Friday, October 16, 2020
Don’t Go Batty
Trust God to keep you strong, to walk with you, to protect you.
God, who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.
1 Corinthians 1:8
God will also strengthen you to the end, so that you may be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Words of Grace For Today
The challenges of providing for the necessities of physical life are quite daunting at times.
Air is not complicated here in Alberta, yet.
Water … well clean water is a matter of collecting it from the city water dispensing site, cubit metres at a time, not that expensive, except for the cost of getting there and hauling it ‘home’. When it’s below freezing there are significant challenges if keeping it from freezing before one can use it, nearly impossible challenges for me. Or one can buy it much more expensive, filtered by reverse osmosis 5 gallon jugs at a time, and pay to get there and haul it home. Or one can collect rainwater and filter it oneself and sanitize it. Or one can use contaminated lake water … putting one’s own health at risk. Or in the winter one can collect snow and melt it, and boil it, trying to assure oneself that it has not been contaminated by some animal or whatever. Still water is possible. Canada has more fresh water than any other place on earth. Fortunate we are.
Food is an ongoing challenge. Growing it is not an option when one has not home or land or ability to ensure one is able to garden in any specific spot for at least a season. Buying it is necessary, but it costs money, which is in very short supply, though not non-existent. The food bank supplements what one can buy, and food is possible, most of the time, so far.
Clothing … is good, fortunately I have enough left from days of having a reasonable income, which is good since second hand stores exist, though they are limited in what they have. Or it is hours and hours away to get to the city where the available clothes are a wider selection. So far, so good, though.
Shelter is a daunting challenge that consumes more than 3/4 my time. In the end, so far, I have shelter from the rain, the snow, the wind, and the cold.
I am fortunate. I still live better than the majority of people alive on earth today, a mere fact of being born in North America and been able to work most of my adult life.
The real challenges that I cannot deal with myself, are other people’s wishes to have me dead, to arrange that that is likely, or to be willing to risk that they hit me when passing me at 110 kph on the right, on the shoulder, as I bicycle to and from town, working like mad to avoid the plentiful potholes that would wreck a rim or at least send me flying to the pavement.
Evil is hard to deal with. It’s always been incomprehensible to me, why some people are so cruel, lie so much, and cheat, or exercise their authority with malfeasance or sadistic processes.
With the daily physical needs of life, God is always there.
With dealing with the power of evil in everyday, God is always there.
The huge challenges of life are the last two necessities, meaningful labour, and love (to love others and to be loved by others.) These are not so much something one can acquire without the cooperation of the community in which one lives, or at least some people in it. When the most powerful people wish me dead … well these are nearly impossible.
When dealing with the power of evil so blatantly exercised by powerful people every day against me, God is always there. Sometimes God saves me from the effects of evil. Other times God simply weeps and suffers with me.
Still God neither slumbers nor abandons me.
As for God strengthening me (or any one for that matter) so that we are ever blameless … that never can happen. God strengthen me and strengthens each of us. We are able to remain gracious … with ourselves and with others, even our enemies who wish us dead. But we cannot on our own ever achieve blamelessness.
God must continue to forgive us each moment. Only by Grace are we now acceptable to God. In the end only by Grace (i.e. that Jesus’ record stands in for our botched, dirty and stained record) do we ever hope to still be acceptable to God.
God does not abandon us, nor does God sleep or slumber. God is on watch and walks with us.
Thanks be to God! For only by Grace do we live. Only by Grace do I live each day.
What about for you?! Do you think you make it through even a day or an hour on your own? Or are you also, by Grace, thankful for each breath?!