Monday, July 29, 2013

Text Messages & Martin Luther

By Kristen Leigh Evensen
A brilliant text message came to me from a friend not too long ago.
(Isn't it wonderful to know that you are cared about? The lovely reminder that someone is thinking about you can brightens up your entire day! This text was one of those beautiful gifts.)

My dear friend told me that she appreciated our connection, thanking me for praying. She then continued: "I asked God to bless you with a little treat today." 

My mind wandered for a few lingering moments, as I considered how that prayer could be answered. To be completely honest, though, I wondered if God would answer such a prayer. Did He truly desire to answer it, by blessing me with a "treat", when so many others needed life-altering, "serious" prayer for their dire situations? 

My question was answered in a matter of hours.

Backing up two days: Upon a visit with some friends, the discussion turned to church history and Martin Luther's Reformation. I felt like the odd-man-out; I hardly knew anything about church history, let alone an enormously impactive historical marker like the Reformation. In lieu of my ignorance, I added "Martin Luther book" to my list of must-reads...

Back to the story: I rounded the corner of our church hallway, prepared to pop into a staff member's office, when I saw it out of the corner of my eye: a bright blue Martin Luther book about the Reformation, sitting distinctly apart from the "free books" pile. Just waiting there. For me.

I was astounded by the Lord's providence, even in the form of a book.

There are days when I simply need to know that the Lord of all creation cares about me. What about you? Just as it is a wonderful blessing to hear from a dear friend, to hear of the Lord's love and grace is honey to the lips. No huge storm need we encounter to desire this reminder--just the daily upsets of this imperfect life, or perhaps our growing understanding of how desperately we need Christ to be our strength, despite all our imperfections.

The fact of the matter is that God cares about you. Perhaps you have never heard that truth before now. Perhaps you have. Perhaps that truth has become so daily that you need a fresh indwelling of the Spirit to reignite its wonder in your heart. That's true for me. What about you? 

I love how Psalm 138 speaks of the caring, providential nature of our God:

138 I give you thanks, O Lord, with my whole heart;
    before the gods I sing your praise;
2 I bow down toward your holy temple
    and give thanks to your name for your steadfast love and your faithfulness,
    for you have exalted above all things
    your name and your word.
3 On the day I called, you answered me;
    my strength of soul you increased.

4 All the kings of the earth shall give you thanks, O Lord,
    for they have heard the words of your mouth,
5 and they shall sing of the ways of the Lord,
    for great is the glory of the Lord.
6 For though the Lord is high, he regards the lowly,
    but the haughty he knows from afar.

7 Though I walk in the midst of trouble,
you stretch out your hand against the wrath of my enemies,
    and your right hand delivers me.
8 The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me;
    your steadfast love, O Lord, endures forever.
    Do not forsake the work of your hands.

Consider this truth: If God did not care for you, you would not exist. "You preserve my life", sings David. God preserves our very lives, my friends. We live and move and breathe all because God chooses to regard us--and more than that, He increases the strength of our souls.

And more than that--He sent His only Son, Jesus Christ, to bear the ugliest of our sins in exchange for His perfect righteousness, giving us an inheritance in eternity and a purpose! 

What more could we ask for?

Rest assured, my sisters, the God of all creation, the Alpha and the Omega, cares for you. That truth is better than a hundred little treats!

Gracious Father, You numbered all of our days and breathed us into existence. How sovereign You are! Open our eyes and soften our hearts to discern how much You care for us--from the character-producing trials, to the small treats of this life. May we develop hearts of gratitude and sing of the ways of the Lord, for great is Your glory!

Amen. 

Jesus says in Matthew 10:30, "But even the hairs of your head are all numbered." What is one word or phrase that describes God's intimate care for you? Leave it in the comments below.

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