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Tag: Providence

Out of Our Hands

“So we stand in our parched and barren present, looking forward with confidence to God’s redemption. . . Sure, because of the Spirit’s presence …Our destiny is no longer in our own hands but in God’s hands, who is all powerful, loving, and whose purpose is redemption … The presence of the Spirit shows what final confirmation will be … The fact that the future is in God’s hands where we neither placed it nor from which we can take it away, Paul understands to be the basis of confidence and joy, rather than of fear and pain… because we are in God’s hands, the kind of God who sent his own Son for us (Romans 5:6-10) all things will finally…

Famine Makes Me Fat

“…you gave your people food of angels, and without their toil you supplied them from heaven with bread ready to eat, providing every pleasure and suited to every taste.” (Wisdom of Solomon 16:20) Wow! A chocolate malt and Superdog from B&G Milkway in Sioux Falls, SD? Every day? Three times a day? A famine like that would make me fat(ter). The angel brought Elijah this food when he asked God to kill him. One meal lasted forty days – talk about calories. The prophet’s widow who sought Elisha (2 Kings 4:1-7) got angel oil. Her husband had died, leaving her with debts, and creditors on the way to turn her two sons into slaves. Behind her report we can almost hear her…

Black Shelled Manna

“Tough nut to crack” has long been a synonym for a difficult problem. The toughest nut, the standard by which nutcrackers are judged, is the black walnut. I have yet to meet the nutcracker that renders its contents easily accessible. Primitive tools are often the best – car tires, a one pound hammer, and a brick. Many years ago, when we lived in Indiana, our property was loaded with black walnuts. I yearned for softer nuts to crack, like the paper shell pecans I remembered from Texas. One year I searched the nursery catalogs for a way to grow pecans in Indiana. I learned that it would be risky and would take 7 to 8 years to see the first…

Gospel Birds

  We should learn from the common examples that life sets before us.  Jesus says that the sparrows and ravens would teach us about relying on God’s provision if only we would permit such undistinguished professors to instruct us.  The soaring eagle could teach us the renewing power of expectant, quiet waiting on God.  (Isaiah 40:31). I do not see eagles much, but there is a gray heron that often visits the Laurel University pond.  The heron knows how to wait and how to fish.  He seldom moves, and then only slowly and deliberately.  How could anything prosper by being so still?  Shouldn’t he diligently search the whole shoreline?  Instead, he stands motionless. Then a fish swims by, the bill darts…

Forget Not His Wonders

The Elijah story (1 Kings 17-19) tells how God surprises those who receive his Word.  When God heeded Elijah’s prayer and stopped the rain, the crowd sought refuge in the cities, but God sent Elijah into the desert.  Elijah did not ask the obvious questions like “How can God protect me by making my desolation worse?  A fine protection that is!  A great reward for my loyalty!  Thank you so very much!  With a Protector like this who needs enemies?”  To common sense it seemed like a death sentence, but Elijah let the command of God be enough.  He drank from the stream that the Lord showed him and the ravens brought him food.  According to the Deuteronomic law, ravens were defiled…