Loving God

safe in the arms

Once again I am thinking about the prayer from the New Zealand Prayer Book. There is one phrase that has had me thinking for quite a while. I suspect that I will keep on thinking about it.

“Loving God in whom is heaven”

What a unique way to see heaven. Not as streets lined with gold or some other image that we might conjure up….but God himself/herself. In God is heaven. Being drawn into God to become part of all creation. I love that idea.

I am sure there are other ways to interpret this phrase but that is the one I am pondering now.

True wisdom

I feel so blessed because I have had God in my life since I was old enough to talk about it. My grandmother was an example of how to follow Christ. She rested for a short while every day after lunch and read her Bible. She prayed every morning and every night. She loved and cared for other people. She and my grandfather lived with us and I learned so much from her. Her wisdom was such a gift.

wisdom 2

This excerpt from Proverbs 3 sums up her life

The True Wealth

13 Happy are those who find wisdom,
    and those who get understanding,
14 for her income is better than silver,
    and her revenue better than gold.
15 She is more precious than jewels,
    and nothing you desire can compare with her.
16 Long life is in her right hand;
    in her left hand are riches and honor.
17 Her ways are ways of pleasantness,
    and all her paths are peace.
18 She is a tree of life to those who lay hold of her;
    those who hold her fast are called happy.

Hard Times

answered-prayers-400x

We can have hard times in our lives. I’m sure this is one of them for many of us. When this happens we rely on the strength we can count on. The strength God supplies for us. One version of The Lord’s Prayer in the New Zealand Prayer Book makes it very clear that God is there for us. This is just an excerpt.

 

With the bread we need for today, feed us.
In the hurts we absorb from one another, forgive us.
In times of temptation and test, strengthen us.
From trials too great to endure, spare us.
From the grip of all that is evil, free us.

For you reign in the glory of the power that is love,
now and for ever.    Amen.

I use that prayer at at night along my personal prayers. Right now the line  From trials too great to endure, spare us speaks to clearly to me. God knows there are hard times and is there for us every second. Just call on God.

God can help us to see behind the bad

Sometimes we seem to be handed one problem after the other. People often say that problems come in threes. Sometimes there are more than that. Handling things that set us back can be anywhere from distressing to heartbreaking.

After many things go wrong we and feel defeated. After they have long passed we may begin to see them differently. Somewhere in the midst of it there may have been a grain of good. Somehow a secret blessing may be found in all the bad.

hope 3

I think God helps us to find those blessings hidden in the things we go through. He somehow turns our eyes in a different direction and points lets us see from a different perspective. Sometimes trials can bring blessings.

It is a decision

I-Believe-In-GodDuring this time where we all are living differently than usual there may be many questions we would like to ask God.

Why did this happen?

Did you let it happen?

What kind of God would do this?

Is this punishment for our sins?

Some people will give answers depending on their point of view. Some people may decide that if this is the kind of God we have they don’t want it. Some people will blame God. Some people will blame themselves or others.

This is a theological conundrum.

The truth is the answer is a matter of faith. It is, mostly, in your image or idea about God. No one can prove any answer. Answers need belief not proof.

Bad things happen to good and bad people. It has been that way from the beginning of life. You have to decide what that means to you and how you will move forward with what you believe.

God loves

This time out of time has really been a test. We have all learned things. Some we never wanted to know and some that moved us forward on our journey with God.  God didn’t bring this virus but we have all moved through it in whatever way we could. It has been harder for some than others. Loved ones have been lost. Many are grieving. But through it all God has been present. His loving arms have reached out to us. His peace has been offered. All we had to do was to cling on to him.

As this state of the crisis moves on we will experience new things both good and bad. God wants us to have learned from this. Our life is his. His love holds us always.

the-bible-offers-three-metaphors-that-teach-us-gods-view-of-life

Her value is beyond words

I was blessed with a mother, a special aunt and amazing grandmother. This verse from proverbs sums up their lives.

happy-mothers-day-quotesThe True Wealth

Proverbs 3:13-18

13 Happy are those who find wisdom,
    and those who get understanding,
14 for her income is better than silver,
    and her revenue better than gold.
15 She is more precious than jewels,
    and nothing you desire can compare with her.
16 Long life is in her right hand;
    in her left hand are riches and honor.
17 Her ways are ways of pleasantness,
    and all her paths are peace.
18 She is a tree of life to those who lay hold of her;
    those who hold her fast are called happy.

God wants us to understand

I have heard that some evangelists are using this crisis to say that it is God’s wrath coming down on us for our evil ways. Well, there is one thing for sure. There are plenty of evil ways out there and have been since the beginning. Unfortunately mankind has not changed much over the centuries. There are still people who believe in doing good and people who don’t.  In reality I believe that most people fall between the two. Some more on the good side and some on the bad.

The Bible tells us that we should strive always for the good. It also tells us that God is loving…he loves each and every one of us. He wants the best for us. He told us clearly in this passage from John

John 3:16-17

“For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.

17 “Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.

Our God is a loving God. He did not send a pandemic but I’m sure he hopes we will learn from it. I reminded me of this song from my era. God asks”When will they ever learn?”