Thursday, December 16, 2021

Cast your bread upon the waters,
For you will find it after many days.
Give a serving to seven, and also to eight,
For you do not know what evil will be on the earth.
If the clouds are full of rain,
They empty themselves upon the earth;
And if a tree falls to the south or the north,
In the place where the tree falls, there it shall lie.
He who observes the wind will not sow,
And he who regards the clouds will not reap.
As you do not know what is the way of the [a]wind,
Or how the bones grow in the womb of her who is with child,
So you do not know the works of God who makes everything.
In the morning sow your seed,
And in the evening do not withhold your hand;
For you do not know which will prosper,
Either this or that,
Or whether both alike will be good.” – Ecclesiastes 11:1-6

With the destruction that has hit Western Kentucky and other areas this past weekend, it’s hard not to live in fear when we see the winds picking up, as they have today.  But…God is good! 


There’s more to that than just three simple words.  There’s a lesson. 


Is God good even when destruction comes, when those die that we have loved, when there are no homes, churches, schools, medical offices, or grocery stores to go to?  Does God care about those that are suffering, even though the destruction was in and from His own hands?


The answer is an astounding YES.  He is always good! He works all things for the good of those who love him and are called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28).  But that doesn’t mean we walk around in a sheltered bubble.  Evil exists in this world. Disease exists.  Destruction exists too.  We all live on the same planet and each of us has an effect, positive or negative, on each other.  Satan has his effects too. 


In our minds, without reasoning why, we try to fit God into the things we understand.  We try to weight His power with what we know as powers that we understand.  We try to weigh His intellect with our own, which is the only intellect we know.  We try to fit God into a man-sized box that we can understand.  Yet, God does not fit. 


God has told us that He doesn’t think or act like we do. His thoughts, His ways, His plans – they’re all above our own understanding (Isaiah 55:9).  If He did act and think like us, would He be God at all?


God sees the full plan - even future events are already known to Him.  In Isaiah 4:9-10 God says, “Remember the former things of old, for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like Me,  Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times things that are not yet done, saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, and I will do all My pleasure,’.  Our minds cannot even perceive what we will be doing tomorrow – or if we’ll even still be here tomorrow.  God has a unique perspective on all our lives.  He knows the highs and lows that we will be faced with.  He knows the pain and the joy. 


The verses from Ecclesiastes 11 at the beginning are as beautiful as poetry.  But in all it’s beauty, God says don’t fear what could happen – just live!  Throw out your bread without worrying where tomorrow’s will come from, feed more than you think you should, sow your seeds, and rest of God’s goodness.  Whether those seeds grow or die, God is still good.  His goodness is out of the realm of what we would understand is good. 


I don’t mean to belittle what has happened in our communities over this past week.  It’s horrible.  It’s hard. And we’re not going to get over it any time soon.  But please don’t live in fear.


When my kids were little I’d often have to pull things away from them that they could swallow and choke on.  Every time I did they would cry.  Was I being mean to them, bad to them?  No, but they didn’t understand.  Rest in the fact that we do not and cannot understand God’s ways either.  What we can understand, and I hope we all understand, is that God does all things out of love for us.  Let that Love be enough.