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God’s Gift: Timing

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Day 6 Advent and God’s Gift

Bible Reading: Genesis 21:1-7

day6

Image: public domain; I questioned my husband’s choice of this picture, but he said it was the joy on her face that drew him to it for today. I have to agree that his choice is good.

Today is, personally, a difficult day for me in this devotional.  I stare at the scripture reference and the notes I’ve written about it. 

Isaac, the improbable child given to Abraham and Sarah. The joy of the seemingly impossible–all the questions Sarah had while enduring this time of waiting. And God says in the end–Look what I can do!

He promised the child years previously.  And He kept His promise. But, oh, the wait!  So often we try to manipulate the fulfillment we want.  We can’t decide what God’s promises are going to look like.  We have to wait for His timing. I’m not sure there’s anything any more difficult or question provoking.  

Waiting for Isaac mirrors waiting for the Christ child, and the improbable saving of a sinful world through the birth of a baby.  

Thoughts for today:

What difficult waiting are you doing today?

In your prayers today, acknowledge to God the difficulty of waiting.  He can take it. He knows. If you need to, cry out to Him your frustration and your disappointment that His plan doesn’t fit your schedule.  Then ask Him to help you remember that His timing is better than yours, and His plan is greater than anything you can devise.

God’s Gift: Promise

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Day 4 of Advent and God’s Gift.

Bible Reading: Genesis 6:5-8

day4

Image from public domain

Isn’t it reassuring, in an odd sort of way, that we’re not alone in getting lost? The entire earth turns to wickedness and loses its way. 

Noah stands in the gap for humanity. A mere man, who, if you continue the story, you find having favor with God doesn’t mean he’s without sin. But he tries to honor God with his life.  And in that trying, God is pleased. He knows our hearts and our struggles and it pains Him when we don’t even try.

It is our task, as we wait, to honor God so that He honors the promise placed in the sky by the rainbow.

Thoughts for today:

Are you making choices that will honor God?

Do the choices you make point others to God in your life?

Are you living a life that shows you believe in the promises God has made for you?

In talking with God today, discuss the decisions you have to make and ask for His direction.  Be sure you listen for His answer. Ask Him to help you to keep moving in the last way that He pointed you.

Rainbows

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I’ve been thinking about rainbows a lot lately.  I want to do some research on rainbow “lore”. So far, I’ve only checked my concordances to see where rainbow shows up in the Bible.  Depending on your translation, that actual word may not be in your Bible.  And, if it is, it’s only in Genesis the one time.

So, it’s amazing to me how rainbows have come to mean so much in today’s culture.  I taught Genesis 6-9 in my high school world literature class. {Yes, I was allowed to do that. . .the Bible is literature, it isn’t forbidden, and it is in the textbook.} One of the questions the textbook proposed using was “why is the rainbow an appropriate symbol for God to use for His covenant?”

I loved asking that question.  It lead to a discussion of when rainbows appear and what feelings do we associate with them.  Most often my students arrived at an answer along the lines of rainbows mean the storm is over and we survived it; it’s hopeful.  They’re clever, kids. Give them a chance.

But recently, I had a unique experience.  While driving in a storm, a rainbow appeared ahead of me.  I was surrounded by torrential rain.  It was dark where I was. But ahead, I could see there was a lightening of the sky, and there across it, through the rain, I saw a rainbow.

rainbow-in-the-rain

Image from foap.com

The storm isn’t over.

But the rainbow is still there.

God’s promise is still ahead of me.