Tuesday, May 13, 2008

An Update

Things are on track. We've been working hard the past two and a half weeks to get our house ready to list and we should actually put it on the market this week! We moved in with my parents to avoid having to clean the house over and over. I'm working to find movers to schedule and contract for the move. We'll pack out on the 23rd of June. Things at the office are continuing as usual. I'll be preaching vespers tomorrow night and leading my last Caruth Haven (assisted living center) worship service this Sunday.

GA is just around the corner and I'm trying to make sure I get at least a little time with friends that will be in town for the meeting. I'm also trying to get the last few items checked off to officially complete my internship.

Leslie has almost certainly secured a job for Nashville. More on that when things are official.

God has been incredibly gracious to us these past few months. Of course, we are always living in His grace, but just in case we didn't give it much thought, He has heaped so many blessings on us. It has had an interesting effect in my studies. You know how when things are bad...nothing is going your way. You are pretty sure you're "living right" and yet nothing seems to be going right. You start feeling like maybe you know how Job felt (no matter how light your affliction). It is common in such times to find yourself (if your response is a healthy one) seeking the peace and solace, encouragement and comfort of Jesus Christ and the gospel, and in the presence of sweet fellowship with brothers and sisters in Christ. Well, my circumstances feel more like Job before the affliction. And here is the interesting part...I find myself reacting in exactly the opposite fashion. Instead of thinking encouraging thoughts, I find myself drawn to thoughts and meditation on the goodness of God apart from his mercies toward us. Does that make sense? I find myself studying the Scripture to gain a greater understanding of Christian suffering. My thoughts in preparation for teaching are bent on reminding the faithful (and we in America are generally a very blessed faithful) that if all the good things go away tomorrow, God is still God. He is still righteous. He still loves His children.

As one that has, as a rule, received abundant good things from the Father for my whole life, I am afraid, and I fear for the church, that we have subconsciously linked the goodness of our God with the goodness of His gifts. This is so dangerous. We are not promised dream jobs, beautiful houses, sporty cars, iPods, etc. These things aren't bad. And this isn't a post about materialism. Perhaps I can clarify that by using family as an example instead. We are not promised a beautiful spouse. We are not promised beautiful, obedient, healthy children. If we have them it is a wonderful blessing from God. If we lose them, God is still God. He is still righteous. He still loves His children.

I am keen to remind myself of these things. My faith has never been tested in this way. And if it should ever be tested this way, I hope to remember (another theme I have been thinking about lately) this truth. And I hope brothers and sisters around me will lovingly remind me of this truth. I want to love God Himself more than the gifts He gives me. That's a subtle distinction when you stop to think about it. But it makes all the difference in the world.

1 comment:

Mike said...

Hey Matt I think you might be surprised how you would react in that situation. I know many who are very blessed who fear (that isn't the right idea, but the best one I could come up with) how they would react were the blessings taken away. But I guess that because it was at a point where I lost everything (almost including my life) that I really found God, I have no doubt that God is good and loves his children, no matter of our material blessings.

Good to hear from you.