My Year Through the Bible: Day 2

Genesis 3-5; Matthew 2

Ugh. Genesis 3 has to be the saddest chapter in the whole bible. Talk about a choice with far-reaching consequences. Adam and Eve’s disobedience destroyed the perfection God intended and now every human who has ever lived on this earth knows the “fallenness” that is this world. Anne is living proof that our world is not as God intended…

But have you ever wondered… after Adam and Eve ate the fruit and were hiding from God in shame, why would God (who is all-knowing) ask, “Where are you?” Not to sound irreverent, but doesn’t that seem like a stupid question? God totally knew where they were. And then God goes on to ask more questions he already knows the answer to: ““Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten of the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?”

I’ve always wondered why God asks these questions, and not long ago, I was reading a book by Nancy Guthrie, and she gave me a very satisfying answer…

Here we see one of the first pictures in Scripture of what our God is like personally. He takes the initiative to seek after sinners. …God didn’t question the Serpent. There was no need for that since there was no possibility of his redemption (Guthrie, The Promised One, pp 74, 75).

God longs for us to repent. He longed for Adam and Eve to repent, but “instead of making a brokenhearted confession, [Adam] offered an excuse” (Guthrie, The Promised One, p 75).

Which brings me to a very hard passage of Scripture in Matthew 2. After Jesus was born… “[Herod] killed all the male children in Bethlehem and in all that region who were two years old or under” (Matthew 2:16). That wouldn’t have happened if Jesus hadn’t been born. The very child that was born to save us from our sin magnified the sin in Herod’s heart so that Herod chose to slaughter… babies. Those poor families. The grief of the mothers. The whole community shattered by the fury of one man.

Yes, the disobedient choice of Adam and Eve has far-reaching effects. Should I wonder how it would have been different if they had repented? No, I think that’s futile. I think a better endeavor is to wonder how my life will be affected if I, a lowly sinner, choose to repent instead of make excuses. Yes, that seems like a good thing to think about…

P.S. You can follow the rest of my journey through the bible at bible365blog.com

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Conference update

Friday night was rich. It was the first night of our denomination’s national women’s conference – entitled AmazingGrace 360. As I sat and listened to Nancy Guthrie teach, and later – as I stood and listened to Laura Story sing, I realized that I felt a connection with both of those women – even though I’ve never met them…

Nancy Guthrie has lost 2 infants to a rare genetic disorder. I can relate (on a certain level) with losing a child. I lost the Anne I had known for 5+ years the day of the accident. I still remember Anne on that morning – and all of my interaction with her… how thankful I was for her quick obedience and her joyful spirit. She was making up songs about Jesus while “cooking”  in the kitchen. That version of Anne is gone. I can relate to loss.

Laura Story’s husband survived brain cancer but he is left with disability as a result of the damage the tumor and subsequent surgeries caused. She struggles with living with and caring for someone with disability. Her words tonight… “Disability is hard.” Amen to that. I can relate :-)

Both women have suffered. Both women have wrestled with God’s love and goodness. And both women have chosen to trust Him anyway. I can relate to that :-)

 

Conference Time!

I get a small break this weekend! I am attending our denomination’s national women’s conference, and it just happens to be 10 minutes from my home! Woo Hoo!

I’m excited because the main speaker is Nancy Guthrie. Her book, Hearing Jesus Speak into Your Sorrow, has been extremely helpful for me as I’ve wrestled with all of my “why” questions. Losing two infants to a rare genetic disorder, she is well acquainted with loss and sorrow. Her answers were deeply satisfying.

I enjoy her writing because she has the unique ability to couple lofty theological truths with her own personal story. She covers several hard questions… Why did God let this happen? Why doesn’t God heal? Does God even care? – but every answer reveals that God cares more about our eternity than our immediate comfort. If you’re a mom, you are familiar with impatience (in our children). And really, if you’re a person you can relate to impatience – because our culture and “delayed gratification” do not mix! So the bible’s timeless message of persevering through difficulty and waiting to attain a greater reward is a much needed reminder for me :-)

So I’ll let you know how it goes!

“God does miracles”

I was picking my kids up from VBS yesterday, and the song leader was up front reviewing the bible story the kids learned that day. It was from Luke 5 – the story of Jesus healing the Paralyzed man. And then the music started… and all the kids were standing, singing and doing hand motions to “God does Miracles… oh yeah, My God does Miracles!!!” And I became cynical.

Now let me stop and interject something. I have no right to be cynical. I have seen miracles. God saved Anne from the clutches of death, and now one year later, she’s learning bible verses at VBS. That’s a double dose of miracles. Hear me, I’m grateful. Oh so grateful…

But, the kids’ song raises a valid question. Why doesn’t God heal the way He healed when He walked the earth? Continue reading

Three voices

I’m reading three books right now… This seems all too common, but it’s new ground for me. I’m not used to having three different authors competing for my attention. It just leads to lots of unorganized thoughts swirling around in my head, but I think the clearest voice right now comes from Nancy Guthrie. Her book, Hearing Jesus Speak into Your Sorrow is excellent.

She lost two infants to the same rare genetic disorder. She knows sorrow. And her questions are the same questions I’ve grappled with. Why doesn’t Jesus heal today like He did when He walked the earth? How do we reconcile His promises of protection and peace in the midst of hurricanes and terrorists (and brain injuries)? Who is responsible for my sorrow… me? Satan? God? Did God just allow the accident to happen – or did He ordain it?

These are hard questions, and she gives satisfying answers. She writes that it is our eternal home that is most important to God. My honest reaction to that reminds me of Kate whining when she has to wait ’til after dinner to get her desert. Seriously, child? Don’t you have any concept of delayed gratification? Well, I guess the apple doesn’t fall too far from… me.

Which leads me to the 2nd book I’m reading… Ann Voskamp’s One Thousand Gifts. Her book is all about how to “Live Fully Right Where You Are.” It’s a great book about how thankfulness opens the door to joy, but I’m too busy whining (like Kate) to experience very much gratitude- at least for now…

My third book is a Romanian pastor’s doctoral thesis on suffering, matyrdom and the rewards of heaven… He argues that suffering on earth advances the Kingdom of Heaven – the prime example being Jesus, Himself. If we are called to suffer and/or die for the Kingdom, it is a great Eternal victory! There’s that word again… eternal.

I’ve actually learned alot about eternal perspective from Canon. I think I’ll write about that tomorrow. Good night for now…

She’s doing well…

Anne continues to improve little bit by little bit. She’s come so far since she was released in the hospital last June.

She’s doing so well during her hippotherapy (horse therapy) sessions. This past Thursday she rode frontwards, backwards and sideways. Watching her ride sideways with her feet dangling over one side of the horse and her torso moving in rhythm with the horse ALL WHILE KEEPING HER BALANCE – reminded me of how she could barely sit up by herself when she first came home from the hospital. That’s good progress :-)

Considering the severity of her injury, she has some amazing cognitive strengths – including her memory, language and reasoning skills. It’s a good base for her to build upon.

The past month or so I’ve been wrestling with God’s goodness. I’m finally in a better place – closer to surrender and trust in His plan for Anne. I’ve been reading a book by Nancy Guthrie called, Hearing Jesus Speak Into Your Sorrow. Great book…

I’ve moved to a place where I am less concerned with Anne’s physical well being than with her spiritual well being. Don’t misunderstand, I’m still praying for her continued healing! I just pray more fervently for her to love Jesus and trust Him in the midst of her tragedy. I pray that for all of us… Canon, Kate, Me and Eric – to move into a deeper more meaningful relationship with Christ.

Anne brings us so much joy! We are so grateful to God for her life!

Thank you for your continued prayers :-)
-kathryn