Mark 5:21-43; 2 Samuel 14; Daniel 8
Have you ever had one of those days when it seems like if you didn’t have bad luck you’d have no luck at all? Sometimes life gets difficult. We have troubles on top of troubles. The only reason bad things stop happening is so that worse things can start happening. (Those of you who are old enough may remember the opening lines in the old Blondie movies as the narrator details a string of woes.) When times like that happen, I don’t know about you, but I wonder why it seems like God is out to get me.
One of the greatest truths of the Bible is that God is out to get us! God, however, doesn’t see getting us as a negative; God wants to get us so that we can be in a relationship with Him. Whether Joab told the actress he hired to talk to King David to say this or whether she improvised on the spot, these words speak a great spiritual truth: “Like water spilled on the ground, which cannot be recovered, so we must die. But God does not take away life; instead, he devises ways so that a banished person may not remain estranged from him.” God does not seek ways to punish us. That’s so uncreative and so like the actions of false gods. You do something wrong and “ZAP!” you suffer or you die. How cliché is that? No God schemes, God imagines and devises ways to draw us closer to Him so that we may be in a relationship with Him. God seeks not estrangement, but fellowship. What an amazing, creative God we serve and love. What will it take for you to turn to God and draw closer to Him? There are sites on the internet overflowing with pickup lines that are designed to help young men be creative (yeah, I know) in their approaches to developing a relationship with women that may or may not last. God ultimately has only one “pick-up” line: “I love you and I forgive you. Jesus died on the cross to pay the penalty for all you’ve done. All is forgiven, return to me.”
One of the most amazing things I have discovered in life is how much God loves. His love is not just for me, of course, but He loves each of us with such a great love that we just can’t comprehend the depth and richness of His love. He seems to do different things during each day to call me to remember Him. Sometimes difficulties come and I am called to remember that I must depend on God for a solution. Sometimes good things come and I rejoice with praise. Just recently I was with a group on a mission trip doing what may be called generically “Vacation Bible School” (VBS). Our groups would be meeting outside, though and when it rained downpour style, we had to find a place to hold our VBS where the kids would not be drenched – to say nothing of the workers. The church where we were working had a perfect place that would protect against rain and sun, so we set up there and had an amazing time working with the kids God sent. (Yes, even THOSE kids!) As members of our group talked with the church they noted that they had never thought to have VBS there, but would be sure to do so in the future. What seemed like a disaster to us at first (VBS in the rain) turned into a great blessing for us AND for those who would work with this church in the future. God devises ways to draw us closer to Him.