Good morning. It is Wednesday, August 29, 2012. Less than a month until my favorite season. Today is “Lemon Juice Day.” That made me think of this.
In a sobering development, it was on this date in 2005 that Katrina hit the Gulf Coast near New Orleans. It was a category 4 hurricane. Last night, at approximately 645pm, category 1 hurricane Isaac made landfall near Morgan City, LA, not far from New Orleans. Please pray for the people in the path of Isaac (if you haven’t already been doing so). They are saying that the hurricane will not weaken very quickly. Some homes in the area are already flooded.
On this date in 1968, Hubert Humphrey received the Democratic Nomination for President, closing out the most violent political convention in U.S. history.
On this date in 1982, actress Ingrid Bergman died. It was also her birthday. She was 67.
On this date in 1958, Michael Jackson was born.
Christi said her hip was hurting worse after work yesterday. I’m thinking it’s from the walking she does at work. It feels better this morning. She is planning to take the cane to work today, which I think is a good idea. She has a followup visit to the doctor tomorrow (Thursday) afternoon. Stephanie and Michael may go bowling Friday night.
Father, I pray that you would send your Holy Spirit to me through your Word, and reveal your Word to me, enlightening my mind.
Today, I am reading Psalm 90. This psalm is called “A prayer of Moses, the man of God.” Isn’t that a legacy? The beginning words of this psalm are rather famous.
Lord, you have been our dwelling place in all generations.
Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever you had formed the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God. (1-2)
Then we learn that time is meaningless to the Lord, and that the span of human life is really quite insignificant.
For a thousand years in your sight are but as yesterday when it is past, or as a watch in the night.
You sweep them away as with a flood; they are like a dream, like grass that is renewed in the morning:
in the morning it flourishes and is renewed; in the evening it fades and withers. (4-6)
We cannot hide our “secret sins” from God, and our years have the potential of producing nothing but toil and trouble.
For we are brought to an end by your anger; by your wrath we are dismayed.
You have set our iniquities before you, our secret sins in the light of your presence.
For all our days pass away under your wrath; we bring our years to an end like a sigh.
The years of our life are seventy, or even by reason of strength eighty; yet their span is but toil and trouble; they are soon gone, and we fly away.
Who considers the power of your anger, and your wrath according to the fear of you? (7-11)
It is pretty clear that our modern society has no consideration whatsoever for the wrath of God. I guess you don’t fear something you don’t believe in.
The psalm closes out with a beautiful prayer.
So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.
Return, O LORD! How long? Have pity on your servants!
Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love, that we may rejoice and be glad all our days.
Make us glad for as many days as you have afflicted us, and for as many years as we have seen evil.
Let your work be shown to your servants, and your glorious power to their children.
Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us, and establish the work of our hands upon us; yes, establish the work of our hands! (12-17)
My Utmost For His Highest
Jesus said to her, “Did I not tell you that if you believed you would see the glory of God?” John 11:40 (Jesus speaking to Martha, sister of Lazarus.)
“Every time you venture out in the life of faith, you will find something in your common-sense circumstances that flatly contradicts your faith.” News flash: “Common sense is not faith, and faith is not common sense.” Now, mind you, there are certainly areas of life where common sense is necessary and important, and there do seem to be plenty of people who were born without any. But there are also place where our common sense attempts to stop us and say, “You aren’t really going to do that, are you?” It is at that point that my faith must prevail and answer with a resounding, “YES!” Can I trust Jesus when my common sense won’t trust him? It’s easy to do that on the mountain top. We’ve just had this tremendous spiritual experience with Jesus, and our faith proclaims that we are invincible and can do anything. I know…I’ve been there. But, as Chambers says, “…you have to come down into the demon-possessed valley and meet with facts that laugh ironically at the whole of your mount-of-transfiguration belief.” Do I believe that God will supply my every need? Do I continue to believe that when the well has run dry and there is no outlook of hope?
Our faith must be tested, and the test will either prove it or kill it. “Believe steadfastly on Him and all you come up against will develop your faith. There is continual testing in the life of faith, and the last great test is death.” I like the final statement in this reading. “Faith is unutterable trust in God, trust which never dreams that He will not stand by us.” Have I found that faith yet? I believe that I am very close. No. Today…at the risk of sounding arrogant and naive (I don’t really mind sounding naive)…I think I can firmly say that I have found this faith. I believe that my faith no longer has even the slightest doubt that God will stand by me, even when I fail to stand by him.
My friends…I just got goosebumps.
Father, I rejoice, this morning, in the faith that you have given me. I praise you, for I believe that you will always be right here with me and stand beside me in all circumstances of life. Help me believe this when the most serious crises arise, when I have a “Lazarus” in the grave, awaiting to be resurrected. Help me, God, to number my days, that I might gain a heart of wisdom. Satisfy me in the morning with your steadfast love, that I may rejoice and be glad. I pray that maintain this “unutterable trust” in you that never dreams that you will not stand by me. Guide me, by the power of your Spirit, into the fragile relationship between common sense and faith. And maintain that faith when I get down into the life where the facts “laugh ironically at the whole” of my belief.
I pray for this day, Father, and before I say my usual prayers, I offer up a prayer of intercession for the people in the path of Hurricane Isaac. Father, there are people there who are, today, reliving a nightmare from seven years ago. I pray for your protection over the lives of people in that area. If they must evacuate, I pray that you give them speed and efficiency as they get out. If it could possibly be your will, I pray that you would intervene and stop the storm. We certainly don’t understand disasters in our world, Father, but faith demands that we accept them as part of your plan.
I pray for Christi today, again praying that you would relieve the pain in her hip. I ask that you make it possible for her to stay put for the majority of this day. I also pray that, when she gets back to the doctor tomorrow, that they can push through the MRI needed to see what kind of damage has been done and what is needed to fix it. I pray for my day at work today, that it would be smooth, with no issues. I pray for a smooth trip to work this morning, in the back-to-school traffic. I also pray that Stephanie will have a good day today, and that you would draw her thoughts to you during the day. Give her a glimpse of yourself and how much you love her.
“Faith is unutterable trust in God, trust which never dreams that He will not stand by us.” Have you found that faith?
Grace and peace, friends.