Paradoxes; October 29, 2019


Proverbs 27:1 Do not boast about tomorrow,
for you do not know what a day may bring forth.

Proverbs has several verses that reference this sort of thing, but it also has several that encourage planning ahead. There is a real tension between making plans and accepting what happens, and we’ll never get away from it in this life. It’s the tension between free will and the responsibility/accountability that comes with it, and the sovereignty of God and the faith and trust that should engender. There are many such tensions in life! One of the most striking to me is the one between our already having been included in Christ by faith, and yet not being made perfect in this life. I think God planned it that way so that we would keep growing and not be static. We try to avoid stress and resolve conflict, but with either of those we fail to grow as human beings. Understanding that should be a big comfort and encouragement, so long as we remember that God is ultimately still God, and He’s got it all worked out in the end. Conservative commentator Bill Whittle uses the phrase, “mental horsepower,” to describe what we lack to be able to grasp the mysteries of the universe, and this is certainly one of those. We are to use everything we’ve been given, but at the same time exercise faith in relation to what we don’t have. We don’t necessarily like it that way, but that is the path God has laid out for us to be “conformed to the likeness of his Son, (Romans 8:29) for His glory alone.

This is an issue that has grown in my awareness over the years. Going back to the original verse, I’ve never been much of a planner, and that has made problems for me and for others. However, I am blessed with faith that God is genuinely God, and not just some human construct that we use to explain things. I get frustrated with the paradoxes of life at times, wanting to be more Christlike myself and wanting those in my care to be so as well. I’ve got to be at peace with the reality that my vision is limited by being squarely in the flow of time, so I can’t see the solution to all the issues that God has already worked out. I tell people that we should plan to live to at least 100, and for the generations to follow, and at the same time live so that we would have no regrets to leave today. That’s easy to say and not so easy to do! As I’ve already said, I tend to fall short in the planning department, and if God were to take me home today I’d be anxious for my wife and others. I too need to keep growing! However, in all my struggles I need to keep remembering that God’s grace is sufficient, (2 Corinthians 12:9) for me and for everyone else, and He’s going to work everything out for good, and for His glory. (Romans 8:28)

Father, thank You for this reminder. Thank You for everything that happened yesterday, and for all Your plans for today. As I go hand out Gideon Bibles this morning I pray that the young people would not only be glad to get them, they would read them and discover You through them, for their salvation and Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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