True to form, it’s been quite some time since my last post. I am resolved to only write something when I need this as a form of processing so it is far more for my benefit than yours (sincerest apologies). Good oft precedes bad; now maybe this is some inherent confirmation bias that since the bad has come, the time prior takes upon it shiny, sugar-coated qualities, but I think it goes deeper than that. I think that we serve a God of providence and omniscience. Knowing hardship is on its way, our God of endless grace provides us with a season of plenty. Being filled to the measure in this season, we can then endure whatever lies before us.
I think this is evident in God’s word as well. The Lord allowed Egypt to prosper under Joseph so they would survive the coming famine; Job was rich beyond belief before everything was taken from him in a day. God’s providence prior to sad or awful things happening is further testament to His goodness, but we seldom recognize it. Too overwhelmed are we by our current situation to praise God for the endless ways He has been and is being faithful to us, though we don’t deserve it.
Why do I write all this? Am I going through anything particularly difficult right now? Not really, no. But situations that have arisen in the past two weeks have tried me, tested who I turn to and what I lean on in crisis. A year ago, eight months ago, maybe even six months ago, I would not have responded as I have. Rather than turning away and trying to shut the Lord out, it is to Him I cry out to first and foremost, by the grace of God. The Spirit of the Lord has been so patiently molding and shaping this sinner’s heart, elbow deep in the mire. The Lord has used these trying times to show me growth and further deepen my reliance on Him, leaning in to His truths and comfort.
I serve a God who doesn’t shy from my questions. A God whose plan and ways and thoughts are high above my own. A God who is unwilling to let me continue on in ways that are destructive to myself and do not bring Him glory.
So what do we do with all of this, brothers and sisters? We make the most of times of plenty. If we have much, we serve one another and build one another up. I shan’t pretend to be a good teacher, of truth or otherwise, but do the things you are implored to do every Sunday by the man behind the pulpit. Be doers of the Word rather than just hearers. Then when times of little come, our base will be strong, the scripture will already be etched upon our hearts, community around us when we need it, and turning to the Lord will be muscle memory.
So, for myself and for all of you, my prayer for you in the times of plenty:
“May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face to shine upon us, selah, that your way be known on earth, your saving power among all nations. Let the peoples praise you, O God; let all the peoples praise you! Let the nations be glad and sing for joy for you judge the people with equity and guide the nations upon the earth. Selah. Let the peoples praise you, O God; let all the peoples praise you! The earth has yielded its increase; God, our God, shall bless us. God shall bless us; let all the ends of the earth fear him!”
My prayer in times of little:
“Hear my cry, O God, listen to my prayer; from the end of the earth I call to you when my heart is faint. Lead me to the rock that is higher than I, for you have been my refuge, a strong tower against the enemy. Let me dwell in your tent forever! Let me take refuge under the shelter of your wings! Selah. For you, O God, have heard my vows; you have given me the heritage of those who fear your name… So will I ever sing praises to your name, as I perform my vows day after day.”
Grace and peace be with you, friends.