The National Day of Mourning for the Unborn is:
Saturday, February 23rd.
We mourn the lives that have been destroyed,
We intercede for the lives that have been damaged,
We seek God's forgiveness, and
We pray for our legislators and leaders.
“O Lord, our Lord, How excellent is Your name in all the earth, Who have set Your glory above the heavens!” – Psalms 8:1
I was in AWANA a long time ago – when they still had JV and Varsity. Our JV classroom was right next to the fire escape. Because we had AWNA on Wednesday nights occasionally, especially during the early part of the year, a leader would call for a “JV Moment”. This was code that the sunset was especially lovely and the entire class would come out on the fire escape to see God’s handiwork.
Tonight, I was watching the sunset. The pink clouds glowed with the sun’s final rays and slowly faded to a peaceful purple. “How beautiful! It is like watching a master.” I mused.
I have heard that some people get a tingle up their spines listening to a concert violinist or watching a company ballet dancer. People stop and stare at the great works of art in museums and spend hours trying to capture their essence as they imitate “the masters”. But what about the true Master? His artwork is all around us – the sunrise, the desert wildflowers (that bloom once a decade), the animals that share our earth with us. God’s masterwork is here for who desire to appreciate it. Look.
“That you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God;”
– Colossians 1:10
You desert rats already know this but prickly pears produce a red-purple fruit. It is edible but it is covered with small spines that you have to peel off carefully to make sure you don’t get them in your mouth. But I think it is the sweetest food the desert makes.
As I was running this morning, I looked at all these small little fruit on these tiny prickly pears and realized: the domesticated fruit isn’t nearly as good. Not nearly. Not as sweet or juicy. Why? I think it’s because they get watered – life is too easy for them and it affects the fruit.
The best fruit comes from the mature plants (not necessarily older but mature) that live in the desert.
Like our lives. The sweetest fruit -- love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, and self-control – come from “lack of water” in mature lives or suffering, longsuffering, and endurance in the lives of those who allow themselves to be matured in Christ.
To get that fruit in the desert, the rain has to come at the right time. Little to no fruit grows in the driest years. God know this. Rain will come at the right time to our lives as well. Ultimately, no matter how old the plant is or how much it has endured – the rain brings the fruit. In my life to, no matter how old (not mature, in this case) I get or how much I endure – the rain brings the fruit. And the rain is from God. God brings the increase.
Confession time: I sometimes fancy myself a writer…and occasionally even a fiction writer… who actually grows fond of my literary characters. Real emotions for fake people. I know where my characters are going to end up – most have good ends but a few I know will not.
Slowly I craft backwards. If I want him to change from a conman to a crack police detective – he is going to need to realize some truths and change in response to those truths. I generally (but not always) want good things for my characters and to that end I am willing to let them go through hard things. Natural consequences. External hard circumstances. Purposeful discipline. Conflicts with others and on and on.
But praise God! He is a Good Author. While my goal is “generally” good for my imagined characters, God always has good plans for His “characters”. And while I don’t really know – He knows it all. Would this change my protagonist’s mind? What about his heart? His future? His eternity? I am making my best guess but I don’t know. He does. He knows what will change us. How to get the best outcome for us. And He is writing to that good end in each of our lives. So, praise God!
I dabble, but God is the Master Author!
Come with me as we grow in fellowship with each other and our Savior to whom belongs the Amazing Escape from sin and death and the Amazing Journey into glorious life.