I'm loving seeing how God works these readings into the very things that I experience on that day. Today's readings are no different.
JP refers to the gladness or eternal joy of Jesus. "Jesus himself - and all that God is for us in Him - is our great reward, nothing less." (41) Jesus is so far above anything of the want, worry, destruction, horrors, failures, miseries of this world. But, you know...He is also far above any of the rewards, the joys, the happiness in this world. As JD always uses the pointing finger and dog analogy in sermons. I can't focus on the gift - anymore than I can get bogged down by the bad things that happen. This morning, I received an email from a person who just resounds the gospel to me. Actually, 2 of them. They have, just in who they are, spoken the gospel into the situations in my life.
"The glory of Christ is his infinite, eternal, indestructible gladness in the presence of God." (43). But, then JP goes on to write that He wept with the weepers, he mourned, he was tested, he was tried. But, his infinite joy was not moved. That is how I long to be. That is can be moved by these trials in life, not be immune to them - but knowing that even through them I have a greater joy.
Hebrews 1.8-11a "But of the Son he says, “Your throne, O God, is forever and ever, the scepter of uprightness is the scepter of your kingdom. You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness; therefore God, your God, has anointed you with the oil of gladness beyond your companions.” And, “You, Lord, laid the foundation of the earth in the beginning, and the heavens are the work of your hands; they will perish, but you remain."
Then, in the other reading...the illustration of calling closed stores is used. How God and his listening to our prayers - He is never closed. Last night as I got home from band practice after 11, heavy heart, sat down and rambled on the blog before this one, tried to go to sleep. I kept looking at my cell phone, wondering whom I could call who would still be awake and not be put out by my phone call. I couldn't sleep. My stomach was empty, my head and heart were full. I was focusing on the situation instead of the Answer to the situation. I was more focused on the problem instead of comforting myself and calming my spirit with the Words of the One who has all the answers. I ended up not calling anyone and finally falling asleep. God is good.
What it would have been like to walk beside Jesus, hear Him pray, know His burdens, know that He had all the answers. But, really...I'm thankful for living in the post of the "beautiful scandalous night."