Saturday, July 22, 2017

NEW EVERY MORNING--by Linden Malki

If there is one thing we know about God's Creation, is that the Eternal God created a universe full of change. The very first thing we are told about God is that it started "without form and void" and then change happened.  We see God making people, who are constantly changing.  We are born, we grow, we have children whose DNA comes from their parents but are not clones; it reshuffles each generation.  In the latest batch of pictures I got of our new grandbaby, there is one that has a smile that looks like my daughter-in-law, his mom;  and another one that looks like my baby pictures.  It boggles the mind to think of a whole world full of people that are all individuals, with different shapes, and faces, and talents, and likes and environments, but that is the world we live in.  Not are we all different, but we are different each day. That is really noticeable with children, because they change and grow so fast!  We are all going to have good days and not-so-good days, and probably some really bad days.  

And then we run out of days.  it happens in many different ways.
In the last couple of days I saw two different endpoints.
This morning, I went to a memorial service for the daughter of a friend of my kids. She was 19 years old, just starting a grown-up life, when she was killed in an auto accident. I hadn't seen her in some years, but I remember when she was born; I remember her dad when he and my son David worked around our shop and weeded up at the church to make enough to go to camp at Hume Lake.  We have dreams and plans for our kids, but can't see their future.
Yesterday, another memorial service, for a long-time customer of ours, and a successful local businessman. He had had 90 years of a good life, grown kids and grandkids (including our friend Michael White).  Michael, in his message at the service, said that as many good memories as there were of his grandfather, his real legacy was his sons and grandchildren, growing up and building on what he had done.
Both of these two people left behind loving families and good memories; but their families and friends will face days when things are different.  But this is Life, as it was built by its Creator.

The prophet Jeremiah, back in the last days of the independent Kingdom of Judah, had a life that was mostly bad days. He saw the people coming to the Temple but going home and living badly, worshipping false gods, and not seeing the clouds on the horizon. He saw the king not only ignore the words Jeremiah brought, but burned them. He saw the city captured and burned by the Babylonians (586BC), and the king and leaders of the city carried to Babylon in captivity.
And the people still ignored the words of the prophet.  Jeremiah was getting noplace. Listen to his words in Lamentations: "My soul is deprived of peace; I tell myself my future is lost, all that I hoped for from the Lord.  The thought of my homeless poverty is wormwood and gall; remembering it over and over leaves my soul downcast within me. "   But he doesn't stay stuck there.  "But I will call this to mind, as my reason to have hope: the favors of the lord are not exhausted, his mercies are not spent; they are renewed each morning, so great is His faithfulness."  (Lamentations 3:17-26)

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