God At Work

The Psalmist nailed it, “My soul is weary with sorrow…” Pslm 119:28 . I am sick of grieving.  God has been gracious enough to give me a month between these two dark nights of the soul (first Jeremy’s funeral last month and now this); but it’s not enough. I don’t want to do another funeral, not like this.  But the Psalmist continues, “strengthen me according to your word.”

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Rick was so very much my kind of guy.  In a world full of people who play at 33 1/3 RPM Rick was a 45 kind of guy. And he could also play at 78 if you needed him to. (For those of you who were born after vinyl; before CDs there were these things called records.  To hear the music you had to spin them on a record player. 33 1/3 RPM was a speed for LPs and singles played at 45 … never mind it was a stretch anyway)

Rick wasn’t content to do what we had always done.  He was always trying things.   When we made Jerusalem marketplace for Bible Day Camp, Rick wanted to bake bricks in a brick shop.  We didn’t need a brick shop, it was a completely unnecessary detail, but I still thought it was a good idea.  So we built a brick oven and baked clay bricks.  Every kid made one.  Jacob loved his!  He took his home and hid it in his room.  I threw it out a couple of months later when I was clearing his room of rocks and driftwood (I’ll have to write a blog about that someday.)

It was just the sort of little detail that makes things like Bible Day Camp fun.  There’s doing Bible Day Camp and then there’s having fun with it. Why on earth would we do something like that if we weren’t going to make it fun? Rick was one of the people that made it fun.  This year he wanted to make bread in the oven, so we did (see the picture above).  I never told you Rick, but that bread tasted like a fried boot; but I am so glad we did it.

If you’re going to do it, do it big and huge and fantastic, and do it right!

I have been listening to a sermon this week and the words are ringing true to me right now.  Tim Keller says when going through a trial:

  • Never, never think that God is not at work.  He is always at work, He is always redeeming, always restoring.  He is taking broken hearts and making them new.  He is refining us, building us, teaching us.  He is always working.

Jesus said, “My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I too am working.” John 5: 17

The second thing Keller says when going through a trial:

  • Never, never, never think that you can understand what God is up to.

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD. Isaiah 55: 8

As soon as you think you know what God is up to, you get knocked clear on your can.  I don’t know what God is up to.  I am upset, and angry, and weary and filled with sorrow.  But I have hope.  Sandy reminded me this morning, “Imagine what he’s seeing right now.”

Imagine the wonders he now knows. He has attained to what we strive for.  He has fully comprehended what we can barely imagine.

“Strengthen me according to your word,” Lord. I sure need it

5 thoughts on “God At Work

  1. Thanks for your wonderful encouragement at a time when I seem to be shaking my head and asking ‘why?’ so often these days. I don’t understand why these young lives are being taken away and why God needs them more than we do here so it helps to have the perspective you do. I take to heart what Sandy said as well. Amazing perspective given what was taken from her. Thinking of all of you.

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  2. How like Sandy to offer you comfort. My prayers and blessings to you all. It has been many years since I have seen Rick, but I find myself greatly disturbed by the news of his suden passing. It is a reminder to us all to treat every day as if it will be our last day on earth.

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  3. Rick was a great man. I think his inner strength and peace allowed him to mentor so many people. At one point when we men were all young punks, we needed a man to bring us along, and Rick was one of those men.

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  4. Noel – Our hearts hurt — it is unimaginable to hear of yet another loss toour dear family in Christ at Tintern — Rick indeed was a great man — one I wouldwant to have known better — we always enjoyed his chorus visits here in the Saultand our too briefencounters when we made it to the Penisula. Pass on our deepest sympathy to Sandyand the family.

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