Posts Tagged ‘Protection’

Changing Seasons

September 26, 2010

It is late September here in New York State.
Acorns are dropping from the trees, leaves are just hinting at changing colours, and coolness is filling the air. Summer is bidding its last farewell as Autumn steadily creeps in.

The crisp change of seasons.

I am sad to see summer go. All the cook-outs and gatherings, all the lemonade and lake side breezes…sigh. But it’s time for the change; it’s how God ordained it.  No matter how hard I fight it, Summer is leaving and Autumn is returning.  God’s ordinance continues on, regardless of what I want. And it is good, in spite of the loss of the warmth and sun.

If the seasons didn’t change from summer into winter the whole world would unravel: Birds wouldn’t be cued to migrate, plants wouldn’t receive their necessary time of dormancy required for optimum health, and certain animals wouldn’t be cued as to when they need to hibernate for their own optimum health.  The changing seasons also cue various sea creatures to migrate to other waters, in effect giving seasonal fishing opportunities to provide employment and food in many places. Winter snow also creates glacial ice in the northern and southern regions, providing a source of freshwater and ground water,  enabling communities to thrive. I could go on and on, but the point is the advance winter is actually a necessary part of a global system that thrives. Winter has a lot of value, in spite of its cold, bleak, sad appearance.

And there is a lesson to find in this: God foreknew the need for a dormant, bleak,  time of year. He foreknew the effects of winter upon the earth and how it actually has huge benefits in spite of the discomforts it brings. And He doesn’t take away the discomfort primarily because of those very benefits that we experience.

In the changing “seasons” of our lives, we also experiences “summers” (weddings, births, graduations, achievements, etc.) as well as “winters” (accidents, failures, mistakes, etc.). Although our “winters” are very uncomfortable, God sees that they are still important for our mental, emotional, and spiritual growth. Our faith cannot be tried, our trust in Him cannot be strengthened, and our victories over evil cannot happen if we never experience the “winters”.

Thus, even in the most trying of circumstances, God doesn’t take away all the discomfort. We need our “winters” if we’re ever to be a strong soldier in His Kingdom. However, it is equally important to remember that, although He allows the “winter”, He does not abandon us. He is our warm, cozy cabin with a crackling fireplace in the midst of that terrible winter season.

When “winter” happens to you, walk up to His cabin and ask for His warmth. Although He may not take away your winter season, He will still be your quiet refuge from the biting winds and the nipping frost. Just as He won’t lock you outside in the frozen blizzard where you may be tempted to succumb to the cold, likewise He will not let you endure more than you can bear in your life’s winter seasons (1 Corinthians 10:13).

May His peace continue with you.

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City Of Refuge

May 2, 2010

The bible reveals that God gave the Israelites six cities of refuge that were meant to be places of asylum for people who have caused an accidental death. Because the Law at the time allowed for the kin of the victim to avenge any death, these cities of refuge allowed the killer to take sanctuary until the assembly could determine by trial whether the killing was accidental or purposeful. If the killing was purposeful, the killer was turned over to the avenger. If the killing was deemed to be accidental, the killer was to stay in the City of Refuge until that city’s High Priest died — meanwhile, the avenger was not allowed to harm the killer ever again. If, however, the killer did leave the city of refuge before the high priest died, then the avenger was allowed the vengeance. (Numbers 35:11-29).

It was a very loving thing for God to give them cities of refuge, being that fatal accidents could occur at any time.

Today, we are all in need of having a City of Refuge. How many times in the news do we see fatal accidents happening? Products are recalled due to fatal results, doctors misdiagnose patients, airplanes malfunction and crash, a child darts out into the road… it goes on and on. Although these are all accidental deaths, these are still humans causing the deaths of other humans — and any one of us could be the cause of a fatal accident at any time.

People driving while texting, drinking too much, forgetting safety rules, distractions, making faulty devices, not being thorough in their work — all these have the potential to cause a fatal accident.  None of us are immune from the possibility. And, by causing another’s death – even by accident – we’re overstepping our boundaries on the sanctity of life. Remember, God even notices when a little ol’ sparrow dies (Matthew 10:29-31), how much more will he notice when a human dies?! If we cause a death, do we have a City of Refuge we can flee too, so that God doesn’t avenge the death on us?

YES!

Remember, manslaughter is accidental murder, and God will judge all murderers to permanent destruction (Revelation 21:8). HOWEVER, we do have a hope, or a refuge, from this judgment! Our refuge lies in Jesus Christ, who is the everlasting High Priest who can protect us from our deserved vengeance! Our City of Refuge is the heavenly city of New Jerusalem — where Christ rules and judges and protects all who come to him for sanctuary! (Hebrews 6:18-20)

This gift of Christ is the most cherished gift from God that we should never take for granted. So, next time you read or hear of a fatal accident in the news, pray for the one(s) who caused the accident — pray for their salvation, and that they come to know and enter the City of Refuge. Pray that they learn to present themselves before the High Priest of New Jerusalem, for by that you are praying for their very lives.

Peace, and Amen.


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