, friends, if you're so inclined, I'd appreciate your prayers in the coming days. In the meantime, it helps to focus on other things, so I've still gathered a few links for you. As we greet this first Friday in July, I hope you enjoy your week in review (kind of):
  • I'm anxious to read this book for myself.
  • While it's true that God works all things for His glory and for the good of those who love Him (cf. Romans 8:28), sometimes the truism of, "This is for your good," becomes a little trite. That's when we need to dig deeper into who God is.
  • I don't think anybody saw this coming. I appreciated Justin Peters' thoughts on the matter.
  • Even the smallest sin is an offense against our holy God.
  • The latest from Willow Creek.
  • Do you trust God with your kids?
  • Here's your weekly dose of adorable.
  • No, the atonement is not "cosmic child abuse."
  • Do you know who Anne Dutton was?
  • This is a good idea because, quite honestly, the men driving the "ice cream trucks" these days are super creepy. There's no way I'd let my child buy ice cream from them!
  • How did I not know about this podcast?
This lovingkindness of the Lord is never removed from His children. To our reason it may appear to be so, yet it never is. Since the believer be in Christ, nothing can separate him from the love of God (Rom 8:39). God has solemnly engaged Himself by covenant, and our sins cannot make it void...The lovingkindness of God toward His people is centered in Christ. Because His exercise of lovingkindness is a covenant engagement it is repeatedly linked to His ‘truth’ (Psa 40:11; 138:2), showing that it proceeds to us by promise. Therefore we should never despair. —A.W. Pink

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