Remember me, O Lord, when you show favour to your people; help me when you deliver them.
Each of us was given grace according to the measure of Christ’s gift.
Words of Grace For Today
Our hope is always that today, yes finally today, we will be saved, at least me and mine. God teaches us patience through life as we suffer, pray for deliverance, and the suffering continues and increases, until in old age we are more than ready to give up the mortal frame and the suffering that goes with it, to go home where there is no more crying, weeping, death, and suffering.
Until we reach that point we learn to endure.
We learn to pray, if Lord you do not save me today, at least Remember me, O Lord, when you show favour to your people; help me when you deliver them.
We learn to trust that we are given what we need to make it through this day. The suffering may go on, and there is nothing we can do about it. We can learn to live the days we have, grateful for all God gives us. The measure we receive is not exactly what we want (thank God, or it would sink us from all consideration that we might need God, yet alone need to be thankful for life and all that is in it!) The measure we receive is given grace according to the measure of Christ’s gift.
That measure is simple: what does God need to give us so that we will share all we have and are with those who are truly poor and needy.
Ah, that measure.
The measure of self-sacrificial love, not just for the people we think are good, but for the people that are truly evil.
Yes, that measure.
Simple. And so difficult to embrace. Impossible to embrace if we do not first know to be grateful in all things for everything God gives us.
So we pray, teach us, God, to be thankful, and prodigiously generous and gracious with all people.
That’s a full day for any of us.
For that God gives us the full measure, 24 hours, until our last day. For now, we give thanks, and move into the day.
As for me, I am poor and needy, but the Lord takes thought for me. You are my help and my deliverer; do not delay, O my God.
Therefore, since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have obtained access to this grace in which we stand; and we boast in our hope of sharing the glory of God. And not only that, but we also boast in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.
Words of Grace For Today
Most of the people who have ever lived on earth have been quite truthfully able to say: I am poor and needy.
Even I can say that, homeless and so far in debt I will never be out of it before I die.
But, in comparison to most the people who have ever lived on earth, I still enjoy a standard of living and honest expectation of a life which far exceeds what most people have had at the best of times in their lives.
Those that are poor and needy, on a relative scale to all the people who have ever lived, are truly poor and needing for, please, even one day’s good nourishment at a time, and an expectation that they will survive the coming week’s weather, challenges, and … well you name it.
We might learn to be a bit more appreciative, for God has provided for us in abundance, enough that we can share it with others.
Some of us have even stepped out of the normal routine of life to extend help to others and been caught by dishonest accusations and claims about us that have caused us to suffer. Others of us suffer failing health, or the loss of a loved one, or … well you name it. There are more than enough ways to suffer to go around and come back around many times over.
In our suffering, can we with Paul say that our suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us?
I am not so sure it works that way very often, though to have that expectation is to change how our suffering affects us. We minimize it and live in the hope that God will walk with us, suffer with us, not abandon us, and help us endure with character that produces hope by way of God’s love poured into us in such great quantities that it spills out around us wherever we go.
While we (many of us, anyway) enjoy an extraordinary standard of living, it is not due to our great merits or abilities to earn such distinction or to better ourselves and our circumstances. Almost everything that determines our standard of living is given to us, by when and where and to whom we were born.
We can boast only that by grace we enjoy life, for God gives everyone the chance to enjoy life, if only a short bit of time.
We can boast only in God’s grace.
God’s grace is for us and
for all people.
Today, how are we going to be grateful for all we have received, and for all we can share … especially with those who are truly poor and needy?
‘But will God indeed dwell on the earth? Even heaven and the highest heaven cannot contain you, much less this house that I have built!
1 John 4:12
No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God lives in us, and his love is perfected in us.
Words of Grace For Today
David built himself a fine palace. He wanted more. He wanted to build God a temple, God’s own house on earth. That would demonstrate to all that David served God … well, really it would demonstrate that God served David, so God says no.
Solomon moves ahead with David’s plan to build God a home, a temple on earth, even though Solomon is wise enough to know that God cannot be contained by … well, God cannot be contained by anything! Solomon builds the temple so the people have a place to go to pray to God and know that God hears them. Of course God hears us wherever we pray, but sometimes we people want more. We want to be convinced by mind games others play on us, that God is with us.
It’s hardly ever enough for us humans to know that God is with us and hears us and guides us … and suffers with us. We want more.
The verse from 1 John points to how we frail humans can fully know that God is with us. When God’s love is perfected in us as we love one another, then, though no one can ever see God, we can know that God lives in us.
True: God lives in us. True: when we love one another it is God in us that makes that possible. False: then we must work to love one another to convince ourselves that God lives in us. Nope, doesn’t work like that.
Start with God. Continue with God is for us. Then on to trusting that God lives with us and hears us and guides us … and suffers with us.
And we want more.
So we go off on all sorts of quests to achieve the unachievable in order to fully live life, leaving behind us in our dust the only thing that gives us life at all, and full life at that: that God lives in us.
There is no more. From that we can be more than we can imagine, bringing God’s love and grace to other people.
Still we want more.
So we pray: God save us … and give us more.
That’s what the Devil plays with, and it is that which brings so much suffering to us, other people, and to God who lives with us.
If we could only admit that we see God every day, in the most ordinary and the most extraordinary things and events. We would know that life on this planet earth is everything because God lives in us, walks with us, hears us, and guides us through every day.
Oh well, today like every day, we will do the best we can to reflect God’s love to all people and creation!
… the rest we trust God will somehow forgive, mend, and renew.
Do not put your trust in princes, in mortals, in whom there is no help.
John to the seven churches that are in Asia:
Grace to you and peace from him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven spirits who are before his throne, and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth.
To him who loves us and freed us from our sins by his blood, and made us to be a kingdom, priests serving his God and Father, to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.
Words of Grace For Today
Princes of this world.
The Prince of Peace, Jesus the Christ, the Saviour of all, the Son of God.
In whom do we trust?
The USA dollar has inscribed on it ‘In God We Trust’, and that dollar has symbolized so much done in the last century that did not trust in God, but in the princes and powers of this world.
Oh, well. We do like to state the opposite of what is so obviously condemning of us, as if that could possibly save us from all we do to dominate over others. Instead of freeing ourselves, we lose our souls and destroy and destory so innumerably many other people.
By grace, today, the Holy Spirit will direct our thoughts and words so that we may hear, see, and acknowledge the folly of our trust in princes of this world, and the wonders of trusting God, loving God, and of giving God all glory and honour … and dominion over our hearts, minds, and souls.
‘Simple Sam’ the other children taunted him through grade school. He was different. He rarely paid attention in class. He was off elsewhere in his thoughts. The surprise that caught his teachers off guard was when they started doing basic algebra in grade 5. Sam flew through the assignments faster than they could even read them. He corrected and explained to the teachers, in concepts they barely understood, when they made math mistakes in front of the class. When his book report came in instead of the assigned two pages on a 125 page, easy to read book, he produced ten pages on Tolkien’s Trilogy of the Rings, with insights the teachers had never read of before, not even at university.
Then one teacher had a newspaper upside down on his desk, open to an editorial on the market fluctuations caused by the recent conflicts in Ukraine, the Middle East, and climate change. Sam came up, glanced at the newspaper and said that the author had totally forgotten to factor in the rare earth resources in Ukraine, the drive to carbon free energies, and the massive coalitions coming together between Christians, Jews, Muslims and atheists to move governments, multi-national corporations, research, and even world markets towards responsible living on planet earth, including carbon neutral living and ways of doing business. That would likely change the markets at least 2% this week and maybe 10% by the end of the year.
The teacher asked Sam if he’d read the article before, or if someone had told him all this. ‘Simple Sam’ answered, “No, this is the first I’ve read anything by this author.” She asked again, “When did you read this article?” “Just now. It’s there on your desk. It’s upside down, but that doesn’t matter.” “You read it now! That article fills the bottom half the newspaper!” Sam shrugged, “I read the top half, too. It just takes a glance to read it, doesn’t it?” “Sam, can we talk about this later.” “Sure.”
‘Simple Sam’ continued, by his choice through Grade 6, totally blowing the minds of his teachers. Instead of Grade 7, that year ‘Simple Sam’ was admitted to a special 2 year tutoring program to prepare special students for university. By October he completed all they could offer, and he attended University classes. By age 16 he earned two PhD, simultaneously. One in physics-pure math, and the other in political science. In both his theses, which were published immediately, he brought many other disciplines together, as well as his own faith perspective as a Lutheran, and the impact other faiths had on his topics.
Sam continues to write and publish technical as well as popular articles and books on our past, present, and future as a species, to teach grad students at the university, and to lead children, youth, and adults in small groups at his church. He’s amazing with his guitar and on the piano.
His favourite answer to complicated questions starts with, “It’s really simple if you start by trusting God, first. Then consider that ….”
To the tree above Sam said: “It’s not hard to work out the math of the physics of why that tree is bowed down, but start by trusting God. Then we see the tree knows to give God the glory. After that it’s all in the biology of the tree, the weather, and the magnetic attraction of the person passing below it.”
The last, he’d explain, is a bit of humour. No science at all.
If you listen, look, and consider with loving care, God demonstrates every day in many ways, the folly of trusting in princes of this world, and the wonders of trusting and loving God, and of giving God all glory and honour … and dominion over our hearts, minds, and souls.
David said, ‘The Lord, who saved me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear, will save me from the hand of this Philistine.’ So Saul said to David, ‘Go, and may the Lord be with you!’
1 Peter 4:11
Whoever speaks must do so as one speaking the very words of God; whoever serves must do so with the strength that God supplies, so that God may be glorified in all things through Jesus Christ. To him belong the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.
Words of Grace For Today
Going into battle with nothing more than trust in God is wholly foolhardy.
David has brought provisions from their father to his brothers who serve in Saul’s army, now facing the Philistines. He hears of Goliath’s challenge. He witnesses the Israelis cowering in fear. He speaks up that facing such an enemy and putting him to defeat would surely win the king’s favour.
That just gets his brothers angry with him for his seeming foolishness.
David’s words reach Saul’s ears, he is summon, and David offers to be the one to fight Goliath. Saul rebukes him. David is just a boy. Then the verse above is David’s response. He has faced down lions and bears. Certainly he can face down one man. Saul, with few other options, sends David as a last hope, or rather as a meaningless sacrifice to let Goliath demonstrate his battle powers.
Saul dresses David in Saul’s own armour, and David takes it off because he cannot move in it. Instead he takes staff and 5 smooth stones from the wadi.
The rest is history.
Goliath falls. David rises to become the celebrated king of Israel.
Most of us, fortunately, will not have to go into battle, nor serve as king. Instead our battles will be less fatal by all appearances. Our callings will be varied, and God sends us out to be as courageous (not to be confused with foolhardy) as David in what we do.
Most of all, just as David relies fully on the little skills he has and the great faith that he has in God, so we are to rely on our God-given skills and more so on the great faith God gives us.
It is our attitude of gratitude (for God saving us and giving us renewed life each day) more than anything else that will carry us through adversity.
God did not create us all so that we can seek our own glory. God created, redeems, and renews us so that all people will know how great God’s mercy is, how abundant God’s grace is, and how beautifully unconditional God’s love for us is.
That’s something to start the day with: knowing that we, whatever we are called to be and do, do it all as God’s people.
It sounds like an onomatopoeia deleted expletive, but
it’s lots worse!
It will be a word that puts the fear in anyone hearing a drecho is approaching!
It’s just one new word that goes with an angry planet striking back.
The righteous flourish like the palm tree, and grow like a cedar in Lebanon. They are planted in the house of the Lord; they flourish in the courts of our God. In old age they still produce fruit; they are always green and full of sap, showing that the Lord is upright; he is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in him.
So you have pain now; but I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you.
Words of Grace For Today
Here it is again just like a storm that is about to level everything in its path: the righteous flourish and in old age they still produce fruit, always green and full of sap.
Well let me set the record straight. Yes, the Psalmist often gives great words of wisdom for us, but this! No. The righteous do not flourish, not like palm trees, not like cedars in Lebanon.
The righteous usually go down in flames as the world attacks them because we humans cannot stand to have someone around that is better than us. The righteous usually do not reach old age, so forget about flourishing in old age. It’s like being a bold pilot. Being righteous keeps one from getting old.
But take another step back: there really are no righteous people. We are all sinners, bound to sin no matter what we do and righteousness is only something God gives to us, substitutes for us ‘for the record’ even though the truth is we pretty much stank at everything we’ve done.
Or so our Lutheran faith might lead us to believe.
A bit more accurately we can say that no one is righteous on their own. Only by God’s grace do we do anything good. God’s grace abounds, so there are plenty of people doing good things. It’s just none of us are righteous apart from God working in us, and overall we remain sinners our whole life long, no matter what. No matter what!
So no one is righteous. Forgiven, Accepted, Adopted, Blessed, Loved, and Sent, but not really righteous.
One of the favourites sins of people (of all time, the Psalmist included) is to judge people, oneself included, and to come up with the results that I and mine are good enough to be righteous and them there over there, those other people are certainly not righteous. Us being righteous means we get to claim certain benefits, yada yuda, ladida yado.
There is, though, a promise in the Psalmist’ words, and it’s not to be missed.
As God makes us righteous, we are planted in God’s court, and even in old age, the God-made-righteous will still produce fruit (that is, good works by God’s grace!)
Lots of things go by the wayside and are lost as one ages. Don’t I know, as I struggle to run with pained knees before I remember (I used to know this without remembering) that I’ve given up running to preserve my health and ability to walk into old age (though I feel it’s more like a slide on a banana peel right through old age into the gaping wide and deep grave.)
It’s nice to know, actually it’s about as precious as can be, that God keeps the grace flowing into and through us even as we age. Grace is not something we lose as we age, since it’s not dependent on us, but comes from God.
Jesus broadens the promise. Life is tough and there will be lots of pain, like in the knees and everywhere including the poor old heart ticking away -only sometimes taking a break for a few minutes to rest. – Through all the pain we shall survive and come to see Jesus again, and have our full joy returned to us.
That I can go for
and trust no matter what comes my way, even a drecho.
God knows there is enough shtako and sin coming right at me!
And at all of us!
Only because God by grace makes us righteous, we know to say:
God is our rock, and there is no unrighteousness in God.
That has to be more than enough to start off a new day!
Yours, O Lord, are the greatness, the power, the glory, the victory, and the majesty; for all that is in the heavens and on the earth is yours; yours is the kingdom, O Lord, and you are exalted as head above all.
1 Timothy 2:5-6
For there is one God; there is also one mediator between God and humankind, Christ Jesus, himself human, who gave himself a ransom for all — this was attested at the right time.
Words of Grace For Today
Today, as in many times before, most people pick and choose what they accept as ‘god’ for themselves. The other options in other times is for people to accept blindly what others have chosen to declare as ‘god’ for others (usually in order to control them better, and rarely to provide a better life for people), or people can take all that others say about ‘god’ and just declare they refuse to accept any of it.
Most everyone claims that, with their choice of ‘god’s’ attributes, they worship the one, true ‘god’, and all other people are just plain wrong in their false beliefs. Through history this has gotten more wars started, people killed, and the attributes claimed for ‘god’ to be wholly undermined by the people’s thoughts, words, and deeds.
When we start with the declarations like 1 Chronicles provides: Yours, O Lord, are the greatness, the power, the glory, the victory, and the majesty; for all that is in the heavens and on the earth is yours; yours is the kingdom, O Lord, and you are exalted as head above all then what should, and at best, follows, is our humble confession that we simply cannot know God enough to choose God’s attributes at all. It’s not only above our pay grade, the kind of knowledge that such choices require belong to a completely different kind of existence that begins outside of creation itself.
And we are mere creatures in this, God’s creation.
So how can we know anything about God at all?
Only as God chooses to reveal God’s attributes and attitudes towards us, can we know anything about God at all.
Jesus, as fully God, born as a full human, living and ministering to all kinds of people (especially the poor, the ill, and the outcasts), dying on a cross crucified on false charges (brought by the religious leaders of the day), being buried in a rock tomb, and rising from the dead on the third day, … Jesus is God’s clearest revelation to us: God loves us, sacrifices everything to let us know that we do not need to sacrifice others, certainly not to please God, and that we are forgiven, as are our enemies and our lives are given to us so that we can be God’s love and forgiveness for all other people.
Now that’s a good beginning to giving God attributes that are fitting.
It is a beginning which places God for us, and beyond our control, and involved in our lives, and wishing and doing everything possible to give us the ability to love and live and choose to:
1) love God above all else
2) love our neighbours
3) love ourselves
4) love even our enemies,
and to do so humbly.
The problem we all run into when we choose ‘god’s’ attributes to accept is that our ‘god’ ends up to be a small ‘god’, a ‘god’ that can do only what we want ‘god’ to do.
Small ‘gods’ lead us right to the Devil’s doorstep, and fuel great arguments for refusing to accept that God even exists. Everyone’s lives would be so much better if we could all refuse to accept all small ‘gods’, and begin each day with a similar declaration as in Chronicles.
In short it might go like this: God is greater than anything I can know. I am just clay enlivened by God’s spirit. God’s first and foremost attitude towards me, and all people, is love. God asks first and foremost that I love God, all people, and even myself. Thank you, God, for everything that gives me life. Now there’s a day to live, work to do, gracious things to say, people to love, forgiveness to beg for, and courage to be Christ’s voice, feet, and hands for all people. Never a slow day, thank you, God, for everything.
Well, what are we waiting for. Sun is up. Day is begun. Onward into the fray.
Love always leaves us feeling a bit frayed. It’s not cheap. It like life is precious.
Yet, O Lord, you are our Father; we are the clay, and you are our potter; we are all the work of your hand.
1 John 2:1
My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.
Words of Grace For Today
Filled with spirit and life only by the work of God.
Still only clay.
We’d like to be more.
We’d like to be very significant, remembered, honoured, respected, and comfortable with how we live.
We are still only clay to which God has given spirit and life.
Now, if we, though only spirit filled clay, would at least be able to stop sinning. That would be an accomplishment worth celebrating, and quite the achievement for a lump of spirit filled clay!
But not sinning is beyond us clay footed, clay headed, and clay hearted beings.
Thankfully God knows us so well that God provides forgiveness, and Jesus Christ to advocate for us, though I believe that Jesus advocates less with God for our forgiveness, than with us to convince us that we need to be forgiven. Thankfully God knows us so well.
And I will put this third into the fire, refine them as one refines silver, and test them as gold is tested. They will call on my name, and I will answer them. I will say, ‘They are my people’; and they will say, ‘The Lord is our God.’
1 Peter 1:6-7
In this you rejoice, even if now for a little while you have had to suffer various trials, so that the genuineness of your faith—being more precious than gold that, though perishable, is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honour when Jesus Christ is revealed.
Words of Grace For Today
This world does provide an ample sample of suffering for anyone who chooses to live ‘eyes wide open’. While some may say it is ‘now for a little while’, the suffering never seems anything like ‘little’ to those who are caught in it.
The image often referred to in scripture, as in these two passages, is that through our suffering our faith is refined, and it becomes more precious. This may be a great philosophical perspective on other’s suffering, though I’m not sure it helps those who suffer now. Yet it is repeated, and repeated, and repeated … as if the repetition would help or that the writers and thinkers just cannot come up with something more helpful.
Maybe there is nothing helpful!
That would, of course, depend on one’s perspective of towards what end, what goal, what value, those who suffer will be helped.
If the end, goal, and value is to not suffer, then there seems (as history well attests to what we humans are capable and eager to do to others) to be no shortage or end to suffering.
What if the end, the goal, and the value is something else than ending suffering?!
What if it the end, goal and value is how one lives, when one is in the midst of suffering, when one is free from suffering, and in fact in all circumstances of life?
Say (given the scriptural witness to this) that the end, goal and value is that we humans live in a love with God, and therefore we love all people, even our enemies and ourselves (which is usually the most difficult kind of love, since we know how little we deserve love.)
This first long weekend of the summer the crowds returned to the random camping area, first dribbling in on Wednesday already to secure a campsite for themselves and their group, most often a group using at least 2 camping units and numerous tents, trucks, cars, and noisy cycles, quads and side-by-sides. By Friday night all but the chilly spots along the lake (all well within 30 metres of the water) were overfilled, most bursting with drink, drugs, and loud music though a few had children and kept a quieter presence.
My nights’ sleep was more than once disrupted by the throbbing base of a piece of ‘music’ that spoke to a visceral, instinctual encounter with nature (having nothing to do with the peaceful nature that surrounds this lake until it is so disrupted by humans trying to escape reality.)
Saturday the kicker came. I made my usual walk along the high road and immediately saw something was wrong. A camping unit sat in the trees where no vehicle had ever sat before. A family had moved in two shorter, older campers, parked them on and on each side of the road easement that forms the border between crown and private land. The easement is only a trail passable by careful off road driving of something more robust than a 4×4 truck. They camped on each side and across the road that is the only way to bring in a camping unit to this end of the random camping area and into the private land where I rent and camp. There is another lower, closer to the lake roadway, with tight turns, many roots and holes where stumps have been removed that exits in the lake side of the random camping area. There everyone sees me coming and going, and it’s impossible to bring water in and out since the rough road spills more water than not. In other words they were blocking my roadway out and back in.
The father said they were not completely set up yet, claimed they (with weed and alcohol in hand) that they wanted to camp away from the noise and partying of the other campers because of the children with them, and refused to consider moving to other established camping sites that were still available where they could fit both their campers.
The threats voiced towards me, the belligerence and profanity, the open threats, and the orders to leave belied … well it belied a fear in them. And an animal that is caught in fear can be unpredictable and destructive. I could well be caught in their unpredictable violence that certainly more than bubbled to the surface of one young man.
I returned a second time later, after continuing to work on the writing due that evening, as I had been before this unwelcomed surprise. I asked how long they would be there. The young man, bursting with profanity and incomprehensible challenges, came so close to striking me that I was shocked. Another man, broken with age, a long grey beard, challenged me as well. Because neither would engage in a meaningful exchange of words I turned to the father who had come around one of the campers to join the ‘not conversation’ and said they would be there until tomorrow.
Tomorrow has come and gone and they camp still there in the way, promising to vacate the roadway if I need to use it, but blocking it from all practical use.
The real threat they pose to me is, since they can see when I come and go, they and others have clear opportunity to come up to my camp and ransack it or sabotage pieces of essential equipment, loaned to me to help me survive year around here, or worse.
How to put an end to this?!
Remove them from the face of the earth? That method has been tried so often in history and the results are ugly and never successful, or if they appear to be successful the backlash is worse than than the problem one sought to solve.
Ignore them and let them block my roadway, and the roadway for others. Another family came in last night to a site along that lower, lakeside road … and busted up the awning on a tree. The road is not wide enough, the turns too tight, and the holes tip a camper into trees one is trying to avoid. Ignoring them campers blocking the roadway is a passable solution, and really the only option for now. The danger is that they will stay with whole summer, or that others will move in when they leave, and the block will continue, and the danger that comes with it.
Or I can reframe my mind about what constitutes a danger, and trust beyond reasonable trust, that though so many will know my comings and goings my camp will not be damaged (again, for the theft and sabotage has already happened more than a few times.)
Or I can work to build some trust with these fearful people, ameliorate their fear, and defuse their under-the-surface anger so that they are less unpredictable, and less likely to vent on me or my camp.
Which is the raw, unfaithful response?
Which is the immature faith response?
Which is the ‘refined gold’ response?
Which provides for ‘us’ and ‘them’ that which every soul yearns for: to be heard, to be treasured, to be encouraged, to be welcomed and accepted just as one is?
May God provide the ‘fire’ needed to refine our faith, so that in all we think, say, and do others will hear us rejoicing and calling on God’s name saying ‘The Lord is our God’, so that the Spirit may reveal with our praise, Jesus Christ’ glory and honour … and love for all people, those that threaten us and that part of us that lives in fear.
May God provide, through us, that every soul will b be heard, be treasured, be encouraged, be welcomed and accepted just as one is!
You have granted me life and steadfast love, and your care has preserved my spirit.
Indeed we call blessed those who showed endurance. You have heard of the endurance of Job, and you have seen the purpose of the Lord, how the Lord is compassionate and merciful.
Words of Grace For Today
Job showed great endurance, suffering greater losses and illness and pain than most of us care to imagine. Endurance is a gift from God, as it is fueled by faith, as Job’s demonstrated.
What are we to do when the earth and it’s fragile systems cannot endure the onslaught we have brought against her?
In Canada the law has sought to protect bodies of water and the fragile ecosystems on their shores by proscribing camping within 30 meters of a body of water and driving through any waterway.
Here the area used by many campers each summer is a random camping area, which used to be a municipal campground decades ago before it was handed back over to the province to ‘care for’ as Crown Land. Signs ask that people respect the land, not cut down trees for firewood (logs already on the ground can be used for firewood), stay no longer than 14 days, and take out with them everything they bring in.
Still many leave garbage, unbelievable garbage behind, stay months on end (it’s supposedly their right!) and they hack down living trees and worse scar trees so that in a few years they will die, and generally show great disrespect for the land, tearing it up with motorized deep tread tires among many other things. What no sign says is that camping is prohibited within 30 metres of the shoreline, and scores of campers dig up the sand to park within 10 meters of the shore everything from subcompact cars with tents to 50 foot 5th wheel campers.
This first long weekend, the start of the camping season for many, is certainly no exception. Only noteworthy is that there are ‘only’ ten vehicles parked within 20 meters of the shore, and only two larger camper units within 10 metres. That will change, for the worse … or for the better … as the summer progresses?
One can only hope.
And trust that as the Lord is compassionate and merciful so too will the enforcement officers first be clear with what is legal and what is not, and then be compassionate and merciful, but not afraid to ban people who cannot seem to learn to camp responsibly and respectfully.
Now excessive noise from partying and quads or side-by-sides that do not have sufficient mufflers are another problem, as is the public drinking, that is the drinking of alcoholic beverages anywhere other than in one’s own camping area, which begins to beg the question if there are ten units parked around one campfire, is all that drinking still at each person’s campsite? Stretch it far enough and anyone can drink anywhere in the whole random camping area. Or rather, that is how far it is stretched and tolerated by any enforcement persons I’ve ever witnessed out here. Some of the partiers are off-duty enforcement officers.
So we will endure, for the damage is not to us, but to the land … as long as God keeps the craziness of these ‘illegal’ campers at a great distance from us. After all, compassionate and merciful as God calls us also to be does not mean that we need to be ignorant, naive, or stupid about other’s stupidities, does it?
We pray the earth will endure, for generations and generations to come, so that they can enjoy the beauty of such a camping area.
This day will be marvellous, a wonder to behold, in spite of the disrespect so plentiful here.