Winning the Lottery

August 11, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

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Have you ever wondered what you would feel like if you won a million dollars in the lottery? Or came into a huge inheritance? Or discovered oil on your land?

I don’t play the lottery. And I have no millionaire relatives. And I don’t own the mineral rights to our land. So, none of these windfalls are likely to be coming my way. However, I do have an imagination. And from time to time I have allowed myself to fantasize about how I would react if I suddenly came into a huge amount of money.

I’d be overwhelmed with joy.

I can see myself now, outside, dancing in my front yard, and shouting “Woohoo!” until the 100+ degree Texas heat causes me to drop over with exhaustion.

With that in mind, I felt  rather guilty when I read today’s verse from Biblegateway.com:  “I rejoice in following your statutes as one rejoices in great riches” (Psalm 119:14, NIV).

Hmmmmmm. When was the last time I was outside, dancing in my front yard and shouting “Woohoo!” about God’s word?

Yet time after time, the Scriptures declare themselves to be a treasure far surpassing the most opulent worldly wealth.

In Psalm 19, the psalmist declares God’s words to be  “more precious than gold,  than much pure gold,” (Psalm 19:10a, NIV). In another place, the psalmist writes, “The law from your mouth is more precious to me than thousands of pieces of silver and gold,” (Psalm 119:72, NIV).

At this writing, gold is selling for just under $1200 an ounce;  silver’s a bit cheaper at about $18 per ounce.  But who of us would turn up our noses at thousands of pieces of silver and gold?

Yet often my Bible gathers dust while I watch TV. Or devote my attention to things that have no eternal significance.

Do I really believe that God’s word is more valuable than anything this world offers?

If so, how should that be reflected in my life?

Just wondering.

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Forgotten by God?

August 9, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

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There are times when I wonder if God has forgotten about me. Ironically, I rarely feel this way in times of great difficulty or trial. When bad things happen, I am hard-wired to cry out to God. And generally in those times I sense His presence, comforting and sustaining me.

Nor do I wonder about God’s presence in my life when he is tangibly pouring out his blessings.

Most often, I wonder where God is during the dry times of life, the times when I feel like I’m wandering in a desert. Or when it seems as if I’m feeling my way through a thick fog bank, not knowing which way to go or what to do. When things aren’t particularly bad or good, but life itself seems like an exercise in frustration.

That is when I want to stand on my front porch and cry out into the gray cloud banks surrounding me, “God? Are you still there?”

As I cry, I am often greeted with stony silence. I look. I listen. I cry out again, but He is nowhere to be seen or felt. It is at those times that I feel like the psalmist who wrote, “Why, O LORD, do you reject me and hide your face from me?” (Psalm 88:14, NIV).

Yet in the midst of that fog, God has not left me without comfort, for it is in times such as these that I look to His word and am reminded of his watchful care. Jesus said “Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows,” (Luke 12:6-7, NIV)

Even when I cannot feel Him, cannot sense His presence, God reminds me that He is there. For if He does not forget a single sparrow, and he numbers the hairs on my head, He has not forgotten about me.

And so I must put away fear and despair, and trust in the One who knows the location and behavior of every molecule in the universe–even when I cannot sense his presence.

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