Just some early morning thoughts from me to you…
He was despised and rejected—a man of sorrows, acquainted with deepest grief.
We turned our backs on him and looked the other way. He was despised, and we did not care.
Yet it was our weaknesses he carried; it was our sorrows that weighed him down.
And we thought his troubles were a punishment from God, a punishment for his own sins!
But he was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins.
He was beaten so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed.
Isaiah 53: 3-5 (NLT)
Every morning after a game, an event, a recital, a test, a contest or spelling bee, a big business presentation, whatever—win or lose, success or not—we get up the next morning and begin to plan for the next one. Or that really is what we should do.
No matter what happened before—big win, great results, crushing defeat or failure—the fact is that it’s over, we can’t change it, and we have to get ready for what’s coming next, or what we want to come next.
Not to sound too simplistic, but that is just the way it will be for every day of our lives. Because we will experience big wins and great moments, and we make huge mistakes and suffer heart-wrenching losses. We will experience deep joys, and suffer crippling disappointments. And we will have a choice—to move on, or not.
And in that moment it may help us, if we remember the truth which the Apostle Paul—inspired by God—shared in Romans 8:28 when he forecasts for all time this promise from God—
“And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose.”
Of course, that promise doesn’t mean that everything will work out exactly as we hope it will. But instead it means that God has promised to work everything we go through into His plan for us—a plan for good.
And in that journey of our lives, He doesn’t miss a thing. One way, or another, and in His time, all of our past experiences—our problems, pains, worries, sins, and “accidents”, as well as the victories and celebrations—will somehow be a part of His plan for our good. He doesn’t waste anything we have been through—our ups and downs, our highs and lows, or joys and sorrows—and instead He is at work weaving all of them together for our good and His glory.
So while we hold onto that promise in Romans, there’s something else for us to remember in the midst of the ups and downs of life that should add an additional measure of peace and faith in that promise of God to us. As the scripture above from Isaiah makes clear—Christ has already been there. He has been where we have been, and He loves us. He has been through the worst things possible, and ultimately death on the cross for us. And He rose again, and walks with us today through all the ups and downs of our lives. He understands us and what we’re going through and facing, and He is with us.
And as a shout out to those fathers we paused to recognize yesterday, all of that reminds me of all those good dads out there, who see their roles as fathers as sacred trusts and a duty—more than just a name. And I’m reminded of those good dads who embrace their roles as a sacred trust by this story.
The story of a guy who was walking along one day looking up at the beautiful sky and all of God’s creation around him, and all of sudden fell into a hole. He couldn’t get out.
After a little while, a doctor came by, looked down into the hole and the guy asked, “Can you help me out of this hole?” The doctor filled out a prescription, tossed it down into the hole and went on.
In a little while a minister came by—“Hey, can you help me out of this hole?” The minister wrote a prayer on a piece of paper, tossed it into the hole and walked on.
And then a friend came by, and when he heard the plea for help—“Hey, can you help me out of this hole?”—his friend jumped down into the hole.
The guy who had fallen into the hole asked, “Why in the world did you do that, now we’re both in here?” To which his friend responded, “Yeah, I know, but I’ve been here before, and I know the way out.”
Good dads have been where we’ve been, but more than that, they care, jump into the hole, and help us out.
The God we love and trust, the God we follow, the God in whose power and peace we walk, the God we pray to—has been where we’ve been. And cares and jumps into the hole to help us out. And here’s another neat and absolute truth—He knows the way out of whatever we face in life, He knows where we should go, and He stands ready to help us move on in life to be all He created us to be—no matter where we are.
The key for us during whatever we are going through or facing, is to keep our focus on Him. Don’t be distracted by all the things and expectations of the world around you—but instead always keep your eyes and heart on Him.
Today, later today, tomorrow, whenever, and no matter what you face—you have Christ with you.
So ask yourself this—with God on your side, what more do you need?
And then keep your eyes and heart focused on Him.
In His Name—Scott