The Day God Made
This is the day that the Lord has made;
let us rejoice and be glad in it.
– Psalm 118:24
This past Sunday, 8/26/2018, is a day I will not soon forget. My pastor's oldest son, Caleb Freeman, was in a car wreck in December of 2017. He suffered a severe TBI (traumatic brain injury) and over the last 8 months has been recovering. What God has accomplished in and through Caleb is nothing short of miraculous and his story has reached thousands while faithfully pointing them to Christ! This last Sunday, the time had come to celebrate what God has done and rejoice together as Caleb returned to his church family.
As I sat in the balcony of our packed church, watching the video of Caleb's journey, emotions were high. Remembering the night of his wreck, feeling again the crushing weight of that moment, seeing his months of progress retold, reminded of milestones, then seeing Caleb physically walk into the service, the emotions that came are difficult to explain. Being my usual over analytical self, I've tried to unpack, define, and sort them as they were coming, but it became such a twisted mess in my mind that I had to give up and just let them happen.
To try and share why I was experiencing such a mangled flow of feelings would take writing an article I'm in no way prepared to write. However, I will say this. It is a tidal wave of questions surrounding God's faithfulness, his will, his power, his provision, and his work. Questions of why he chooses something for one person, then something different for another. All this comes rushing in trying to unhinge the foundation of my belief that God is good, while at the same time truly being overwhelmed and rejoicing at the visual miracle in front of me. It is a strange mix of thoughts and it is a fight to not give in and let my faith be shaken. It is a battle to choose to focus on what is true over what is a lie. To submit in humility to a God who says his ways are higher than mine, that his ways are better than mine, and his ways are good.
When you look through a purely temporal and physical lens to view what God has done for one, then compare it to another, it is easy to come away questioning God's faithfulness. So it is a fight to see things–as my pastor preached for us that morning–from an eternal perspective. It is a fight to look through the lens of God's word and see how God is at work on an eternal level, a spiritual level, and come away saying, "God is faithful to ALL of his children, in ALL their days!”
God has a unique plan for every life but they all end with one goal. God’s glory. When the path to that goal in one life looks different from another, this does not equate that God is faithful to one and faithless in another. Instead, it means he knows exactly what we need in our lives to give him the most glory. And when we find our life full of glorifying our God, we find a life full of joy!
Everything sinful in us wants to kick back at that reality, and storm at God to yell in his face that he cannot be good and completely in control! But he is good. He is good because he said he is good. Because he is faithful to himself to be good. Because he said he is for us and not against us. He is working for his glory, for our good, and our eternal enjoyment of him. (1 Peter 1:3-10)
We don't always feel it, and that is normal, but I believe we can always cling to him in resolved faith that it is true. We start with knowing it, then we preach it to ourselves until we see his goodness in our lives, and the feelings will come. Maybe not in a smile and skip down the street, it maybe found in a fresh and renewed resolve that God will see you through after spending all night weeping. But we feel his presence through the pain, we suffer at his side, and we know he is good.
God put a simple statement in my heart Sunday afternoon when reflecting on all this.
God is faithful to himself, to his will, to his plan, to his glory, and he is gracious enough to show that faithfulness to us.
God is faithful to us, by his act of always being faithful to himself. We do not bend him to our will, forcing him to accomplish our goals. Instead, in knowing what is best for us, he is faithful in bending us to his will. His good and perfect will. A life with Christ is not a painless journey, but I can honestly say it is where we find the true joy, rest, and peace we long for. I wouldn't want any other kind of life, because he mets us in our trial and in our suffering.
So we trust him because he is the God of all our days. He made every one of them, and he has made them for our good. He made them for us to rejoice in them.
This is the day that the Lord has made;
let us rejoice and be glad in it. – Psalm 118:24
He made the good ones full of laughter, and the ones full of tears. He made the long nights and the peaceful days. So today, and every day, I will choose to look to the things unseen, things eternal, and KNOW that my God is good. He made these days, and I will rejoice in him!
If you find yourself basking in the sun today, or under looming clouds, or in the biggest storm of your life, I pray you are clinging to him! For those that feel to week to continue, I encourage you to meditate on this passage:
Though the fig tree should not blossom,
nor fruit be on the vines,
the produce of the olive fail
and the fields yield no food,
the flock be cut off from the fold
and there be no herd in the stalls,
yet I will rejoice in the Lord;
I will take joy in the God of my salvation.
God, the Lord, is my strength;
he makes my feet like the deer's;
he makes me tread on my high places.
– Habakkuk 3:17-19
I hope you know Jesus, and have true joy in the God of your salvation!
Sunday Reflections are short articles that share thoughts from weekly Bible reading, devotions, sermons, or times of worship. You can find more of them here.