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God is Moving (and so am I)
Public Announcements, Personal News, and Providence
I am excited to announce the forthcoming Old Time Religion Podcast. Check out the trailer below. You won’t want to miss this!
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Learning to Lean
“It was kind of you to share in my affliction.” Philippians 4:14
The last twelve months have been among the most difficult that I can recall. This has been true for many. And it seems that they are the gift that keeps on giving.
Yesterday, I received a letter in the mail notifying me that the owner of the house I rent has decided to sell—and that I must be out by April 30. This came as quite a surprise.
I have often prayed that God would make me more like Jesus. Reflecting on this, my mind went to the words of Christ, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head.” I admit it. When I prayed to be made more conformable to the image of Christ this is not what I had in mind.
In addition to having to find a place to move, I must do so quick, fast, and in a hurry. Unfortunately, this will likely mean moving further away from the parish I love and am privileged to serve. (Pray that commuting will not be an insurmountable burden.)
As many of you know, I lost my primary job last year due to the pandemic. Since that time I have been able to work so as to maintain. I thank God for that.
However, due to this new unexpected twist, I will have fees foisted upon me for which I am unprepared (moving, storage, repairs, rental deposits, etc.). In short, I am at the mercy of the Providence of God and the kindness of His people.
A man never likes to make appeals such as this one but sometimes one must swallow one’s pride. So, if you feel led to help financially you may do so. If you would like to make a one time donation, you can do so by sending it directly to me through PayPal. If you would like to support my writing and teaching work on a continuing basis, you can do so by small, monthly donations through Patreon.
Flying Sparks and Silver Bells
How does one make sense of all this on a spiritual level?
The book of Job tells us that man is born to trouble as the sparks fly upward. In other words, affliction is not a rare thing in this troubled world of ours.
Because we believe in the absolute sovereignty of God, we know that all of our afflictions come to us from His loving hand. This, and only this, is the source of our consolation, comfort, and contentment. This is our hope.
God is not the author of sin, but He is the Author of every story, our stories included, in which sin plays a significant and indispensable part. But He is also the Author and Finisher of our faith. So with every burden He also gives us the ability to believe.
But what is it that we are to believe? Our credo is one of joyful trust that says, “I believe that all things work together for my highest good and His highest glory.” Every cancer, every, wayward child, every financial trial, every untimely death, every troubled marriage, every unconverted loved one, every chronic illness, is part of God’s perfect and unshakable counsel.
So as we worship God, we thank God for His sovereignty. And the peace of God which passes all understanding keeps our hearts and minds. Our hearts and minds are not competent to guard the peace of God. The peace of God guards us.
This is how we glorify God in the midst of all our afflictions, both great and small. As one old Puritan put it, a sanctified person is like a silver bell—the harder he is smitten, the better he sounds and the sweeter the music. May God so tune our hearts as to yield a pleasing melody in His ear.