FROM THE HEART
From the Heart
Today is the last day of February 2011 our world as always, is in a state of turbulence. Perhaps conditions are no more chaotic than the world has seen before. And for some in the world it is just another day in the neighborhood. But for my 63 years of life it is the most unsettled, restless, raging, and demonstrative globally as I can remember.
Maybe it is because so many nations in the Middle East are rioting and looking for a way out of their unstable and despotic governments.
Little Israel is in the middle, its citizens are holding their collective breaths as a nation hoping the unrest does not bring them more persecution.
Maybe it is because I and a number of people I know have been and are becoming unemployed. In my case two years has passed since my last full time employment.
Maybe a contribution to my unrest is the threat that my dear wife who is the main source of income for us has an uncertain employment future.
Seeing lines of teachers this weekend waiting many hours in the cold of night to collect a stipend for their voluntary departure from their profession has made a disquieting impression on my psyche.
Maybe it is because of the impersonal and cold way, we as “job-seekers, are isolated from human contact in the interview and job seeking process.
I have filled out numerous resumes and job applications, not knowing if they ever reached a person with authority to hire me. I have attended job fairs, where I have been told to get back on the computer to fill out yet more applications and resumes for companies and businesses I never hear from.
I have taken forced retirement due to an inability to make personal contact with anyone who cares to speak to me openly about employment.
I can remember when being in between jobs or just wanting to improve my employment position meant that I dressed in a nice suit, obtained fresh a haircut, looked through a newspaper for prospective jobs, made some phone calls, set interview appointments, and met and interviewed with an oxygen breathing human being. Who had authority to hire me, on the spot, if they liked or needed me.
Well this has let me vent but what about you and your spouse and child or relatives? I hope that this post will give you and I some understanding of the anxiety of persons from the past and the hope that Trust and faith can bring to uncertainty.
Abraham is always a good biblical example to study when looking for a person of strength, character and faith in the midst of upheaval and life changing tests.
At the age of seventy five Abraham receives from the creator of the universe an offer and a promise.
Trust me Abraham and collect your many belongings, your wife, your servants, your slaves, your nephew Lot, all his family, flocks, servants and numerous possessions and strike out to a land “I will show You”
Here is the promise to Abram, 75 years old and childless, with a 65 year old wife. Leave this secure and familiar dwelling place and take this great number of persons and animals and everything you and he own and move to a place “I will show you.” I will make you great nation.
I don’t know if Abraham knew the significance of the word “great.” But, he was sold. Just for the record my Webster’s New World Thesaurus lists the following as synonyms for… great…: Eminent, noble, grand, majestic, dignified, exalted, commanding, famous, renowned, widely acclaimed, celebrated, distinguished, noted, conspicuous, elevated, prominent, high, stately, honorable, magnificent, glorious, regal, royal, kingly, imposing, preeminent, unrivaled, fabulous, fabled, storied.
I suppose this promise would get my attention…
After arriving in Canaan more tests must be faced. Lot chooses the best watered land for himself.
God once again promises Abraham even though he is still childless that he is going to give him all the land he can see in any direction for he and his offspring
More tests are looming for Abraham. His nephew Lot and his family and all he owns are taken hostage and must be rescued by Abraham.
Eleven years after Abraham moves to Canaan he becomes father to Sarah’s (his wifes) concubine, Hagar.
Ishmael the son of Abraham and Hagar becomes heir apparent to Abraham’s estate.
Eleven years after Ishmael is born Sarah at the age of 86 bears her first child and names him Isaac this is the Son through which Abrahams promise from God would become reality.
The tests just keep getting harder and Abraham somehow has stronger and stronger resolve and faith that no matter what God requires from him, he is going to remain obedient to any request.
God Appears to Abraham and asks him to sacrifice Isaac. Without an argument Abraham sets off for Moriah to obey God.
When the wood is gathered, the fire is waiting to be put to the kindling and Isaac is bound and laying on the alter Abraham reaches for his knife to slay his heir for whom he waited one hundred years.
God in his mercy saw what he knew already, that Abraham was willing to have faith in God regardless of personal cost or loss.
No matter how chaotic and unsettled the world is now or will be in the future. I assure you God will test our faith and our resolve just as he did Abraham.
Stay on course we never know what God will request but we can be assured if we pass the test of faith there will be “great” reward.
Go back and see if God’s promise using the word “Great” will convince you to obey and serve him.
Here is what Christ the son of God had to say about those wanting to become “great”.
Matthew 20:25-28 “You know that the rulers of the gentiles, (That’s most of us including those rioting for freedom in the Middle East at present), lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant and whoever wants to be first must be your slave—Just as the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve, and to give life as a ransom for many.
God saved Isaac from Abraham’s knife and the flames of the sacrificial fire. That is Mercy!
God did not spare his son from the cross. That is grace. [Favor], God’s free and undeserved love that never ends. Grace is eternal life a gift of and from God that includes eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord (Rom. 6:23).
Christ died in our place. That is mercy to us who have been saved by Christ’s willingness to suffer our deserved death in our place accepting God’s curse for our sin. Christ made himself a servant to all who will claim him as their substitute and their redeemer.
Be ye therefore comforted…