Daily Archives: June 14, 2010

Gaining God’s Longer View of Life

There are times in when life when God opens a door and someone unexpected walks through, and after that everything changes. For me, one of those moments happened in February of 2009. That was when, despite all the promises I made myself, I joined that much maligned group of older people who, at the slightest provocation, whip out pictures of dimpled cherubs and foist them on innocent bystanders. Last February Addi was born and I became a grandpa!

That was also when God once again used a normal life event to give me a peek at life from a different, longer perspective. That day I caught a glimpse of how God might see life.

Eugene C. Scott joins Mike in writing A Daily Bible Conversation twice a week.

TODAY’S READING (click here to view today’s reading online)

1 Kings 12:20-13:34

Acts 9:26-43

Psalm 132:1-18

Proverbs 17:6

INSIGHTS AND EXPLANATIONS

1 Kings 12:20-13:34: Obedience and partial obedience look so different from our perspective. But almost only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades. Not so with God. Yet each of the key figures in this passage choose what they think is right or wrong from a fluctuating point of view. And these almost right decisions eventually bring down the whole nation. How often do we choose partial obedience today and at what cost?

Acts 9:26-43: Though the caution the Jerusalem Church shows toward the unproved convert Saul is understandable, it also shows how quickly the church formed an insider versus outsider mentality. Then and today how can a community promised so much by Christ, live so often in fear?

From this point on in Acts, Peter fades in influence. Paul increases. Was Peter replaced as the Apostle to the Gentiles by Paul because Peter grew more fearful of insider criticism and curtailed his ministry to the outsiders?

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THE WORD MADE FRESH

Some things you have to experience to truly understand. Until Addi was born, I tolerated grandparents with their silly grins, their wallets and purses stuffed with pictures. Now I wear that silly grin and my iPhone is packed with pictures. And I will whip them out and show them to anyone, anytime, anywhere.

But that is not what Proverbs 17:6 means by “Children’s children are a crown the the aged.”

Though I don’t consider myself aged, I am none-the-less a grandfather.  Indeed there is something grand about living long enough to hold that fresh, innocent third generation in your hands and know that no matter the mistakes you’ve made, there lies hope disguised as a diapered, squirming new life. No crown could fit so well.

Holding that new born hope as a grandpa, I flashed back to the joys and worries I had when I held each of my own three children. What tender, unique miracles each of them were. But what if I don’t measure up? I worried. What if I can’t keep them from suffering and struggling? Life is so beautiful and fragile and dangerous and difficult.

The years have taught me I often haven’t measured up. Yet my children’s lives have been beautiful though they have also struggled. As a grandfather I can now see what I couldn’t then, the longer view.

Is that how God sees our lives? Like a grandfather who has a longer view of life, who knows that we will learn our ABCs and more, much more. Who knows we will stumble but walk, fall but stand again.

Someone asked me if I am softer now that I am a grandpa. Softer? Will I go easy on my grandkids. I don’t know. I hope so.

Maybe it’s not softness though. But maybe like God, grandparents can worry and fret less, trust and smile more because they have seen and experienced the longer view. I would like to think so.

  1. How has God shown himself faithful to you over time?
  2. What experience has taught you most about God?

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Eugene co-pastors The Neighborhood Church in Littleton, CO and writes a blog eugenesgodsightings.blogspot.com

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