Sunday, July 13, 2008

The Right Proportion

"For a small moment have I forsaken thee; but with great mercies will I gather thee. In a little wrath I hid my face from thee for a moment; but with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee, saith the LORD thy Redeemer. (Isa.54:7-8)

I have been blessed by being present at the births of both my great-grandchildren. I remember as my granddaughter was laboring to bring our precious Ethan Andrew into the outside world from his ultimate comfort zone, noticing a big clock on the wall directly in front of Glory. No doubt, it provided a way to time the pains, but I couldn't help thinking (and remarking to my daughter-in-law) that I still thought the clock was a poor idea. I don't know about other women, but to me the daunting uncertainty of how much longer the pain would continue was every bit as distressing as the pain itself. I suppose that's why I kept assuring Glory that it would soon be over and the result would make it all worthwhile. And my young granddaughter (bless her heart) flashed one of her incandescent smiles and murmured through the pain, "I'm trying to be happy!"

There's a wonderful lesson for us in these verses in Isaiah. You and I, my dear Christian friend, should stop "watching the clock" when it comes to our trials and hard times; because, in retrospect, just like childbirth, the labor room of our afflictions will seem to have been a "small moment" compared to the "great mercies" and "everlasting kindness" of the God who will soon gather us to His bosom. Paul reminds us of this same truth when he says in 2 Corinthians 4:17, "For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory."

God knows exactly how to proportion the events of our lives in order to produce the best results for us in the long run. That’s what it’s all about, you know…the long run. And although generally speaking He prefers an even balance in most things, when it comes to His own personal dealings with you and me, His mercy and kindness will tip the scales in our favor, every time.

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