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“Is he safe?”
This was the question King David asked the messengers. A confederacy of rebels had mounted an insurrection against the throne, and during a sortie, the armies of the king encountered the insurgents. David had been waiting for news about the fighting. When he saw the fleet-footed courier appear on the horizon, he was anxious to hear the report he brought.
The Christian life is surrender to a sovereign mercy. It all comes down to this for every believer. Either God is sovereign or he is not. Either God is merciful or he is not.
I struggle with keys. No, I mean that literally, and I'm talking about keys for locks. I suppose it may go back to when I was a latch-key kid and the fear I had that the key I needed to get in the door at the end of a school day, with my little brother waiting patiently by my side, would not be in my pocket, or in its hiding place.
Actually I think it's related to the days I was a key holder for a major department store -- and not just any key holder, but the key holder. I was the head of security, and I was supposed to keep this building full of assets and people safe--and not cost the company money by accidentally setting off alarms (or annoy other managers because they'd get the call). An icy fist would twist my innards nearly every time I had to open the building, unsure the perfect combination of key turns and code punches and button pushes would actually open the door and silence the sirens.
It still happens today. I do what I have to do, but I really don't like opening or locking up a building that is alarmed. Too many parts of the process that might fail, including me.
Thankfully there is, as Charles Spurgeon put it, a lock-smith with a great bunch of keys who has all of that worked out for the most crucial, most stubborn, most unwieldy, most mysterious lock combinations of all: Eternity.
The following is a commemorative 9/11 post, which first ran in 2015.
In the days following 9/11, there was story after story about heroes.
Here's mine of my failure.
"Are you watching TV? Go turn on your TV."
It was an hour into our school day and 4 weeks since my knee injury which rendered me somewhat limited in certain activities, climbing stairs being one of them.
But climb the stairs I did because the urgency in my friend's voice compelled me to go, go now. I pushed the button and saw the World Trade Center tower with smoke billowing out of its side. All immediate sensations went numb; I blinked and looked more closely at the screen, sure I was watching some morbid daytime advertising mistake, and through the confusion in my brain I heard the footsteps of the 3- and 5-year olds hit the landing two-thirds of the way up the stairs.
Last week I helped my son move into his dorm for his final year of college. One more semester of classes, followed by a semester of student teaching, stands between the pause button that represents college life. Childhood is way, way behind him. Adulthood is here, and he's only a handful of months away from making good on it.
This milestone, along with the launch of his younger sisters into their respective paths, one into a sophomore which may take an entirely different journey than any of us had expected in the beginning, and the other into a nursing program so intense she realizes it's more like on-the-job training, reminded me of this post from two years ago. Different stage in life, same reminders. In fact, I dare say, we need these warnings to back away from the slippery slope of accommodation of the world even more than ever. Satan's wiley ways get prettier and prettier every day.
"With God nothing shall be impossible!" Luke 1:37
Let us mark the mighty principle which the angel Gabriel lays down to silence all objections about the incarnation: "With God nothing shall be impossible."
A hearty reception of this great principle is of immense importance to our own inward peace. Questions and doubts will often arise in men's minds about many subjects in religion. They are the natural result of our fallen estate of soul.
Our faith at the best is very feeble. Our knowledge at its highest is clouded with much infirmity. And among many antidotes to a doubting, anxious, questioning state of mind, few will be found more useful than that before us now--a thorough conviction of God's omnipotence. With Him who called the world into being and formed it out of nothing--everything is possible. Nothing is too hard for the Lord.
Let principles like these be continually before our minds. The angel's maxim is an invaluable remedy. Faith never rests so calmly and peacefully--as when it lays its head on the pillow of God's omnipotence!
(J.C. Ryle via Grace Gems)
If I am not hopeful in the little things, like a rocky friendship, or laziness, or thoughtlessness, or self-aggrandizement, then I cannot be hopeful in the big things that touch the lives of those around me, like terminal cancer, crime, oppression, alcoholism, same sex attraction, divorce, prodigal children, teen pregnancies, death . . . the list goes on.
“I am hopeful,” I said. “I really am,” I added when my friend looked at me somewhat skeptically. We’d been discussing a challenging situation we were both trying to process biblically. We had neither of us evidence to believe things were going to change, so it was no wonder I received this hesitant look from her.
“I have no choice but to be hopeful,” I thought later after I received word of a heartbreaking moral failing from someone close to me.
Although we reside in the Lord's garden, the inclination of our still-fleshly lives is to choose our own path for growth. We strive for reproduction of ourselves, more of me! more of me! But God has a way to strengthen and beautify us, drawing forth applause and glory---more of Him! more of Him! And as happens in the cycle of growth, that often involves deadheading and affliction. (Scroll down or click Read more.)
I was so excited to send the photo I'd just taken to my daughter.
Just three days before, these flowers were freebies at the local garden center. They were wilted and straggly, with droopy, dead and shriveled up blossoms and overgrown rootballs. I wish I'd taken a "before" picture so you could see how hopeless they looked. Still, Joy begged me to take some home.
He didn't resort to the socially-correct construct of letting people make their own decisions, no matter how unwise or deadly they may be; he insisted she was wrong about her condition and pressed in when she would have him abandon her to her fate. He held on to her, relying on strength and compassion and human warmth and moral conviction. (Scroll down or click Read more.)
Here in Pittsburgh, it's not unusual to read a story about a save -- they're regularly in the sports section during the months of October through June when the Penguins play hockey. But yesterday (June 28) a sports-connected story appeared in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (by Stephen J. Nesbitt and Steph Chambers) about a whole other kind of save.
Laura Miller aka mrsdkmiller
Looking for a list of articles published around the web?
Looking for posts written in response to 5-Minute Friday prompts? Click here:
Her March Isn't Over
Across the River
When God Pries My Fingers Off My Children
Life's Defining Moments
To the Christian Wife Who Berated Her Husband in Front of My Daughter
Zeal and Grace in France
An Unconventional Love Story
Seeing What's in Front of Our Eyes
Remembering Why I Called You Hannah
Love Your Sister.
Because He Came Home
Go Valiantly! A Prayer for New Homeschooling Moms
© lauraenglandmiller, #thereyougothinkingagain, Laura E Miller
2015-2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of written material and images without express and written permission from this blog’s author is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to #thereyougothinkingagain, lauraenglandmiller, or Laura E Miller with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.