I saw a picture yesterday, beautiful landscape a glow with the setting sun. It read – “The world is not my home, I’m just passing through.”
It’s not a new thought.
Anne Bradstreet wrote of the struggle of appreciating the beauty of the earth vs. the depravity of man in “The Flesh and the Spirit.” Emily Dickinson struggled through doubt and faith in immortality in her poem, “This World is not Conclusion.” Puritan’s hung tight to their depravity forsaking the rich beauty of the new world they had discovered. Nathaniel Hawthorne often used this sentiment in his writings, relying heavily on masks and scarlet letters to showcase the believers separating themselves from the people and things of this world. They knew all to well, even in the midst of raw untamed creation, they were only passing through.
I sometimes wonder if our eyes are so heaven bound we miss the beauty of His creation along the way? Do we miss that which He delighted in creating and declared good? Do we miss the people we were placed here to love, the purpose we were given to fulfill, the journey we were meant to live? Do we miss the opportunities to love and pray for the world we inhabit? Are we so consumed with our interpretation of scripture that we miss what God has put in front of us?
Our nation will never line up exactly with anyone’s theology. The church can’t even seem to agree on some key issues – hence the need for so many denominations. But that does not free us from living in, respecting, and praying for the world we live in.
David, in 1 Samuel 24, is an excellent example of Romans 13:1 (see image above). Prior to his kingship he was being pursued by King Saul, his father-in-law and best friend’s father. King Saul had every intention of killing David. One night Saul found himself at David’s mercy. David had an opportunity then and there to take Saul’s life, end the hunt for his own life and claim the kingship. It was the simple way out. It looked as if God had handed Saul’s life to David and this was his chance to take what God had promised him. Instead David chose to spare the king’s life because the Lord had placed Saul in that position. David knew that what needed to happen would happen, but on God’s time table not David’s.
God’s got this. He created this world, the entire world not just America. His love is bigger then our borders, and much bigger then our tidy boxes of theology. When we pray we should not limit Him to our interpretations (no matter how right we think they are), instead we should always say “but your will be done.” And we should do so with humility because as humans we are fallible and make mistakes. God doesn’t. Rest in that.
God’s will does not always make sense to us. Why? Because He is God and we are not. I know, it sounds a little like when mom yells, “because I told you so.” I have found as a mother that my children need to understand not to do something sometimes long before I can adequately explain on their level the reason why. Why not stick a fork in the outlet? I don’t know sweetie, give it a shot and see what happens just doesn’t sound loving no matter how badly my two year old may have wanted to.
When our daughter was diagnosed with cancer I was not happy with the direction our life was taking. When we first moved to the desert of Fort Bliss I did not rejoice in the dusty dry air. Both were sorrows in my life that turned to joy. Had I let go early on, had I let go of my agenda, my wants, and my anxiety and grasped instead to thanksgiving and faith how different those days would have been.had I let go of my agenda, my wants, and my anxiety and grasped instead to thanksgiving and faith how different those days would have been. Click To Tweet
“Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” Hebrews 4:16What do I mean when I say our eyes are so heaven bound we miss the world we live in? Click To Tweet
What do I mean when I say our eyes are so heaven bound we miss the world we live in? Doesn’t scripture say that we are just passing through and that our treasures lie where are hearts are?
I do not love creation more then the one who created it when I enjoy the world I live in. I cherish His creation because it is a testimony to God’s greatness. I worship the Creator, not the creation. Taking care of, respecting and admiring the creation are ways in which I worship.
God in His grace created this world. We live in it, we care for it, we abuse it, and we do the same to the people on it. We may be passing through this earth but every traveller leaves a mark. Rest in the beauty of God’s grace. Enjoy your time here. Pray for those who walk this earth with you.We may be passing through this earth but every traveller leaves a mark. Click To Tweet
May God say of your mark and of mine, “and it was good.” Pray for our nation, do not curse it. Pray for our people, do not give them cause to fear or hate our God. Pray for our own hearts that they will be filled with the grace and love of Christ. And pray that God’s will, not ours, be done. Rejoice in His answers. Follow in the steps of Job, Deborah, Mary, the prodigal son, Sarah, Hagar, David, Christ and so many others whose prayers were not always answered as they had originally requested but in much greater, much better ways.
This post is a collaborative post on praying for our nation.
Several of my blogger friends are also talking about the importance of praying for our country. Please visit them to learn more about prayer.
This week I am giving away a copy of As Waters Gone By by Cynthia Ruchti (ends 7/10). To enter go to Interview with Cynthia Ruchti and a Giveaway.