You know how it is with games? You get all enthused and excited. Some folks see you playing and others see you and they want to play too. It's a contagious sort of thing.
This happened the other day when I posted a "meme" game my friend Kerri Hamilton (a missionary-in-processing) thought would be fun. Go here for the origin of my part in the game. Oddly enough, it sparked something in a friend of mine who simply reads my blogs and doesn't have a blog of her own. She just started playing with folks she has on her email list. The game is simply to take the book nearest you and open to the 123rd page. Skip down 5 sentences and then post then next 3. That's it. No cheating and looking for another more profound book. Just come as you are.
Because I like Kerri, I played along. Because my friend Mary wanted to play along, she sent me her sentences from a book recommended as reading by her daughter's pastor. Her words are these:
"All of this bubbled up as praise to God, Jesus said that all heaven breaks out in radical rejoicing over the Great Work of God's grace; (Lk. 15:4-7). If the angels of heaven rejoice so freely when one sinner, such as Fred, repents, imagine the immeasurable joy of heaven in the ongoing work of grace among the multitudes." From the Work of the Gospel, How We Experience God's Grace" by John Ensor, 2006.
When I read those words so randomly chosen from a book so randomly nearest my friend Mary, I was truly comforted by the phrase: "imagine the immeasurable joy of heaven in the ongoing work of grace among the multitudes."
Grace among the multitudes. Oh how we need grace among the multitudes. The multitudes of our churches. Of our families. Our relationships. Our blogging community. Grace is what we need. There will come a day when God will remove His grace from the land of men. And even today as His permissive will allows man to mock His name and rebell against all things holy and sacred, God's arm is not shortened. His compassion and steadfast loving-kindness fails not. But that will not last forever for all.
My friend Mary sent me her sentences to the game and ended her email with "Your turn". I laughed. I already played. But I love Mary so I grabbed the closest book to me, "Healing for Damaged Emotions" by David A. Seamans, and I opened it to page 123. At the end of five sentences, this is what was written:
"We won the major battle, we took on the tanks, the heavy artillery, but then we got picked off by some little sniper in the bushes. That's the way it was with the prophet Elijah. He confronted 400 priests in one of the most dramatic showdown battles in all of history."
From that portion of David Seamans' book, I read more. And the following sentence grabbed me in its grip: "And then, a caustic, snippy remark by Jezebel, Ahab's wife, got to him; "You go tell that prophet that I'll make his life so miserable that by sunset he will wish he were dead!" (see 1 Kings 19:2)
I read on and the power in those words wrapped itself around my heart and began to squeeze out the discouragement and heartache I'd felt over issues in the Christian community and secular world. Politics. Accusations. Control. Helplessness. It all faded into a spiritual perspective beyond this earthly existence. An exact prayer that was prayed for me by my friend Kerri when she read my post on Big Mouth, Worms and Me. I took that inspiration from Mary's words on grace. I added that to the words from David Seamans. I followed it to God's comfort for Elijah and I wrote a devotional for dailyIMPACT, CAUGHT OFF GUARD.
Oh the way God works with the games people play. Oh the way God uses the foolishness of men for His divine purpose. Oh they that think they are above God's control like Jezebel who dared to mock God's annointed for the day. God went on to raise Elijah up and bring Jezebel to her ruin. Do you have a Jezebel in your life that sits in the bushes? Don't be discouraged. God is in control. selahV
[copyrighted, SelahV Today, 2008]