Friday, October 9, 2009

Staying Power

This is is the final meditation on James and here are Eugene Peterson's final thoughts--According to church traditions, James carried the nickname "Old Camel Knees" because of thick calluses built upon his knees from many years of determined prayer. The prayer is foundational to the wisdom. Prayer is ALWAYS foundational to wisdom.

What a gift life is to those who stay the course!
You’ve heard, of course, of Job’s staying power,
and you know how God brought it all together for him at the end. That’s because God cares, cares right down to the last detail.

James 5:11 (The Message)
Frequently I flip to Job for reassurance; usually to chapter thirty-eight when God begins speaking to Job. While all the previous chapters lend their comfort in times of difficulty, God speaking out of a violent storm (The Message) shakes me because God claims his reality. The God who decided the earth’s size, hung the stars, and “orders the Morning, Get up!” has a thought for me as well.

Perhaps the most valuable lesson I am in the process of learning, is to thank God for life, period. It began a few years ago when in the midst of a debilitating time I literally would choke on the prayer, “thank you for today, thank you for my life.” There were days when the struggle was so fierce that I could barely say them in a whisper. I couldn’t say the day, but, there came the morning when, with ease, freedom and genuine thankfulness, I prayed these words boldly.

Job’s kind of staying power is impressive and there are definitely lessons to learn. It’s always good to hear, at the very end, how whatever Job had lost, was returned beyond his imagination. But, God’s storm talk holds the real promise during difficult times. And if, like Job, we listen closely, our only response will be like Job’s as well—“I’m convinced. You can do anything and everything. Nothing and no one can upset your plan.” Job 41:1 (The Message)

God is in the big picture. God is in the details.

Thank you, Father, for this day. Thank you for my life.
I am yours and you are mine.
Thank You for knowing the big and microscopic
of my life and bringing it together in a way
that brings glory to You.


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