I'm watching the snow from the season's record snowfall melt, dripping from the eaves and blowing off the trees in large, cat's-eye-catching chunks. Our four vocal clocks are announcing the arrival of 2:00 p.m. with birdcalls, tractor engines, Big Ben bells, and Westminster chimes. I've been out of work almost six weeks, while life continues as normal for my wife, the cats, the sun, the moon, and the stars. The deadlines for this article and this Sunday's bible lesson are, as the passenger-side car mirror says, "Closer than they appear." I am at a loss for words, which rarely results in silence. It is Thursday, February 11, 2010.
This may seem like a bizarre introduction to an article - more like an amateurish attempt to be the next Dashiell Hammett or Ernest Hemingway. Truth is, I'm practicing a technique authors use when writer's block is lying in the path: just start babbling on paper until the block crumbles.
Thursday, February 11, 2010, probably means nothing to you. It means little to me at the moment, except this is where and when I am. However, I suspect it means something to God.
King David would agree with that statement. As he asked God to examine his life, he said, "All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be" (Psalm 139:16). In God's cosmic Day-Timer, all the events of our life are written down before we are born. No event in our life, whether good or bad, planned or unexpected, catches Him by surprise. In fact, for the child of God, He has a personal To Do list - a heavenly Honey Do agenda - of good works prepared in Christ Jesus before we existed (Ephesians 2:10). Each day, the Perfect Social Director leads us in the activities that suit His purposes and work for our good (Romans 8:28).
Does this mean every day will bring happiness and we should disregard the events and circumstances that are unpleasant? Perhaps we take lousy parts of our life as signs that God doesn't really care. All such thoughts demean the character of God and ignore His purposes. Our Heavenly Father is intimately aware of our sorrows, as David believed: "Record my lament, list my tears on your scroll - are they not in your record?" (Psalm 56:8). He knew God would act in answer to his lachrymose prayers.
The first week in March is "Return Borrowed Book Week." God never loses His books: "Forever, O LORD, Thy word is settled in heaven" (Psalm 119:89). It's also "Jewish Book Week," but this Book of Books is for everyone at all times. God's promises stand firm forever, and His records are never lost.
Our loving Father does not let out days go by unnoticed; He has promised to reward our obedience to the bible (Psalm 19:11) and use the hard parts of life to train us in faith and righteousness (Hebrews 12:10). God is fully attentive to, shares in, and has a purpose for, every moment of our life. There is no senseless babbling or writer's block or panic in Him; all time and space are under His all-wise control.
Because of this truth, "Be very careful, then, how you live - not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil" (Ephesians 5:15, 16). Pray with Moses, "Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom" (Psalm 90:12).
Thursday, February 11, 2010. Four-thirty p.m. Article finished. Right on time. Just as planned.