Friday, January 21, 2011
Every Good Thing...
"Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow." James 1:17
"But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of you Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous." Matthew 5:44,45
This is Ashley, taking her pacifier for the first time - looks peaceful, doesn't she?
As I stood, staring at my granddaughters through the glass of what Dave calls their personal space ships, I kept thanking the Lord in my heart for these precious little girls.
"Thank you, Lord. We are so blessed."
Later, the nurse told me that every year the staff prays over each room in the neonatal unit. She said although they have state of the art equipment, they cannot save these little lives without the help of God. Then she said she has seen miracles happen nearly every day.
This got me thinking - sometimes when we talk about God's blessing, I think that our unbelieving audience inwardly roll their eyes and think, "Well, I have the same good fortune, but it's not from God." If it's not from God, who is it from?
For example, I am sure that many of the babies who have come through this unit were not from Christian families, and since the road to life is narrow and few find it, many of these children may never know God personally. So why did they survive their early arrival? Who is blessing them? If God blesses His children with good things, who blesses the enemies of God with good things?
Well, the answer is in God's Word. From the verses above we can be sure that every (100% word!) good thing given is from God - that includes saving the life of a preemie who will never know God's grace eternally. We also see that we are called to love our enemies because God is our example, and He shows love to all by shining His sun on them and sending rain on them. (I love the fact that it is HIS sun!)
I can hear you now: "Kristen, the sun shines on everyone. God couldn't make the sun shine or rain fall only on believers!" Really? Why don't you ask the Israelites whether or not they had daylight while the Egyptians were in complete darkness?
My point is this - God blesses the unbeliever. He blesses them with healing, wisdom, success, good health, and loving families. I think sometimes we get this "us" and "them" mentality - that God is only good to us and not to them. When we do this, we struggle to understand why good things happen to bad people, right?
Bottom line, II Peter 3:9 tells us that God wishes that none would perish - sending rebellious man to hell was not His intent in creating man and though His holiness demands justice, He graciously shows love to His enemies by blessing them while they are on the earth.
Yes, I am blessed, and because God has opened my eyes and saved me, I know the truth behind my blessing. God is the source of every good thing, and whether or not my audience can understand this fact, I will continually give credit where credit is due.
Equal time - below is Norah with her pacifier...so darling!