Sunday, January 12, 2014

His Business--LIFE

As I was waking up this morning, I was praying. This happens now and then. It's an awesome experience for me, a person who doesn't awaken easily and needs silence and a strong cup of tea in order to form coherent thought. But when the One who lives within me starts praying, it's like a jolt of adrenalin, even to a sleep-flooded brain.

I don't know why the Holy Spirit was praying this morning, or for whom He was praying. I only know the words that came out of my mouth, unaided by me. "Life is your business, Lord. It's up to You." I lay there in my cocoon of pillows and quilts and thought about that sentence. At first it seemed self-evident. Of course, I thought. But then I did a double-take. And began to pray in concert with the Holy Spirit.

You see, in all the ways you can think, life is GOD's business. Conception itself is like a shot in the dark. Isn't it? Without God, I mean. And yet, here we all are. And the life we have, we have because He gave it. The parents, the siblings, the exact situation of our lives. We aren't made of chances. I forget that too often. I forget that Life is His business.

And so is New Birth. Many, many years ago, when my middle brother was a troubled adolescent, my dad (not yet a believer) asked me to convert my brother, A. I told Dad that I couldn't do it--that conversion is the work of the Holy Spirit. Then Dad asked what programs I could help their church put into place that would make A become a Christian. I remember shaking my head at my heart-broken, well-intentioned, loving dad. "That's not how the gospel works, either." I told him. "I'll share the gospel with A, and we pray for GOD to work." 

That conversation came back to me this morning. Reminded me of Nicodemus going to Jesus in the dark of night (except that it wasn't A himself who wanted to be born again!). Dad was talking about the business of new life for his son. And that's God's business. For some reason, though I was only in my twenties then, I intuitively 'got' this then. "For God loved the world SO much that He gave His only Son so that whoever believes in Him will not die but have eternal LIFE." This is the answer to Nicodemus. This is the answer to us, as well. He gives us life, and eternal life. It's His business.

But life is also His business. I mean, the living of our lives is also His business. We can wrap our brains around the beginning and ends, maybe, but there is no part of our living in which He is unconcerned. This has been brought home very clearly this weekend. Two people close to me have been very ill this weekend. One has been hospitalized for the whole of it, causing a lot of fear and trembling for those who love her most. It's been a scary thing. But also an awesome thing to see God work on her behalf. In every way you can imagine, He's been behind the scenes working. People praying, doctors doing. God works. That's the point. He's in the business of life. 

But I also know a person who's in the last stages of life right now. God's business with him is to hold his hand, make him comfortable and ease the way. That's what God reminded me this morning--that if He's in the business of life, it means He doesn't stop His work for the whole of it for any of us. From first breath to last, He's in it. And wants to be in it more than we know. Even those of us who know Him and all Him Lord, He wants more. He loves more. That's the reality. He's the Life for EACH of us because He loves EACH of us.

So how do we respond to this LIFE He holds out?

"This is the record, that God has given us eternal life. And that Life is in His Son. He who has the Son has life. He who has not the Son has not life." 1 John 5:12

1 comment:

Pamela M. Steiner said...

Yes, our lives begin and end with God...and He's very much present for all of the in-between time as well. He doesn't just set us loose at birth and tell us to figure it out alone...He guides, directs, teaches, puts others in our paths to help us...He's there throughout the whole process, beginning to end. We may not choose to acknowledge that until the end...but thankfully God is very patient with us and gives us opportunities to recognize Him and accept His saving grace before it is too late. However, it is still up to us to take that step of faith and believe. That's one thing He won't do for us.