April 21

“And being absolutely certain that whatever promise He is bound by, He is able to make good.” Romans 4:20

We are told that Abraham could look at his own body and consider it as good as dead without being discouraged, because he was not looking at himself but at the Almighty One.

He did not stagger at the promise, but stood straight up unbending beneath his mighty load of blessing; and instead of growing weak he waxed strong in the faith, grew more robust, the more difficulties became apparent, glorifying God through His very sufficiency and being “fully persuaded” (as the Greek expresses it) “that he who had promised was,” not merely able, but as it literally means “abundantly able,” munificently able, able with an infinite surplus of resources, infinitely able “to perform.”

He is the God of boundless resources. The only limit is in us. Our asking, our thinking, our praying are too small; our expectations are too limited. He is trying to lift us up to a higher conception, and lure us on to a mightier expectation and appropriation. Oh, shall we put Him in derision?

There is no limit to what we may ask and expect of our glorious El-Shaddai; and there is but one measure here given for His blessing, and that is “according to the power that worketh in us.”  (Streams in the Desert)

Knowing how to end is one of my biggest challenges in writing. The ‘when’ of finishing usually works itself out; it’s the quality of closing that’s in question. The same may be said of human existence. These days I find myself face to face, face to back, and face to knee with my own physical decline and inevitable mortality. Just last week I was down on my knees laying some tile, complaining to my grandson Josh how I had shortened the lifespan of my knees by wasting my childhood pretending to be a horse. He promptly asked if I would be walking with a cane by the time he was his brother’s age (that will be in only five years), then added, “If you’re still alive.” There’s nothing like the brutal honesty of a child to set one to thinking. Frankly, I understand better now than ever why my mother said so often that she wanted Jesus to come again, so that she wouldn’t have to die. She was secure in her relationship with Christ, she simply preferred to bypass the finality of ending. I wish that she could have done so, and to be honest—so do I.

I can truthfully say it’s not the dying that bothers, it’s the fear of not fully living while I’m still alive. “We must be careful with our lives, for Christ’s sake, because it would seem that they are the only lives we are going to have in this puzzling and perilous world, and so they are very precious and what we do with them matters enormously”(F. Buechner). There’s not much I can do about the weakening of my knees or the chronic catch in my lower back, but I do have within reach the ability to write my own epitaph. What happened or didn’t happen yesterday pales in significance with what I do right now.  My life does count, and this very moment matters. The living of this day consumes, not remorse for the past or fear of failing to have tomorrow; the only way to know I’ll end well is by fully living for Christ right now.

“I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” (John 9:4-5, KJV)

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