Sunday, November 4, 2012

To Him be Glory...both Now and Ever, Amen!

Good Afternoon.  It is a beautiful day in Atlanta, Georgia.  It's about 65 degrees and the sun is shining (between the clouds).  I have a bad cold or sinus infection.  Doesn't matter what I call it, the results are the same.  I attended "Bedside Baptist" this morning.  Most of you will completely identify with that phrase.

(Pause). I took a little nap after that first paragraph.  

I am looking outside my window at the most beautiful array of fall colors.  Now, there is a cloud cover with a sweet, gentle falling rain.  

Frank knows I love flowers.  I left for a conference on Tuesday.  When I returned on Friday, he had planted winter blooming plants in the front yard and all of our pots on the back porch.  (Thank you, Lord, for watering them today).

When I hugged and thanked him, he proudly ran his fingers through his beautiful, thick salt and pepper gray hair (that is a little bit longer, and I love it) and said, "it's my love language." Of course, we both laughed. I love him.  God is so good all of the time.

Are we ready for this election to be over or what? The political storm is swirling in every newspaper, on every TV channel -- Like It, Spin It, Tweet It --- in every kind of communication medium imaginable.  

As I reminded myself in an earlier blog, we have the far left, the far right, and then there is "leading from the center."  The hot buttons are Obamacare, abortion (always will be), deep deficit, too much spending, the ever-present agenda of "spreading the wealth" vs. individual responsibility, bias of the media, corruption in the government, loss of religious freedom, the 47%, vote for revenge, vote for love of country, debates -- the first, the last and the ones in between, four more days, Sandy, Benghazi - and on and on. 

It's too close to call. The brilliant pundits don't know who will win. If Romney carries Ohio, he wins; if Obama loses Florida, but carries Wisconsin, PA, and CO, he wins.  Someone might win the popular vote but lose the electoral college.  Right now it's a dead heat.  Many of us feel it is either a fresh beginning or the end of America as we know her.

There is so much rancor, discontent, accusation, and distrust.  This is just part of the chaos of this ole' world and its prince who revels in it (Eph. 2:2).  

My Heavenly Daddy reminded me this morning that He is not surprised by any of it.  The world is groaning and toiling under the weight of chaos and sin.   

Hebrews 12:1-3 talks about all the weight and the sins that so easily beset (surround or attack from all sides) us."  While I believe that verse is referring to believers, it does remind me of the commercial about COPD and how the disease makes the person feel like an elephant is sitting on her chest.  

Following that analogy, the inhabitants of this world are laboring under a giant circus tent full of elephants.

Then, the other verse that comes to mind is Isaiah 25:1, "Oh Lord, you are my God.  I will praise and exalt your name; for in perfect faithfulness, you have done marvelous things, things planned long ago."  There is great peace and rest knowing that in perfect faithfulness, my Heavenly Daddy planned my future a long time ago.

And the other verse, II Tim 1:12b "for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I've committed unto Him against that day."  He knows what tomorrow holds, and I know Him, and He knows me by name.  How about that? 

I will vote.  You must vote; but rest assured that God is sovereign. The Word of God tells us that an omniscient God has been working behind the scenes throughout history.  

And it is my Heavenly Daddy who "executes judgement, putting down one [king or kingdom] and lifting up another (Psalm 75:7).  And I know He does all things well.

Here is what is difficult for my flesh - to pray that the one whose presidency will bring the most honor and glory to the Lord Jesus will be elected.  As I prayed that prayer, He gently reminded me that sometimes He is most glorified when saints rejoice in suffering.  He only promised grace and strength for the day, not that the day would be without sorrow.  

I have been guilty of praying for whom I wanted to win the election.  I decided that was a selfish prayer, because it might have been more for my good than His glory.  

Now I pray that He will do whatever it takes (it unsettles me just to type those words even though I say I trust Him) to make me ready to see Him face to face, to give me grace and courage to share in His suffering and be made conformable to His death (Phil 3:10).  I have no idea what that entails, but He does, and that's all that matters.  

It's not about an election or even America.  It is all about Him.  

"Now unto Him Who is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy; to the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen!" Jude 1:24-25

PS - The sun just broke through the clouds.  And all God's people said, "Amen and Amen."