The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it. Psalm 24:1
The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord. Job 1:21
All of us have been impacted in some way by our recent flood in Southern Alberta. Many have suffered great loss–loss of life, loss of property, loss of security, loss of income. We also see the changes that have been wrought on the landscape by the erosion and loss of soil and rocks. And there have been some interesting, and rather scary, things that have turned up in some of those eroded areas. In the Weaselhead area of Glenmore Park, two bombs have been uncovered, left over from when that area was a training ground for the Canadian Military. On one site in Calgary’s southeast, car batteries and other toxic items were discovered that had been buried instead of being properly disposed of.
This all got me to thinking–when we go through times of trial and loss, what sorts of things are uncovered in us? Is there an unexploded bomb, tamped down anger, unseen and buried, that someone can unwittingly detonate when things turn sour? Is there toxic waste, like grudges or jealousy or resentment, seeping into our hearts and minds that we know is affecting our insides but no one else can see from the outside? Or do we have the treasures of faith and peace and hope that hold us fast and steady when times get tough?
The fact is, we all struggle with some sort of bomb or toxic waste in our lives. But if we are God’s children, we also have His Spirit working in us, helping us to sort through and address the bad stuff, while at the same time building the character of Jesus into our lives, making us women of faith, of peace, of hope, so that when the floods of life come and when we face loss, more good stuff is exposed than bad; more good stuff is built and strengthened while the bad stuff is properly disarmed and disposed of by our loving Saviour.
What type of loss are you dealing with today? Did you lose your home and/or property in this terrible flood? Have you lost a family member? Are you dealing with a relationship that is breaking down? Have you been unable to conceive? Have you had a breakdown in your health? Are you able, with the Psalmist, to acknowledge that the earth is in God’s hands, including everyone living on the earth? Are you able to praise God in the midst of loss as well as in the midst of blessing? It’s a choice, and sometimes a tough one, to praise God and to thank Him and to trust Him when going through these hardships. We know, though, that when we come out the other side, we will be closer to God and more like Jesus than we would have been had we not gone through the trial. Let us say with Paul, But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ. (Philippians 3:7-8)
Prayer: Thank you, Lord Jesus, that the earth is yours and that our lives are in your hands. Thank you for the times of trial and loss in our lives that uncover what is inside of us and help us to become more like you. Thank you that you walk through those times with us and never leave us alone. Thank you for letting us see where you are developing your character in us. Thank you also for showing us those areas that we need to allow you to clean up and disarm. Forgive us, Lord, for our sins. Purify our hearts and help us to desire you above all else. Help us to praise you and bless you no matter what is going on in our lives. And we do praise you, and thank you, and love you, dearest Lord Jesus. Amen
May this be the prayer of our hearts http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NL3NFhmxQxs
Contributed by Ann Stevenson