Wednesday, August 21, 2013

"The Wind In His Fists"   

Frances and I are throwbacks to previous generations.  Indeed, I often wonder why we weren't born in the 1920s rather than the 1950s.  This especially concerns our spiritual perspectives and practices.  Our beliefs are based on traditional doctrinal understandings, we attempt to speak and write accordingly, and we mostly sing the old hymns of the faith in the services we conduct (the one exception to our old-fashioned ways involves our being computer geeks, especially in the case of Frances, whose very presence intimidates and commands computers to behave themselves and do her bidding without question!  "Yes, your Majesty!").  Moreover, these devotionals evidence the one exception to our proclivities since you receive them by email rather than the USPS (does it still exist, by the way?).   

Actually, I know why we'reprogrammed (there's that pesky, new-fangled computer stuff again!) in this way.  A significant portion of our ministry, about half, takes place in retirement communities and nursing facilities.  We primarily encounter senior adults in our services, that is, people whose sensibilities and experiences mostly hearken back to previous generations.  These folks tend to share our viewpoints and ways of doing things, especially as it relates to church and spiritual matters.  We're therefore a pretty good fit together, and this brings me to the reason I write this, namely, that our Heavenly Father is a very good "Fitter," as it were.   

"God... worketh all things after the counsel of His own will" (Ephesians 1:3; 11).   

Our Heavenly Father exists as the great coordinator of all things.  Indeed, He is so lovingly, intimately, and powerfully involved in His creation that He can ordain real freedom in both angels and humans, see them misuse it, but nevertheless fit all things into His "eternal purpose in Christ Jesus" (Ephesians 3:11).  How does He do this?  It takes a far more foolish mind than even my own to believe that an understandable answer to this question exists.  Of this we can be sure: for those who trust in the Lord Jesus Christ and love God by Him, "all things work together for good" (Romans 8:28).  Our lives, which so often seem like the strange and misshapen forms of a billion piece jigsaw puzzle, are actually the components of a Divine purpose we may never understand, but which we can trust with complete and joyful confidence.  So, when some of us wonder why we were seemingly born out of season, for example, we may discover even in this lifetime the "Why?" of God's ways.     

Some questions, however, await answers only to be discovered only when we reach the shores of another place, and the dimensions of another time.  Our Father does not always explain His perfect coordination.  We wouldn't understand even if He tried.  "Who hath gathered the wind in His fists?" cried Agur, the writer of the 30th Proverb.  His response?  "Surely I am more brutish than any man, and have not the understanding of a man. I neither learned wisdom, nor have the knowledge of the Holy" (Proverbs 30:1-2).  I think this is one of Scripture's wisest statements.  Dear Agur knew that he could never know God's gathering of such things as the wind.  Nor can we know how our Lord gathers the components of our lives in order to fit them into a perfect and Christ-united whole of God's glory.  We can know that He will, however, and we must believe accordingly.  Moreover, we must trust that the unanswered "Whys?" of this hour serve the purposes of the Great Coordinator who does indeed gather both seasonal and unseasonal winds in His fists for perfect purposes, born out of perfect love.  

"His understanding is infinite."(Psalm 147:5)

No comments: