Mudslides – Part Two

I waited patiently for the Lord to help me,
    and he turned to me and heard my cry.
He lifted me out of the pit of despair,
    out of the mud and the mire.
He set my feet on solid ground
    and steadied me as I walked along.
Psalm 40:1-2

My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness
I dare not trust the sweetest frame
But wholly lean on Jesus’ name.

On Christ, the solid rock, I stand
All other ground is sinking sand
All other ground is sinking sand.
“The Solid Ground”

 


 

 

MUDSLIDESWe’re exploring mudslides of a personal nature.

Here are five testimonies.

Moses said to God, ‘Why are you treating me this way? Why dump the responsibility of this people on me?  I can’t do this by myself—it’s too much, all these people. If this is how you intend to treat me, do me a favor and kill me. I’ve seen enough; I’ve had enough. Let me out of here’.”

When Queen Jezebel heard what Elijah had done, she sent this message to Elijah: ‘You killed my prophets, and now I swear by the gods that I am going to kill you by this time tomorrow night.’ So Elijah fled for his life. He went into the wilderness, traveling all day, and sat down under a broom bush and prayed that he might die. ‘I’ve had enough,’ he told the Lord. ‘Take away my life. I’ve got to die sometime, and it might as well be now,’ Then he lay down and slept beneath the broom bush.”

This is Job. “If my misery could be weighed, if you could pile the whole bitter load on the scales, It would be heavier than all the sand of the sea! Is it any wonder that I’m screaming like a caged cat? Let God step on me—squash me like a bug, and be done with me for good.
Where’s the strength to keep my hopes up? What future do I have to keep me going? Do you think I have nerves of steel? Do you think I’m made of iron? Do you think I can pull myself up by my bootstraps?

Here’s Jeremiah. “Let the day my mother bore me be cursed. Let my birth notice be blacked out, deleted from the records, Why did I ever leave that womb? Life’s been nothing but trouble and tears, and what’s coming is more of the same.”

Lastly, consider David. “I’ve had my fill of trouble; I’m camped on the edge of hell. I’m written off as a lost cause, one more statistic, a hopeless case. Abandoned as already dead, one more body in a stack of corpses, And not so much as a gravestone—I’m a black hole in oblivion.

 

A cancer victim joins a group of survivors. She hears the stories of those who have also experienced the mudslide of cancer. Gradually, she is both comforted, encouraged and motivated. She is not alone!

 So it is with us. We’re not alone!

More about that next time.

Christ and creation—Jesus: the tool of construction

Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God. (1 Corinthians 1:24)

In the last post in this series, we learned that whereas the Father “is the ultimate source of all things,” Jesus is the Father’s construction agent. The obvious next question is: how did Jesus do it? How exactly did He construct the cosmos? What did He use to get the job done? The answer is simple but exceedingly profound.

God is the One Who used His power and made the earth. He used His wisdom and built the world” (Jeremiah 10:12). The foundation of what IS … is God’s power and wisdom. I suspect that you understand the word “power.” Remember Hiroshima and Nagasaki? However, the word “wisdom” is a bit more difficult to grasp, especially from the Hebrew perspective. We’re more acquainted with “knowledge,” the accumulation of facts and figures.

So, check this out: “Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘I have specifically chosen Bezalel. I have giving him great wisdom, ability, and expertise in all kinds of crafts. He is able to design pieces to be made from gold, silver, and bronze, to cut jewels and put them in metal, to carve wood, and to do all kinds of work. He’s a master at every craft!’” Bezalel’s profile captures the meaning of wisdom. Get the point?

Now, here’s profundity—“Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God.” As Father’s construction agent, Jesus himself is God’s power and wisdom at work in building and sustaining the universe. Just as the Sistine Chapel is a display of Michelangelo, the Creation is a grand display of Jesus! The material world is jam packed with His power and wisdom!

mandarin duckMeister Eckhart said: “Every creature is a word of God.” Here’s an illustration: a mandarin duck. What you observe in design and coloration is a display of Jesus, the Word! Perhaps we should learn to utter this simple prayer of Michelangelo: “Lord, make me see Thy glory in every place.”