You've had these kinds of nights if you're over your teenage years. You wake up about 2:30 am either to get a drink of water or to use the bathroom. You pad around the house in the dark, searching for what you want. You stumble your way back to bed, slide back in, pull up the sheets and lay there. Tossing and turning, unable to get back to sleep. Oh, it's maddening.
Our window has been ajar at night to let the cool breezes in after the warm days. It's always easier to sleep when it's cool at night. I could feel the cool air, and I could hear the neighbors. They were newer neighbors. Apparently, they can be quite chatty at 2:30 am.
I listened. Back and forth they called to one another without regard for anybody else. Oh, how I wanted to blame my sleeplessness on them. It wasn't their fault. I lay there eavesdropping. I couldn't understand them.
My irritation turned to joy. I had heard one voice on previous occasions, but now there was back and forth banter. Our lone owl neighbor was chatting with a friend! I continued to listen. Never having seen these neighbors, I imagined they were Barn Owls, big and burly. I refused to get out of bed again, so I continued listening.
Then I began thanking God for these owls who were keeping me company and bringing delight in the middle of the night. They stopped hooting. Did they begin to hunt? Maybe they will get a few gophers that permeate the neighborhood and terrorize all our plants. It's still quiet except for the beginnings of the workday, as a few trucks were on the freeway. My thoughts turned to the new heaven and new earth where we will dwell with God's creatures the way we are meant to dwell with them. They will live with us the way they were meant to.
What sleepless delight. Praise God.
Monday, May 19, 2014
Salvation belongs to the Lord; your blessing be on your people!
Salvation is possessed by God. He is the owner of it, He distributes it as He pleases, He is liberal with that distribution of salvation. It is not something we own, it is not something we distribute, it is not for us to horde.
Yes, I hear the objections already. "BUT, it's now mine. God gave me my regeneration!" I would urge you, if you have this objection or one similar to read that quote from Psalm 3 again. The plain text says Salvation belongs to the Lord.
Our Heavenly Father dispenses salvation through a variety of means: baptism, hearing The Word, and at The Lord's Table. It is He who keeps it and gives it to us. It is why we never outgrow our need for the Gospel, it is the milk that we yearn for like newborn babes with childlike faith.
Are you fearful because of Psalm 3? Does that make you uncomfortable? I hope it does if you believe salvation is your possession. Why do I hope you are uncomfortable with those words? Because it means you know what they are saying is true. When you wrestle with God over scripture's plain reading, you and God both win. You get each other in the end.
Here is the promise of God in dispensing His salvation:
For he says, “In a favorable time I listened to you, and in a day of salvation I have helped you.” Behold, now is the favorable time; behold, now is the day of salvation.
Cling to that!