Mysterious Providence

When I first came to learn about the doctrines of grace or the reformed faith, I couldn't understand how God could be completely sovereign, that is in complete control of ALL things, and tragedy still occur. I mean, how can sin be in God's plan? While I still don't understand all that God allows or does, I now take great comfort in knowing that nothing surprises Him. Nothing is out of His control. He has a specific purpose behind everything He does and everything He allows. There is no greater comfort than knowing He's in complete control of all things.

This knowledge also strengthens my faith in Him. Though I still don't understand nor enjoy pain, I find comfort in knowing that it is not without a purpose - a God ordained purpose. While our dreams may be killed, God's visions are born in us through the tragedies we face. He always fulfills His purpose even in the midst of a sin-filled, Jesus-hating world.

"Seek the LORD while He may be found; call upon Him while He is near; let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the LORD, that He may have compassion on him, and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon. For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, declares the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts. For the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return there but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall My word be that goes out from My mouth; it shall not return to Me empty; but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it. For you shall go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and the hills before you shall break forth into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands. Instead of the thorn shall come up the cypress; instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle; and it shall make a name for the LORD, and everlasting sign that shall not be cut off." Thus says the LORD: "Keep justice, and do righteousness, for soon My salvation will come, and My deliverance be revealed. Blessed is the man who does this, and the son of man who holds it fast, who keeps the Sabbath, not profaning it, and keeps his hand from doing any evil."
Isaiah 55:6-56:1 ESV

When things get tough, I always remind myself that God is in control. He knows what's going on and He makes all things beautiful in its time.

~Linnette R Mullin

Photo: Sullivan's Island, SC, 2009 by Linnette R Mullin

Come to the Edge

A friend shared this devotional from her former Pastor Dave Hutson and I want to share it with you. I hope it touches your heart as it did mine.
Smoky Mountains taken by
Linnette R Mullin

From Pastor Dave:

Our preschool director once shared with me a card she received from a parent of a preschooler. It was flowery and nice and had the following words;

"Come to the edge," the teacher said.

"We can’t – it’s too high!"

"Come to the edge," the teacher said.

"No!" said the children, "We might fall down!"

"Come to the edge," the teacher said.

And frightened, they slowly moved closer to the cliff.

Leaning out, they looked over the edge and saw with wonder

The beauty stretched out before them.

And the teacher pushed them off the cliff;

---and they flew!

That sounds like the mighty Wood Duck. The hen builds a nest in the knothole of a tree and hatches her eggs. When the chicks are ready, (still featherless puffballs of fluff) – she coaxes them out of the hole/nest and they float to the ground and life is off and running, or flying when the time comes. "Come to the edge."

How many times has God called you to the edge? What were the times in your life when fear paralyzed, when hope seemed to dissolve, or when all that you depended on failed and the only certainty you knew was gravity? "Come to the edge!" - or maybe – "Welcome to the edge!" It is here that the real power, love, and presence of God are made known. "The edge" is where life is transformed from the mundane to the sacred. The edge is stepping out of the boat and finding water firm. The edge is Lazarus opening his eyes. The edge is the woman who heard Jesus say, "Neither do I condemn you. Go and leave your life of sin." The edge is any time that God opens your heart in times of need. It is then that He brings peace, comfort, hope, blessings, grace, and his presence to encourage and uplift his people. Welcome to the edge – and in His power, you will fly!

Peace – Pastor Dave

Prayer; Heavenly Father, you know our fears and the times "on the edge" we face. Help us in those times to trust in your love and power. Free us from fear and make us strong in your grace. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

God help, guide, and bless each of us as we live our life on the edge!
~Linnette R Mullin