Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Not Much Different From Them

I have to admit that March is usually better than February here in Minnesota.  Yet, that doesn't take away the sting of waking to a temperature of negative 7 degrees.  I had a little trouble getting out of bed, and it was partly because March is supposed to be better than this.  It should not be below zero in March. Ugh.  And even the encouraging but noisy tweety birds have not returned like they usually do this time of year.  And while being a whiner I managed to lie in bed long enough to watch the temperature drop to negative 8.  It gets worse before it gets better.

Less than twelve hours earlier our family had gathered around the computer to listen to a sermon most of us had missed last Sunday, a sermon about how God is sovereign over every little thing.  I believe it in my heart, I know it in my mind, and it has gotten me through many trials.  Yet I forget it every day.  I whine and complain against God and the plan He has chosen for me, a plan for my good.  I forget that He has not wound me up for His own amusement, but that He loves me enough to die for my transgressions.

In the sermon, which I highly recommend you take 30 minutes to listen to, our pastor Joshua Moon quotes the first question of the Heidelberg Catechism.  We have not been very familiar with it, as we have always worked on the Westminster Catechism in our family, but I now know from the first question (Not to mention its long history of recommendation from many godly, more educated people before me!) that it is something we should spend time memorizing.  Here is the first question and answer:

Question 1. What is thy only comfort in life and death?

Answer: That I with body and soul, both in life and death, am not my own, but belong unto my faithful Saviour Jesus Christ; who, with his precious blood, has fully satisfied for all my sins, and delivered me from all the power of the devil; and so preserves me that without the will of my heavenly Father, not a hair can fall from my head; yea, that all things must be subservient to my salvation, and therefore, by his Holy Spirit, He also assures me of eternal life, and makes me sincerely willing and ready, henceforth, to live unto him.

That pretty-much covers it, doesn't it?  God is sovereign over the hairs on my head and the temperature, whether it is March or not.  I must work to memorize that, and quickly.  I complain and I forget His love and care for me.  A recent trip through the book of Numbers in my Bible reading reminded me of what a big bunch of whiners the Israelites were.  But I am not much different from them.  God is right here with me, too, loving and caring for each hair on my head, yet I complain about the cold.  He is here and has provided me with abundantly more than I could ever need or dream of.  May I go forward with a grateful heart.

Psalm 16:5-6, 9-11:
The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup; you hold my lot.
The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance.
Therefore my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices; my flesh also dwells secure.
For you will not abandon my soul to Sheol, or let your holy one see corruption.
You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

1 comment:

M. Helseth said...

Good words, Tracey. I've been reading the Catherine Voss Children's Story Bible to Grethe once in a while before bed and we just passed the part where Israel was whining and complaining in the wilderness. Grethe got the idea when I would mimic the Israelites in a whiny, irritating voice. The voice and what they whined about (small, insignificant things) reminded me of myself. Which made me think: God's patience is amazing. And so undeserved.