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Good morning world-wide HeartTouchers.com readers!
My wife Kristi has some poignant words for all of us as we deal with the world-wide pandemic. I really enjoyed reading it and hope you do too!
I also wanted to share a message from our church on "The Biblical Response to COVID 19" You can watch the message at this link:
From my family to yours,
Author Michael T. Powers
"The View From My Room" by Kristi Powers
I am sitting right now in my new Study/Reading/Prayer room. This is the room that my babies slept in when they were little. I rocked many a child here, I nursed them, sang them to sleep and walked the wee hours of the night when they were ill. And now, in a blink of an eye, they are all almost fully grown.
It is funny how life is. The younger years of my children’s life are like one big blur. You are permanently exhausted when your children are little. Don’t get me wrong, I loved and cherished most all the moments of my kid’s lives. But having some more quiet and a lot more room in my house now, well that is all good also.
During these last few weeks, especially, as all our lives have changed drastically, it has been good just to be able to just sit and ponder and pray and read and THINK. Tonight, I just wanted to share a couple of thoughts as I see many that are really starting to be afraid.
When I was five years old, my life changed. I was standing down at the end of our driveway as I watched our nine year old neighbor get hit and killed by a car. Back in those days, counseling wasn’t something anyone ever did. My parents never would have even thought of it. But as a five year old, it changed my life. From that moment on, I wondered every day if it was my last. I knew already how precious life was. How permanent death was.
From age five until age fourteen I wondered about the meaning of life. I KNEW there was a Creator. I felt him when I walked down the lane on the farm. I saw him in the way of a butterfly, the soft meow of a new born kitten. He was all around me. But I knew not how to find him. One day I went on a camping trip and there I heard what I had always longed to know. I heard about this man named Jesus who died for me, a sinner, so that I might come to know him. That night, my sister, prayed with me. I repented of my sins and gave my whole life and heart to follow Jesus all the days of my life.
I say this, my friends tonight, to say, I do not fear death. I have lived my whole life saying these words to my boys “Lord willing.” Lord willing, we will go here or there. Every step I take, every breath I breathe is in HIS hands. There is a comfort and a peace that surpasses all understanding that comes with knowing Jesus. I do not fear tomorrow because HE is the one who holds it.
And so, dear ones, as the world rages all around us, may we who know Jesus find our comfort in knowing that not a thing we will ever go through has not gone through our heavenly father’s hands.
The other question we all ask at a time like this is WHY? And the honest answer is I don’t know.
A few years ago I had a dream. In it, the greeter at our church, Jim was talking to me in the foyer of our church. And in the middle of the foyer was a HUGE tree. I was looking at it sticking out of the middle of the foyer and I said “Jim! What is this tree doing here?” He said “Oh Kristi, it makes no sense when you look at it from this side, but come look from the other side.” And when I did, I saw deep, strong roots and many branches. Jim told me we can only see in this world, from our view. But what God is doing is much more than which we can see with our limited view.
It is NOT God who has caused this. This virus is because we live in a fallen world. But God HAS allowed this. So as, Gandolf wisely said to Frodo when Frodo wished the ring had never come to him “So do all who live to see such times but that is not for them to decide, All you have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to you."
My friends, what will you do with the time that is given to you? We Americans are so used to DOING something. It is the hardest thing to sit back and just watch those numbers go up day after day. It is harder still to see it crouching at your door, your neighbors, your city. It breeds fear and panic, anxiety.
I pray that you may know the author of your soul. The one who can bring you peace and comfort during this difficult time.
I pray that as we all turn our thoughts inward, that we will truly grow in grace and love towards one another. May we be known as a nation who truly loves our neighbor.
Someday, we will be on the other side of our “tree” we will be looking at how God used even this, to strengthen us, to grow us, to turn our eyes on HIM. But until then, may we trust, that even this, has gone through HIS hands.
I am sending you all a virtual hug tonight with all my love, from the view from my room.
WONDER OF GOD
The heavens are counting out the weightiness of God. (literal translation of Psalm 19:1)
King David, the author of Psalm 19, loved to meditate on the truths revealed in God’s Word, but he never lost the thrill of studying God’s creation. Although not equal to the Bible, the creation gives us a visual display of God’s wonderful character.
As Charles Spurgeon noted in The Treasury of David (1:269),
“In his earliest days the psalmist . . . had devoted himself to the study of God’s two great books—nature and Scripture; and he had so thoroughly entered into the spirit of these . . . that he was able . . . to compare and contrast them, magnifying the excellency of the Author.”
While the Bible reveals God’s work of redemption in history, the Lord had another grand purpose for creation. It constantly “counts out” the weightiness of God. Like a banker who draws from a limitless vault of gold coins, God’s creation counts out the Creator’s infinite wonders for all to see.
These evidences are so clear that every human being knows all about God. God made creation this way so that we could fulfill our created purpose as well—we owe God our complete love and devotion, we owe Him honor and thanks, and most of all, we are driven to glorify Him. It is our privilege and duty, as special beings made in God’s image, to count out the weightiness of God.
Before his death at 54 in 1758, the famous theologian Jonathan Edwards began a Types Notebook, which he intended to publish as a grand proof that God has clearly revealed Himself through nature. In this notebook, Edwards observed the countless ways that nature proclaimed the glory of God.
Edwards mused on the birth of a child, filthy and helpless at first, yet the object of a parent’s love. He looked at marriage, the strong desire of a man for a woman. He looked at death itself and saw a divine meaning built into it. If a person rejects God, death helps us to imagine what follows—corruption, a putrefying mess that repulses us all, the darkness of the grave, and isolation. Edwards believed that God communicated things about Himself and mankind in such everyday experiences.
When Edwards looked at a tree, he asked himself questions like, “What is that tree telling me about God?” “What is God’s purpose in making this tree?” “How has God expressed His character here?” “Why are trees so lavish?” “Why are they so diverse?” “Why do trees live in harmony and dependence on other things?”
Such questions led Edwards to a radical love for God, who lovingly filled His creation with profound lessons and elaborate reminders about Himself. As Paul put it in Romans 1:20, the “invisible things” of the Creator are “clearly seen” in creation, so we can see His combination of attributes, including love, power, wisdom, and patience.
The more he meditated on God’s creation, the more Edwards realized that it does not offer just a few insights about divine things, but an infinite number. Just as we can never exhaust the wonder of God, we could never learn all the wonders that God has to show us in His creation.
Edwards expected “ridicule and contempt” because of his “fruitful brain” and overactive imagination that saw God all around him. Yet he unashamedly declared his belief that “the whole universe, heaven and earth, air and seas, and the divine constitution and history of the holy Scriptures, be full of images of divine things, as full as a language is of words.”*
Modern writers are trying to publish a Reader’s Digest version of God’s creation that leaves God out of His own book. May every one of us take up Edwards’ challenge to study God’s creation so we can begin to count out His glory—to everyone all around us—as God intended!
*Henry Stout, The Works of Jonathan Edwards (New Haven: Yale, 1993), 11:152.
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