The Special of the Day… From the Orange Moon Cafe…
"The Heart and the Hand"
God measures our challenges in accordance with His heart and His hand.
Our car broke down yesterday in a turn lane 50 yards from the busiest boulevard in the state of Alabama. I called the auto service we use and ordered a tow truck. I waited more than an hour, never feeling in jeopardy because the lane in which I sat was far enough away from the intersection that people had time to see me and respond to my emergency blinkers (it also helped greatly that I sat in a turn lane). The grateful thought occurred to me that if our car was going to stall, it picked a good place, a good place not far from a bad place.
Exactly how God involves Himself in such matters, I do not know. I do know that He is involved, however. I pondered the thought as I waited to be towed, which led to the aforementioned assurance that difficulties - whatever their nature or degree - must pass through the measured degree of His providence.
While waiting, I thought about some things we know to be true about troubles, as plainly declared by the Word of God.
1. God has known what would occur in every millisecond of our lives, from our conception and forevermore. More importantly, He has known how He will act on our behalf in every moment.
"His understanding is infinite… Known unto God are all His works from the beginning of creation" (Psalm 147:5; Acts 15:18).
The Lord knows about cars that refuse to run, and about where they need to end up in locations of heavy traffic. He certainly showed that today.
2. Our Heavenly Father knows He is completely able to be and to do whatever we will need Him to be and do in every moment of our eternal existence.
"Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh: is there anything too hard for me?" (Jeremiah 32:27).
Having removed our hands from the reins of our lives as believers, we can be sure that the Hands that govern our lives are more than able to guide, provide, and protect in all things, and at all times.
3. God acts in accordance with perfect devotion to our well being. "For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end… Thou hast sent Me, and hast loved them, as Thou hast loved Me… (Jeremiah 29:11; John 17:23).
We may not understand God's hand regarding His administrations and allowances in our lives. But we can always trust His heart.
4. God's way is not merely good, or great, or very good or very great. "As for God, His way is perfect" (II Samuel 22:31). Amid the feelings of nervousness and irritation in the first moments of realizing my car deciding to take a nap, the thought came to mind: "this is something the Lord has allowed or determined according to His perfect wisdom and way. I can trust Him." Things worked out in accordance with that. Of course. "His way is perfect."
5. A good friend often says, "In the Bible, all means all. And that's all it means." Another good friend of us all once wrote, "We know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose" (Romans 8:28). The Apostle Paul meant the good of conforming us to the image of Christ (Romans 8:29). So, today's incident - a part of "all" - somehow fits into the holy determination by our Heavenly Father to do the absolute best thing He can do for us, namely, to make us like His Son.
6. I probably appeared to be pretty alone alone in the car, as hundreds of cars passed in the hour or so I waited for the tow truck (by the way, for what it's worth, one driver passing by stopped to ask if he could help. God bless him! And one blew his horn at me. God bless him!). I knew, however, I wasn't alone. "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in times of trouble" (Psalm 46:1). I actually had a pretty good time of prayer while waiting, and this message begin to percolate in my heart and mind.
7. Finally, I learned yet again why the Prince of peace is called by that illustrious title. Because He indeed the Prince of peace. The Lord Jesus bestows His tranquility where we least expect it - as we expect Him to do so. Paul proclaimed this so beautifully, calling us to find God's peace where it seems it should not be. "Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus" (Philippians 4:6-7).
Yet again, the Prince and His peace found me, this time in a measured challenge that could have been so much greater, but which was administered and allowed by the Heart and the Hand. I am grateful, and glad I can share the blessing of God's perfect way with you.
"The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: He leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for His name's sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; Thy rod and Thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: Thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever."
Weekly Memory Verse
He that believeth on Him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.