- "A Musing Pastor"
Grasping Eternal Things
Some days are more difficult than others. The ones I dislike the most are those that sap my strength and hope. There aren't many of those days, but when they arrive I groan. My best guess is found in a short-sightedness on my part. I take my eyes off Jesus. Guess that would put me in familiar company. Peter had those sinking kinds of days. Remember this account?
"During the fourth watch of the night Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. When the disciples saw
him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear. But Jesus
immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell
me to come to you on the water.” “Come,” he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the
water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried
out, “Lord, save me!” Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said,
“why did you doubt?” And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. Then those who were in
the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.” (Matthew 14:25-33, NIV)
Fear and despair are cancerous and can lead to a downward spiral that if left unchecked could derail our soul. The antidote is a firm grasp of God's eternal plan and knowing God is always working for our (my) good.
For many in America, today is one of those days. Some rejoice because their candidates won; others are in shock that theirs didn't. In either case, it is a defining moment for everyone to stop looking ten feet in front of them and begin to look beyond our reality toward the eternal hope we all have in Jesus Christ. That which we need the most is something neither Clinton, Johnson, Stein, or Trump could ever deliver. What they could offer is fleeting. What Jesus offers is unseen and something that cannot be shaken. Once again, we are all in familiar company. Too often we are like the crowds the day Jesus entered Jerusalem. They believed Jesus was the one to overthrow the Roman government. They shouted and rejoiced their 'Savior' had finally arrived. He had arrived just not in the way the crowd imagined.
"A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread
them on the road. The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted, “Hosanna to the
Son of David!” Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” "Hosanna in the highest!” When Jesus
entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred and asked, “Who is this?” The crowds answered, “This is
Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee.” (Matthew 21:8-11, NIV)
Jesus eventually hung defeated on a cross and the crowds that a week earlier were cheering were now reduced to sobbing in the darkness. But Jesus defeated death's sting and forever made it possible for us to enjoy undying hope. HE IS RISEN! Jesus is our King and has removed the curse of sin from our sin-filled souls. We are washed whiter than snow and the future is bright and hopeful. Today is a day of reckoning. It's past time to do this. Repentance and forgiveness need to rule the day. It's time to draw together under the leadership of Jesus Christ, not some earthly figure.
“Even now,” declares the LORD, “return to me with all your heart,with fasting and weeping and
mourning.” Rend your heart and not your garments.Return to the LORD your God, for he is gracious
and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love,and he relents from sending calamity. Who
knows? He may turn and have pity and leave behind a blessing—grain offerings and drink offerings for
the LORD your God. Blow the trumpet in Zion,declare a holy fast,call a sacred assembly. Gather the
people, consecrate the assembly; bring together the elders, gather the children, those nursing at the
breast. Let the bridegroom leave his room and the bride her chamber. Let the priests, who minister before
the LORD, weep between the temple porch and the altar.Let them say, “Spare your people, O LORD. Do not
make your inheritance an object of scorn,a byword among the nations. Why should they say among the
peoples, ‘Where is their God?’ ” (Joel 2:12-17, NIV)