Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Even Our Confusion

I love to hear stories of God's faithfulness to help an asker.
My husband visited with an older couple recently
and brought me home some stories.
These people were home because of some adversity,
but what they wanted to talk about
was how God had answered their prayers.
Such a refreshing difference from negative reports and complaints.

Years before, the wife was in need of employment.
She saw a 'help wanted' ad in the paper,
and got the confused notion that the business
was right across the street from her house.
So she dressed up, put her resume together,
and walked over to apply for the job.
She gave her resume to the front desk person,
who told her they would keep it on file.
Of course they would, she thought -- they had advertised for help.
And she went home.

She and her husband got down on their knees
and asked the Lord to give her the job she had applied for.
And before they were finished praying, the phone rang.
"We've been looking for someone with your qualifications,"
the woman told her.
And so the Lord gave her a job that hadn't been advertised.

I love how the Lord can use even our confusion and misunderstanding
to direct us into His will.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

That Had Seen The First House

I read this morning from Ezra 3 with my children.

And when the builders laid the foundation of the temple of the LORD, 
they set the priests in their apparel with trumpets, 
and the Levites the sons of Asaph with cymbals, 
to praise the LORD, after the ordinance of David king of Israel.  
And they sang together by course in praising and giving thanks to the LORD; 
because he is good, for his mercy endureth for ever towards Israel. 
And all the people shouted with a great shout, when they praised the LORD, 
because the foundation of the house of the LORD was laid. 

But many of the priests and Levites 
and chief of the fathers, old men, that had seen the first house, 
when the foundation of this house was laid before their eyes, 
wept with a loud voice; 
and many shouted aloud for joy: 
So that the people could not discern the noise of the shout of the joy 
from the noise of the weeping of the people: 
for the people shouted with a loud shout, 
and the noise was heard afar off.
~Ezra 3:10-13

It's a curious thing, the human heart.
In Ezra 1:1, I learn that this endeavor was prophesied by Jeremiah,
stirred up by the Lord's work in a heathen king's heart,
entirely directed by and according to the will of God;
blessed and commissioned --
and yet grieved over by some of God's people.

It looked like nothing to them,
because they had hearts wedded to loss, captured by the past.
To many, God's work was a joyful affirmation of His help.
They looked forward with praise and thanksgiving.
But to some, this new thing was just a record of their losses.
They howled in misery.

It strikes me how differently the two groups respond
to the very same work of God.
It's easy to do, when you suffer a loss,
to treat every new gift like a curse.
To reject it all as worthless because it isn't what it was.
Or it isn't what you had wished.
But that doesn't mean it isn't God's will.
And it doesn't mean He won't bless it, or fellowship with You through it.

And it reminds me that if I want to grow,
if I want to be mature,
I'm going to have to forget the things that are behind,
and press on, reaching forward to the things that are ahead,
reaching for the goal of God's upward call in Christ Jesus.