Tuesday, December 15, 2015

The Bethany Bullet - Week of December 13, 2015

Ad-Venting: When God Hides It Under a Bushel

THE VENT, the typical, traditional, generational vent from the prophet’s that we’ve heard this Advent season has ultimately been:  “Where God, are you in this?”  When “this,” the life of the Child of God has situations that are at odds, expectations, and circumstances that are contrary to what was calculated; we are tempted to wonder if God is hiding.

Paul is writing to the Philippians from prison.  Prison isn’t the last place you’d expect God to let the apostle settle?  As missionary to the Gentiles, Paul might have expected travel’s glamour…but the slammer? And should that shackled servant lay paper to pen, the last thing you might expect to read is, “Rejoice!” 

Rejoice in the Lord always.  Paul said it again, rejoice!  The Lord is near.  Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

I don’t know what your bars are built of?  Burdens you care, bruises you bare, the brokenness that constrains you tight and causes you to fall apart?  I know not what shackles you…sorrow, shame or sickness?  I don’t know of what your chains are cast…cancer in your body or feeling cloistered from everybody, credits rating or what credit card is carrying. I know not your prison…the past, the present, the lack of prospects for tomorrow. But I know this…at some point, whether it is just in general due to the ways of the world in which you live or in specific due to the weight of the world that you seem to carry; you’ve been imprisoned, shackled, behind bars, and by nature are prone to wonder, “Where God are you in this?” 

·        How can I trust His nearness at a time like this? 
·        How can I keep from being anxious?
·        How can I rejoice and how can His peace guard my heart and mind when all this is on my plate?
Perhaps the prophet not the apostle seems more real!  Paul knew and grew to trust that God was not hiding, even when He was hidden in sorrow, suffering, and shame and such.    
Though circumstances or situations might make it appear that God is absent (in hiding) He is simply hidden (present, working through even the worst of things, for the good of all things as He knows best.) 

The hymnist captures the profundity of this truth in “Let All Together Praise our God.”  The Father sends Christ from His throne to be an infant small and lies there poorly mangered now in a cold dismal stall.  Within an earthborn form he hides his all creating light to serve us all he humbly cloaks the splendor of his might.  He undertakes a great exchange, puts on a human frame, and in return gives us His realm, His glory and His name.  If in such hiding (dismal stall, infant small, humble cloak, earthborn form) He is working His greatest wonder ever, will He not also work in and through all things for your good, as He knows best, even in situations that are at odds with expectations and when circumstances are contrary to what was calculated?

-Pastor Kevin Kritzer


Post a Comment

<< Home

Free Hit Counter