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Life Comes At You Fast

14June2013

This past week, in our quiet residential neighborhood, where the speed limit is 25 mph, a vehicle came to rest upside down in the middle of the road. I don’t know how it got that way, but I feel for the teenaged driver. Thank God he wasn’t injured. Mortified, yes. Embarrassed, to be sure. But physically okay. A few years ago, the tag line for a popular insurance commercial asked, “Life comes at you fast. Are you in good hands?” That’s an important question, not only for the kid in the upside-down car, but for all of us.

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I can’t help thinking of the kid who was driving the car, standing there on the curb, waiting for the police to come. Waiting for his parents to come. Waiting for the whole ordeal to be over. We live so much of our lives in-between. In between brokenness and healing. In between the pain of offense and the ability to fully forgive. In between faith and doubt. In between paychecks. In between jobs. The mission congregation that my wife, Patti and I were planting here in Reynoldsburg was not able to become self-sustaining in the time-frame that we were given. So our funding ran out, and we held our final service at the end of May. Life comes at you fast. What now? What’s next? We don’t know. Living in between grief and hope, we wait.

I can’t help thinking of King David, who, when faced with uncertainty, asks, “I lift my eyes to the hills, from where will my help come?” – Psalm 121:1. The hills were where Israel’s pagan neighbors had altars where they went to worship their self-made idols. But  David knows that he needs more than self-help and more than false gods that can’t deliver what they promise. “My help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth,”  he concludes. We live in an unpredictable world where disappointments abound. Some are the result of circumstances beyond our control and some are the result of our own sinful actions. But either way, those who repent and believe  the gospel are in the good hands of Jesus.

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Life came at our Lord fast. Falsely accused. Tried. Condemned. Beaten. Mocked. Crucified. Dead. Buried. Risen. Between Good Friday and Easter Sunday was Saturday. A day of waiting. A day of uncertainty. A day for trusting God’s promise and provision. A day in between. That’s where much of our lives are lived. Life comes at you fast. What now? What’s next? We want to get on to get on with it, but there are lessons to be learned in the desert, which is the bible’s image for “in between times.” God wants our trust. So like the Israelites of old, we pray, and wait for the cloud to move… and greatfully gather up the manna that comes each morning as a gift.

JAM@CCD

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