Finished Furnishings

Are you a giver or a maker? Is it possible to be both? Consider the difference between "giving" and "making". We can say, "I give you this item", or we can say, "I will make you take this item". Each carries a little bit of a different meaning. One implies an extension of one's self (making), the other the placing of something into one's care or use (giving). Yet, when we look at this in the terms of a great Creator "making" his people strong and "giving" his people peace, both words take on a different meaning!

God makes his people strong. God gives his people peace. (Psalm 29:11)

God "makes" his people strong - he brings about strength. It is in the movement and arranging of the various elements of our lives that strength is understood. In the times of the most significant weakness on our part, he comes through with the arranging of all things in such a manner so as to produce the ability to stand in his strength rather than our own. Of all those definitions for the word 'make' in the English dictionary, a couple stuck out as describing how our God moves in our lives to produce strength:

He causes himself to be understood - showing us he is all that he claims he is! God's goal is for us to understand him - to trust his ability, listen to his authority, and to take comfort in his attention. We could go through life with no understanding of him - not aware he 'backs' his claims solidly and without measure. God doesn't want that for us - he would rather have us 'know' him and understand his movements.

He causes us to be "made" as he has specified - not how others would specify for us to act or behave in this life. He has a purpose for each one of his creation, and he works overtime to bring us to the place of truly fulfilling our purpose. We make a lot of things, but in each 'thing' we make there can be variation. It might not be much, but there is variation nonetheless. God is truly the only one who can make this to specification each and every time. I don't know about you, but I want someone on my side who know not only 'how' to make life come together, but then acts repeatedly to have it come together in just the right way!

He causes us to move (to truly proceed) in the direction he has outlined for our lives. Try as we might, we can resist his direction, but we will never be happy outside of his defined leading. GPS on our cars tells us where the next turn should be - but it is possible to ignore it! GPS will 're-route' us after we don't take the turn, but it wasn't the route the little computer decided we should have taken in the first place. If you have ever had to 're-route' in life, you probably know there are usually a couple ways you can get back on course. Some of those ways are suggested by the GPS while others are formulated because we take this turn and then another until we are back in the general direction we were originally headed. Either way requires a whole lot of turn-around course adjustments! If we'd followed the leading we received first, we'd have save a whole lot of time, effort, and 'life fuel'!

God "gives" his people peace. Look at the differences in this passage. God "makes" us strong - because on our own, in our own capacity, strength is dependent on the circumstances, or the limits of our own physical condition or mental ability. In his "making" us strong, he causes us to transcend our personal limitations! When God "gives" us peace, it is because peace is something we struggle with accomplishing  in life. It isn't that we don't desire peace, but rather that it exists because of our own attempts to be adequate in the face of our own inadequacies! We 'try' and then admit all our 'trying' only led to more frustration, disturbed peace, and unintended outcomes. He makes us strong - in turn, he gives us peace. In the strength of our God, we experience the gift on his peace! He places into our lives what scripture refers to as peace which surpasses understanding - not so we will move without fear - but so we will come to rely on his leading. He "furnishes" us with peace - he "moves" us into his strength.

You may be in a spot today of needing strength - you will find it in allowing God to make himself understood in your life. You may long for peace - it is furnished at the hand of the one who holds both the present and the future in his hands. Stand strong and enjoy the peace! Just sayin!

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