It is a good thing that I am not God. If I were there would be lightening bolts flying everywhere.
We know that God got rid of most of the human race with the flood. In what must have been a moment of weakness He spared Noah and his family. Later, out of the survivors, He chose Abram to be the father of a new nation which became Israel. If you read the narrative of the Exodus and the travails of Moses as he tried to lead them to the Promised Land you will notice that Moses had to talk God out of destroying Israel and starting over.
This came to mind as I was reading in Psalms.
(Psa 95:8-11 NAS77) Do not harden your hearts, as at Meribah, As in the day of Massah in the wilderness; When your fathers tested Me, They tried Me, though they had seen My work. For forty years I loathed that generation, And said they are a people who err in their heart, And they do not know My ways. Therefore I swore in My anger, Truly they shall not enter into My rest."These people had seen God work. Remember the movie made on this called The Ten Commandments. Remember the plagues. Remember the Red Sea parting and then swollowing up the pursuing Egyptian army. As you follow them through the wilderness you see miracle after miracle. They were not just reading about them or watching a YouTube video. They experienced it. They knew He had taken care of them in the past yet they still complained or “hardened their hearts”
I tend to judge them a bit but then I stop and realize that we tend to do the same when we worry about current events. Don’t tell me I am the only one who have moments so despair and discouragement. I have struggled with depression over the years but by now you would think I have the blessing of hindsight. I am afraid that my hindsight tends to need glasses.
So I give it glasses. I have learned that if I give God the time of day when my mind is freshest and my heart is willing to listen then He meets with me and improves my vision. I start with a bit of contemplation of the infinite nature of God. Have you ever tried to wrap your arms around the concept of infinity? It keeps slipping out of your range. God understands it. How about the creativity of God? Look around at the complexity of creation. Try to understand how a woman thinks. Look at your grand children and be consumed with how wonderful they are.
That brings me to thankfulness. I have 365 Thanksgivings year, more if you count the afternoons when I am stopped in my tracks by a cloud formation or a memory. When is the last time you thanked God for the people who picked your coffee? If you don’t like coffee then pick something you do like. Don’t be difficult.
Does that mean that we close our eyes and ignore the corruption, perversion and fearmongering we are faced with daily? Not on you life. We have to engage and be involved. We are not blind. We are not allowed to be naive. At the same time we are to be the sound of joy in a world that has become a wallowing pit. We are to be the encouragement that makes them wonder what they are afraid of. We are to be Jesus in a pagan world.
It is a fine path to follow that keeps our minds aware and our hearts encouraged. We can do it. It always amazes me how spending time listening to God through silence, reading and pondering can change my whole day.
Join me. Don’t despair. Rejoice. Sing the Christmas carols, in or out of season. Have another Thanksgiving. Contemplate your blessings. Look around and find someone who has more reason than you to give up and try to encourage them.
Now I am off to grind my coffee and get it set up for tomorrow. Did I tell you about the guy who picks my coffee? I did? How about the lineman that keeps my electricity going? It is going to be a blessed day.
homo unius libri