Let Not Your Heart Be Troubled

Good morning. It’s Thursday, July 5, 2012. Gotta make this quick today, because I’m going to work at 8am, since we had a holiday yesterday. The holiday took a tragic turn when we had to put our beloved cat, Midnight, to sleep yesterday. It’s possible she had some kind of stroke or seizure, or maybe even cardiac arrest. She was pretty old, though, and had a thyroid disease. We were pretty sure this day was imminent, anyway.

Midnight (1997-2012)

Today is “National Graham Cracker Day.” I just might have some of those somewhere.

It was on this date in 1921 that the Chicago White Sox were accused of throwing the World Series. The infamous “Black Sox” scandal named players such as the great “Shoeless” Joe Jackson, Buck Weaver, and Eddie Cicotte. Jackson, however, had the best batting average of either team in the series, so it’s unlikely that he participated. Nevertheless, he, and all others implicated in the scandal, even though acquitted by a jury, were banned by newly hired baseball commissioner, Kenesaw Mountain Landis. It was one of the saddest days in baseball history.
On this date in 1954, Elvis Presley recorded “That’s All Right (Mama).”

Our lunch yesterday was delicious, and we had a very nice visit with Rachel and Justin. Stephanie and I got in our workout, while Rachel and Christi attended to the unpleasant task mentioned at the beginning of today’s entry. We thought it would be good to get Stephanie to the gym to keep her mind off of Midnight. The great thing is, even thought today feels like Monday, there are only two more work days until the weekend. It’s kind of like having two Fridays in the same week!

Father, I pray for some inspiration today that would help me live this day in the shadow of your grace. Create in me a clean heart, O God…

Today, I’m reading Psalm 35. In this one, David prays for vindication against his enemies.
Contend, O LORD, with those who contend with me;
fight against those who fight against me!

Let them be put to shame and dishonor who seek after my life!
Let them be turned back and disappointed who devise evil against me!

He speaks of the unfairness in the way he was treated as people for whom he wore sackcloth and fasted when they were afflicted rise up and malign him, rejoicing at his stumbling. (11-16) But in verse 18, he still insists that he will publicly praise the Lord.
I will thank you in the great congregation;
in the mighty throng I will praise you.

I believe we see from this that it is okay to ask the Lord to vindicate us; it is fine to pray for the Lord to avenge wrongdoing against us. I suggest, however, that we be very cautious with our motives.

My Utmost For His Highest

Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him, and he will act. Psalm 37:5

Today’s reading pretty much takes up where yesterday’s left off. It’s called “Don’t Calculate Without God.” Chambers notes that it almost seems as if God takes delight in upsetting the plans we have made without taking him into account. We don’t really believe this, of course; I don’t think God would delight in upsetting us. But sometimes, it’s as if he chuckles at our plans and then says, “Just watch this…” “We get into circumstances which were not chosen by God, and suddenly we find we have been calculating without God; He has not entered in as a living factor. The one thing that keeps us from the possibility of worrying is bringing God in as the greatest factor in all our calculations.”
We always say we put God first, especially in our “religious” activities, but when it comes to our personal lives, it’s a different story. We must come to God as we are, every day, with the practical things of life.
Chambers makes a bold statement: “You cannot lay up for a rainy day if you are trusting Jesus Christ.” Jesus told us, “Let not your heart be troubled…” That was a command. “Haul yourself up a hundred and one times a day in order to do it, until you get into the habit of putting God first and calculating with Him in view.”

Father, I pray that I will always put you first in life…not just in matters of religion. Help me to always calculate with you in mind, not with the “rainy day” in view, nor with the idea of the evil that may happen in view. You should be first in mind, and you should be first in our plans and calculations. I commit to let not my heart be troubled; I commit to not fretting. Forgive me when I do, and nudge me with your Spirit when I begin to fret over anything. Whatever will be, will be…that much is true. I cannot alter one inch of what will come by fretting. Let that be the thing that I live by today.

I pray for this day, Lord, quickly, as it is time to go. I pray for Christi today, that she will continue feeling better. Comfort us in the loss of our family pet. Some think it silly that we grow so attached to an animal, but, nevertheless, we do. Especially, I pray for Stephanie today, as she will be at home with the memories. May she take comfort in your Spirit, as well as with her other cat, Honey. Bring her great peace today, Lord.

I will continue my prayers on the trip to work this morning. Take comfort in knowing that God has his hand on all things in your life. Do not fret; let not your heart be troubled.

Grace and peace, friends.