Tag Archives: Perspective

Job 1-3; Psalm 29; Revelation 10

He was about to lose his life as he knew it. I’m so thankful for these years reading through the scriptures, getting to know the people and my God better each time. But interestingly, the frequency and familiarity don’t make it easier–sometimes it gets a little harder.

I want to hit pause as I read the opening lines of Job–a man of integrity, a man who feared God and stayed away from evil, a loving father of sons and daughters, his home a place of feasting. He was considered rich by his community’s standards, and by my own standards his heart for God and family make him truly wealthy. He was a disciplined man, and his life had a beautiful rhythm.

And he was about to lose his life as he knew it.

This time around, it’s hard to keep reading farther. The loss, the wrestle, the tugging pull of assumptions, accusations, confusion–and a lot of that comes later. His pain is deep; he wonders many things; he wants to erase the wounding and lock it all away from light. There are many things loss dredges up to the surface that survivors must confront. This is hard work.

I know if I sit here longer with Job, I will learn things. Because there will be a time when life feels upended, and life as it was known is lost. How do I look at Job’s grief when I can’t even resolve my own? I turn the pages and focus on this: the voice of the Lord.

Across the seas and among the cedars and oaks, the barren places and wilderness, his voice echoes, strikes, wrings, and strips.

The voice of the Lord is powerful;
    the voice of the Lord is majestic (Psalm 29:4, NLT).

I listen for your voice, Lord.

10 The Lord rules over the floodwaters.
    The Lord reigns as king forever.
11 The Lord gives his people strength.
    The Lord blesses them with peace (Psalm 29:10-11, NLT).

Courtney (66books365)

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Filed under 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan, Job, Old Testament, Psalms

Numbers 30; Psalms 74; Isaiah 22; 2 Peter 3

But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: To the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years is as one day. The Lord is not slow in doing what he promised—the way some people understand slowness.

But God is being patient with you. He does not want anyone to be lost, but he wants all people to change their hearts and lives.

Try to be at peace with God. Remember that we are saved because our Lord is patient. 2 Peter 3:8-9, 14b-15a (NCV)

God is patient with you…Remember that we are saved because our Lord is patient.”

I am saved because He is patient.

God is patient with me.

I am struck by ‘patience’.

Patience – forbearance – longanimity – Good-natured tolerance of delay or incompetence.

For so many years of my life, I heard from religion, Old Testament understandings of a wrathful God. I heard fire and brimstone teachings, crafted to cause shame at my ineptitude. I heard John 3:16, not through the devotion of unconditional love, but through a filter of heaped coals on my sinful head.

In this wrong-mindedness, I thought God could never be truly pleased, truly happy with me. I envisioned Him to be frustrated, irritated, and impatient with my own failures and the abhorrent behavior of the world. I saw an image of shaking head, wagging finger, and tapping foot.

And then I encountered real love, arms stretched wide, and I walked through the door to grace.

I came face to face with Truth and the experience of those tiny glimpses of an immense God changed my perspective.

Today, I see the reality of His patience.

His patience is good-natured – having an easygoing and cheerful disposition.

His patience is full of tolerance – a disposition that allows freedom of choice and behavior.

His patience is bigger than any shortcomings or imperfections. It offers the chance to be found, the chance for transformation.

His patience presents the opportunity for peace.

Blessings – Julie, Vadipatti, India (written in the U.S.A.)

Scripture taken from the New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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Filed under 2 Peter, Isaiah, Numbers, Old Testament, Psalms, Uncategorized

Genesis 45; Mark 15; Job 11; Romans 15

“Can you understand the secrets of God?
Can you search the limits of the Almighty?

His limits are higher than the heavens; you cannot reach them!
They are deeper than the grave; you cannot understand them!

His limits are longer than the earth
and wider than the sea.”  
Job 11:7-9 (NCV)

I know that everything that happens in my life happens for a reason. I am a believer of choice and free will, and I believe that the Omniscient God knows my journey in life as well as He knows the number of hairs on my head.

I don’t fully understand the purpose of the circumstances of my life. But, I also know that I can only see the tiny pieces of my days. He can see the big picture, where one day plus another day and so on add up to the whole, where lives interconnect and are forever changed.

Now don’t be worried or angry with yourselves because you sold me here. God sent me here ahead of you to save people’s lives… So God sent me here ahead of you to make sure you have some descendants left on earth and to keep you alive in an amazing way. So it was not you who sent me here, but God… Genesis 45:5, 7-8a (NCV)

In the midst of the day to day of my journey I often don’t pay heed to God’s hand in any of it, the whirlwind of life demands my concentration and I lose focus on my Maker. It is in the aftermath of events, in the hind sight, where I take notice and connect the dots, when I finally see how God’s workings are evident.

A man named Simon, from Cyrene, the father of Alexander and Rufus, was coming from the fields to the city. The soldiers forced Simon to carry the cross for Jesus. Mark 15:21(NCV)

 

When the army officer who was standing in front of the cross saw what happened when Jesus died, he said, “This man really was the Son of God!” Mark 15:38-39 (NCV)

When I read stories in the Bible, I wonder about the people: their hopes, their expectations for their lives, how they muddled through the circumstances that shaped them and made them into who they became. I get a bit and a piece, a snap shot of their lives, but not the inner workings of their minds, not the details. I read of the moment, but miss out on the big picture reflections.

I wonder, if Pilate, the Jewish Priests, Barabbas, Simon from Cyrene, Alexander, Rufus, the army officer, and every other person who was a first-hand witness to the death and resurrection of Christ looked back on that time the way that I can remember where I was when the towers fell on 9/11 or the tsunami devastated the islands in east Asia.

Did they look back on that day as a defining moment in their lives or pass it off as just another instant in their own cyclonic lives? Did it fundamentally change who they were or get forgotten in the midst of honey-do lists and everyday endeavors? Did they see the finger of God pointing them in the right direction, urging them toward His love?

Everything that was written in the past was written to teach us. The Scriptures give us patience and encouragement so that we can have hope. Romans 15:4 (NCV)

I feel fortunate that I have the opportunity and the freedom to be able to read these portraits of life in the Bible, to learn from and be encouraged by the small glimpses into the big puzzle that we are all a part of, to peruse the past that, if I allow it to, can influence my present and alter my future.

I am grateful that I am able to look back on the days leading up to my own witness to the cross, and remember being drawn into Him and His love.

And, I hope that, in the twinkling of the moments of my living, I recognize the God-perspective more often and become more resistant to losing Him in the shuffle of my hectic schedule.

 

I pray that the God who gives hope will fill you with much joy and peace while you trust in him. Then your hope will overflow by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13 (NCV)

 

 

Blessings – Julie, Vadipatti, India (written in the U.S.A.)

 

 

Scripture taken from the New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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Filed under 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan, Genesis, Job, M'Cheyne Bible reading plan, Mark, New Testament, Old Testament, Romans