Good morning. It’s Monday, August 27, 2012. Today is “Just Because Day.” I like that. It’s a good day to do something nice without a reason. Just because.
On this date in 1883, Krakatau erupted. It was the largest volcanic eruption in recorded history. “Heard 3,000 miles away, the explosions threw five cubic miles of earth 50 miles into the air, created 120-foot tsunamis and killed 36,000 people.”
On this date in 1953, the movie Roman Holiday opened, Audrey Hepburn’s first starring role.
On this date in 1967, Beatles manager Brian Epstein died of an accidental drug overdose. He was 32.
And on this date in 1982, Rickey Henderson stole his 119th base of the season, breaking Lou Brock’s record for stolen bases in a season.
We had a nice day yesterday. Our worship celebration was good, after which, we enjoyed lunch with some friends, then had a nice rest in the afternoon. Christi wasn’t feeling great, so she took a nap, then Stephanie and I went back up to church for the Sunday night prayer meeting. Christi’s hip seems to be hurting a little worse this morning, though. We’re still not sure when the MRI is going to happen. We’re experiencing issues with the insurance company.
Father, I pray that you show me something of yourself this morning that will keep me in an attitude of prayer and worship all throughout this day.
Today, I’m reading Psalm 88. This Psalm is of the “sons of Korah.” It begins with a plea to the Lord to hear my prayer.
O LORD, God of my salvation; I cry out day and night before you.
Let my prayer come before you; incline your ear to my cry! (1-2)
What follows is a description of how the psalmist feels in his current circumstances.
For my soul is full of troubles, and my life draws near to Sheol.
I am counted among those who go down to the pit; I am a man who has no strength,
like one set loose among the dead, like the slain that lie in the grave, like those whom you remember no more, for they are cut off from your hand.
You have put me in the depths of the pit, in the regions dark and deep.
Your wrath lies heavy upon me, and you overwhelm me with all your waves. (3-7)
It continues like that for most of the psalm. But, even though there appears to be a lack of hope in this one (and who among us has not felt this way at some point in their lives?), in verse 13, the psalmist states the key to the entire passage.
But I, O LORD, cry to you; in the morning my prayer comes before you.
Even in the midst of what may be the worst circumstances the psalmist has ever experienced, he cries out to the Lord, who is the only one who can give him hope.
My Utmost For His Highest
Walk while you have the light, lest darkness overtake you. John 12:35
“Beware of not acting upon what you see in your moments on the mount with God.” Oh, yes. “If you do not obey the light, it will turn into darkness.” I remember a time in my life when this was true. I won’t go into the details right now, but know this…I distinctly remember a high point in my life when the Lord impressed upon me to do a thing, and I did not do it. I wonder what would have happened… But you know, that wonder is pointless. As “they” say, “It is what it is.” I am where I am, now, and, praise God, he gives second chances! But I can speak from experience, and encourage you…when you get on that mountaintop, and you hear the Lord instructing you, by all means, do it! Don’t let the light that you have received turn into “dry rot in your spiritual life.”
“The most difficult person to deal with is the one who has the smug satisfaction of an experience to which he can refer back, but who is not working it out in practical life.” The genuine experience works itself out, “IRL.” (That’s “in real life” in text-speak.)
“Theology must work itself out in the most practical relationships.” Remember, Jesus said that our righteousness must exceed that of the scribes and Pharisees. It doesn’t matter how much I know about the doctrine of sanctification; if I am not “running it out into the practical issues of my life,” all of the knowledge is worthless. Here is an interesting statement: “Every bit of your life physical, moral and spiritual, is to be judged by the standard of the Atonement.” Does that seem too high a standard? But it is the only standard. Any other standard is too low.
Father, I thank you that you give second chances. And third chances, even fourth and fifth chances. In fact, you give your children a lifetime of chances. After all, you have told us that we must forgive each other “seventy times seven” times. Would you, yourself, do any less? I have long confessed, repented, and gotten over that incident back in 1984. And today, I am, I believe, “higher” than I have ever been. This is not a boast, other than to boast in your almighty, magnificent power. I have nothing in which to boast, for I have done nothing but be obedient, and even the ability to do that came from you, Lord. You are gracious, Father, and, as I keep saying, I don’t want to mess this up. You have given me a “new” ministry (I still hope that the previous one is not over), and I will obey what I hear on the mountaintops. Prayer has become a priority to me. When I was on the mountaintop, you whispered in my ear that you want me to pray for the saints, as well as for those who are in need of something crucial in their lives. You desired for me to enter into a season of intercessory prayer. Since that time, this has grown, and I ask that it grow some more. It has become a great pleasure for me to lift up prayers for people, both that I know, and that I don’t know. I praise you for this opportunity, and entreat you to keep it going in my life. May the power of your Spirit continue to affect me as you teach me. I pray that this “light” that you have given me will not be allowed to turn into “darkness.”
I pray for this day, Father. I pray that Christi’s pain continue to be relieved. I ask you to keep her from overdoing today, as she plans to go back to work. I pray for healing, as I continue to ask all who read this to pray the same. I also pray that the merger of her company will not have a negative effect on us, but, rather, be something that benefits and prospers us. I pray for my work day today, that it will go smoothly. Keep me in an attitude of prayer and worship throughout this day. I pray for Stephanie today, especially since this is the first first day of school that she will not be participating in. I thank you for the good relationship that she has entered into with Michael. I pray that you will grow this relationship…it seems to be something good for her.
Speaking of the first day of school, I lift up a special prayer for a friend, Ted, who is sending his oldest, his daughter, off to her first day high school. I pray that you calm his emotions on this day, and let him swell with fatherly pride. Give him peace on this day, peace that only you can give. And protect his daughter in this new world. Protect her from bad influence in her high school days and beyond. I also pray for all other students who will be returning to school this week. I pray for a week of safety for them, all around our nation. Keep these students safe in their school environments. I also pray for all the teachers, who have already spent some time preparing. I have quite a few friends that are teachers, Lord. Give them peace, wisdom, strength, and, above all, patience on this day, and throughout this week, as different districts will be starting on different days.
When you get on that mountaintop, whatever you hear the Lord telling you, by all means, do it! I guarantee you…if you do not, you will regret it. I know I did. I’m okay now…God has seen to that. But I can’t help but wonder what could have been…
Grace and peace, friends.