In the African country where my friend Roxanne lives, water is a precious commodity. People often have to travel long distances to collect water from small, contaminated creeks—leading to sickness and death. It’s difficult for organizations like orphanages and churches to serve the people because of a lack of water. But that’s beginning to change.
Through Roxanne’s leadership and the unselfish gifts of some loving people in established churches, clean water wells are being dug. At least six new wells are now operational, allowing churches to be centers of hope and encouragement. A health center and a home for 700 orphans will also be able to be opened because of access to water.
That’s the kind of love that can flow from believers in Christ when we have experienced the love and generosity of God. Paul says in 1 Corinthians 13 that if we don’t have love, our voices clang on people’s ears and our faith means nothing. And the apostle John says that if we have material possessions and see others in need and take action, that’s evidence that God’s love is abiding in us (1 John 3:16).
God desires that we deal “graciously” (Ps. 112:5) with those in need, for His heart is gracious toward us.
Do your best for those in need;
Kindnesses will be rewarded
By the Lord who prompts the deed. —Anon.
AUGUST 22, 2014
I Want all the Answers Now
“Then they believed his promises and sang his praise. But they soon forgot what he had done and did not wait for his plan to unfold.” Psalm 106:12-13 (NIV)
My son Mitchell was a curious child. When he first learned to talk he often repeated the same three phrases to his dad and me: “Why?” “How?” and “When?”
His sparkly green eyes were often wide with wonder. As I cooked, he would drag a kitchen chair over to the stove and stand on it next to me. His inquiring mind needed to know the reason behind every ingredient I tossed in the pot. Why was I using brown eggs and not white ones? Why was I adding potatoes but not carrots? And speaking of carrots, why were they orange and not blue?
Even when playing alone, he had questions. He wanted to know how his toys were made. What did the factory look like that made them? Who invented the toy and why?
During the rare times he was quiet, he was still deep in wonder. If I asked him a question, he often replied, “Not now. I’m figuring.”
As he grew older, the questions continued. Soon after his feet hit the floor each morning, he wanted to know how the day would unfold. If we had planned an outing as a family, he wanted all the details. If we were planning a picnic for our church small group, then who would host it? What would they have to eat? Would they play flag football? Would they let him be the quarterback?
I couldn’t possibly answer all his questions. All I could do was remind him he always had fun, no matter how the events unfolded. He just needed to trust that we had planned pleasant things for him to do.
I didn’t want to squelch his inquisitive spirit, but sometimes I wished he’d just relax and enjoy the ride instead of always having to know all the details of that day.
Sometimes I am no different when it comes to my own life. I want God to tell me what’s going to happen next. Explain how my life will unfold. I’d love it if He’d spiritually skywrite the answers to all my whys, hows and whens.
The ancient Israelites had this same mindset. Sometimes they trusted the Lord and stood on His promises. But they often wobbled and lost their footing. They had to know how. And when. And — most importantly — why?
As today’s key verse tells us “Then they believed his promises and sang his praise. But they soon forgot what he had done and did not wait for his plan to unfold” (Psalm 106:12-13).
Scripture teaches us to believe the promises of God. He is faithful. He has a future full of hope planned for us. He will protect us and provide for us. He knows what He is doing even if at times we are certain He does not. And yes, even at the times when He seems to be silent.
Psalm 145:13b says throughout all generations, “The LORD is trustworthy in all he promises and faithful in all he does” (NIV). It doesn’t say that He’ll always let us in on the play-by-play. We aren’t promised detailed descriptions, only that the final outcome will be for our good and His glory.
By God not giving us explanations at each turn, it builds our faith. We can go to Him in prayer asking Him to calm our anxious hearts. We can ask Him to increase our faith so we aren’t consumed by the questions, and help us trust that He — the ever-wise parent — has good in mind for us.
It is God’s job to unfold our future. It is our job to trust and glorify Him as He does. Let’s stop asking Him to spiritually skywrite all the answers and let’s write His promises on our hearts instead. And then? Let’s live like we believe them.
Dear Lord, help me each day to not seek explanations, but to seek a closer walk with You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Back To The Bible
“I charge you, O daughters of Jerusalem, if ye find my beloved, that ye tell him, that I am sick of love.”
Song of Solomon 5:8
Such is the language of the believer panting after present fellowship with Jesus, he is sick for his Lord. Gracious souls are never perfectly at ease except they are in a state of nearness to Christ; for when they are away from him they lose their peace. The nearer to him, the nearer to the perfect calm of heaven; the nearer to him, the fuller the heart is, not only of peace, but of life, and vigour, and joy, for these all depend on constant intercourse with Jesus. What the sun is to the day, what the moon is to the night, what the dew is to the flower, such is Jesus Christ to us. What bread is to the hungry, clothing to the naked, the shadow of a great rock to the traveller in a weary land, such is Jesus Christ to us; and, therefore, if we are not consciously one with him, little marvel if our spirit cries in the words of the Song, “I charge you, O ye daughters of Jerusalem, if ye find my beloved, tell him that I am sick of love.” This earnest longing after Jesus has a blessing attending it: “Blessed are they that do hunger and thirst after righteousness”; and therefore, supremely blessed are they who thirst after the Righteous One. Blessed is that hunger, since it comes from God: if I may not have the full-blown blessedness of being filled, I would seek the same blessedness in its sweet bud-pining in emptiness and eagerness till I am filled with Christ. If I may not feed on Jesus, it shall be next door to heaven to hunger and thirst after him. There is a hallowedness about that hunger, since it sparkles among the beatitudes of our Lord. But the blessing involves a promise. Such hungry ones “shall be filled” with what they are desiring. If Christ thus causes us to long after himself, he will certainly satisfy those longings; and when he does come to us, as come he will, oh, how sweet it will be!
“The unsearchable riches of Christ.”
My Master has riches beyond the count of arithmetic, the measurement of reason, the dream of imagination, or the eloquence of words. They are unsearchable! You may look, and study, and weigh, but Jesus is a greater Saviour than you think him to be when your thoughts are at the greatest. My Lord is more ready to pardon than you to sin, more able to forgive than you to transgress. My Master is more willing to supply your wants than you are to confess them. Never tolerate low thoughts of my Lord Jesus. When you put the crown on his head, you will only crown him with silver when he deserves gold. My Master has riches of happiness to bestow upon you now. He can make you to lie down in green pastures, and lead you beside still waters. There is no music like the music of his pipe, when he is the Shepherd and you are the sheep, and you lie down at his feet. There is no love like his, neither earth nor heaven can match it. To know Christ and to be found in him–oh! this is life, this is joy, this is marrow and fatness, wine on the lees well refined. My Master does not treat his servants churlishly; he gives to them as a king giveth to a king; he gives them two heavens–a heaven below in serving him here, and a heaven above in delighting in him forever. His unsearchable riches will be best known in eternity. He will give you on the way to heaven all you need; your place of defence shall be the munitions of rocks, your bread shall be given you, and your waters shall be sure; but it is there, there, where you shall hear the song of them that triumph, the shout of them that feast, and shall have a face-to-face view of the glorious and beloved One. The unsearchable riches of Christ! This is the tune for the minstrels of earth, and the song for the harpers of heaven. Lord, teach us more and more of Jesus, and we will tell out the good news to others.