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Monday, April 4, 2016

What's God rolling out today?

When we live in a finite world, with things changing all the time around us - aging, wearing out, becoming obsolete - it is hard for us to imagine them being renewed.  In fact, we have the hardest time with this one because even our own bodies wear down by the end of the day and all that we do to "make them strong again" is really just succumb to the rest cycle they were designed to go into once a day.  We don't even do the restoration of our bodies in sleep - God takes care of us even when we sleep!  I was talking with mom the other night, as she listed her aches and pains, bemoaning the many changes her body has been through which has left her with impairments too many to really recount here.  As she got to the end of the list, she recalled the pastor having recently spoken about "getting a new body" in heaven.  She wanted to understand what that body would be like.  I told her I honestly don't know for sure, but the promise of a new body is given in scripture, so I am pretty certain it will be of the type which doesn't wear out, because it will be ours for eternity as we worship at the feet of Jesus!

In the beginning, You laid the foundation of the earth and set the skies above us with Your own hands.  But while they will someday pass away, You remain forever; when they wear out like old clothes, You will roll them up and change them into something new, and they will pass away.  But You are the same, You will never change; Your years will never come to an end. The children of those who serve You will enjoy a good, long life; their offspring will stand strong before You. (Psalm 102:25-28 VOICE)

Today, we are bound by the limitations of our human bodies and the earthly surroundings we see, touch, hear, and experience through all our senses.  Into eternity, I think those bounds are going to be limitless, so it is pretty exciting to think God will one day "roll up" this which we deal with right here and now and "roll out" something which will remain forever, just as he does!  Today's resources may be limited, but eternity's are not!

The entirety of Psalm 102 is a litany of complaints about the wears and tears of living life on this earth.  The psalmist speaks about the intensity of his loneliness - living life on this earth, but not really connected in any significant way which brings him fulfillment and satisfaction.  He speaks of days coming and going, with the fatigue crushing in on him to the point his bones even ache.  He has undergone attacks both in word and deed - succumbing to the undermining of his enemies, if not physically, at least emotionally as he lays awake at night thinking about their taunts and terrorizing words.

Life is kind of like that at times - no matter how well we are living it, there are just going to be times when it gets a little more overwhelming and our days just seem to be emptier than we'd like them to be.  There are moments when our enemy's attacks are able to more easily accomplish their mission, simply because we are tired, frustrated, or feeling the weight of carrying way too much upon our shoulders - weights we weren't designed to carry.  In those times, do we just curl up in the fetal position and bemoan our agony, or do we turn our voice to heaven and let it all out?  I think our psalmist had the right idea - for he learned his best release of agony is not to internalize it, but to let it go to the one who has the ability to "roll it up" and take it away as easily as he does the dawning of a new day.

Sometimes what we need more than anything else is to ask God to renew what we cannot.  We can struggle to "make new" whatever it is we are struggling with, or we can ask him to roll it up by his hand, then roll out that which only can be described as a renewed spirit within us.  Mom cannot change the curvature of her spine, nor return the sight to her blind eyes.  She cannot reduce the swelling of those arthritic fingers, or undo the aging of her tired muscles.  She can trust God to restore what she has no power to restore, though!  His promises are sure - his power is never-changing.  We may not understand fully how he does what he does, or what that final product will look like, but when we trust God to roll up what is "over and done with" and roll out "what is about to dawn upon us", I am pretty sure we won't be disappointed!  Just as he brings the dawn of each new day, with no two being exactly the same, I trust what he brings to each of us in this process of renewing our lives day by day will be better and better with each new "roll out"!  Just sayin!