Lent: Day Twenty-four

It has been a day of changes. It was raining and 52 degrees when I went to bed. When I got up it was in the mid 40s and still raining. By lunchtime it was snowing and 34 degrees. The snow stopped after less than two inches but the wind picked up and twice blew my trashcans off the porch and up the street. Right now it is down to 21 and projected to fall to 15 degrees or below before morning.

We live in an unpredictable world. Since Adam and Eve had to abandon the protection of Eden, it has always been so. The weather, the social and political world we live in, and our own physical and spiritual health are all buffeted by volatile events, most of which are out of our control or even our ability manage completely.

Christians believe that God designed the world we live in, once a paradise, now a world that struggles with the results of sin. Scripture doesn’t explicitly state this but I believe there are intimations that God also designed the fallen world for our benefit. In Genesis 3:17-19 God said:

To Adam he said, “Because you listened to your wife and ate from the tree about which I commanded you, ‘You must not eat of it,’

Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat of it all the days of your life. It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return.

Later, reflecting on what this did to creation, Paul says in Romans 8:19-21

The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God.

Sin bound us to the earth and to toil. It caused us to have to do hard labor (sweat of your brow) for our food. Even while the earth is pushing up thorn and thistles it awaits its liberation, as do we. But this unpredictability and daily frustration experienced by both us and creation has a Godly purpose. Paul say in 2 Corinthians 4:7-9:

But we have this treasure [our salvation] in jars of clay [easily broken] to show that this allsurpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.

We are weak and dependant, easily broken with death our constant companion for most of our life and history. But that is a grace gift, turning us to God for help, enabling us to see our need of a savior, our path to redemption.

So today, in the radically changing weather, I see the hand of God reminding me of my dependence and need of his sustaining grace. What a perfect Lenten day.

Grace and peace and God’s sustaining mercy be with you today as you go through your unpredictable moments.