Because of God’s tender mercy, the morning light from heaven is about to break upon us, (Luke 1:78)
Relate: I’ve got a collection of quotes from things that jump out at me as I read. Some are theologically profound. Some are just funny. (Like, “Olver touched his nose tentatively, wondering if it really could be tied in a knot”) Some make little sense unless you can understand the context. One of those needing a bit of context is what I am about to share… Orson Scott Card has a series of novels called the Ender series and in one of those Ender is the husband and his wife is Novinha. Novindha has had what Annie would call a hard knock life. She has met one disappointment after another and finally she leaves her very kind and generous husband to go join a monastery. Ender comes to speak with her there:
Ender – You aren’t very good at determining what other people want and need from you, Novinha. No one is. We’re all as likely to hurt as to help.
Novinha – That’s why I’m here, Ender. I’m through deciding things. I put my trust in my own judgment. Then I put trust in you. I put trust in Libo, in Pipo, in Father and Mother, in Quim, and everyone disappointed me or went away or… no I know you didn’t go away, and I know it wasn’t you that – hear me out, Ender, hear me. – The problem wasn’t in the people I trusted, the problem was that I trusted in them when no human being could possibly deliver what I needed. I needed deliverance, you see. I needed… I need redemption. And it isn’t in your hands to give me. Your open hands, which give me more than even you have to give, Ender, but you still haven’t got the thing I need. Only my Deliverer, only the Anointed One, only He has it to give. Do you see? The only way I can make my life worth living is to give it to Him. So here I am.
React: In today’s reading in the book of Numbers, Balak trusted Balaam and was disappointed. Balaam himself sought riches rather than obedience to God and had to rebuked by a donkey. In Luke, Zechariah is prophesying about his son but most of the prophesy is actually about Jesus, not John. In Psalms we read: “Justice—do you rulers know the meaning of the word? Do you judge the people fairly? No!”
Balak was wrong to put his hope in a powerful man. Balaam was wrong to put his hope in a rich man. Zechariah was right to put his hope in Jesus rather than a godly man. David warned us against putting our hope in political men. I will let you down. You will let me down. Riches, power, influence, government, knowledge… they will all let us down. None of them are bad in and of themselves. Many are worthy attainments when they can be kept in perspective. But there is only one thing worth investing my hope and my life in. There is only one place I can bank my trust with absolute confidence that He will never, ever let me down.
Here I am, God, giving my life to You. All too often I forget that I have already surrendered it to You and I find myself investing it once again in worthless things. Maybe they seem worthy, maybe they seem noble, but compared to Your promise of life more abundantly, compared to Your promise of life eternal, compared to the promise of You… their rate of return is terrible. So here I am again, God. Here’s my life. Take it. It’s Yours.