Wednesday, August 27, 2014

The Glorious Unfolding

            This Labor Day Weekend while not the official start of fall it is practically the beginning of a new part of the year.  Kids are back in school, weather patterns are changing and there is even an occasional leaf that jumps the seasonal starter’s pistol and changes color.  As I’ve said before, I’m thankful to live in a region of the country that has four distinct seasons.  I’m always happy for the start of the summer but thankful when it gives way to the cooler, more scenic autumn.  I’ll miss the kids being home and the sun being out until after 9:00pm but I’ll love college football and taking foliage photos.  Change is a part of life and we must learn to grieve our losses, live for today and embrace the blessings of a continuously unfolding future. 

            Steven Curtis Chapman, a contemporary Christian music artist, has a new song out titled, “The Glorious Unfolding” (the video is incredible and if we’re friends on facebook there is a link to the video on my page). The gist of the song is that God has a plan for each of us and while there are bumps and twists and turns in our path He is working all things together for our good. 

            I find it refreshing to look at life from the perspective of it being an adventure planned and orchestrated by God to prepare us for glory.  You can see this perspective alive in Paul’s mind as he writes to the Philippians saying, “But one thing I do; forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 3:13-14). God doesn’t want us to live our lives in fear.  The whole concept of adventure means to take risks, face our fears and trust that God genuinely cares for us, trust that he will lift us when we fall, trust that losses on this journey will be turned to gains and trust that his plans for us may lead us through the ‘valley of the shadow of death’ sometimes but will eventually lead us to a triumphant realization of the part we play in His grand scheme for glory. 

            The psalmist puts it this way

Now this I know:
    The Lord gives victory to his anointed.
He answers him from his heavenly sanctuary
    with the victorious power of his right hand.
Some trust in chariots and some in horses,
    but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.
They are brought to their knees and fall,
    but we rise up and stand firm.
(Psalm 20:6-8)

In Romans, Paul reminds us

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28)

Fall is here.  Winter is coming.  Some will focus on cold and dark while other fix their eyes on beauty and purpose.  Threat or challenge, what will you see?  Put your future in God’s hands and watch the ‘glorious unfolding.’