Saturday, September 15, 2018

The Weight of Life

Last Sunday morning as we sang, "Leaning on the Everlasting Arms," I considered those around me who are, literally and spiritually, leaning on God's everlasting arms. Ahead of me were flocks of children sharing families, singing the chorus with gusto--and that brought a tear to my eye. Do they know what it means? What lies ahead? Someday they will need that truth; someday when hope is elusive and life is hard, they will need to preach to themselves the importance of leaning on the everlasting arms.

I looked at those touched by divorce, sin, and great loss, already leaning on their Everlasting Father.  Mothers, grandparents, and fathers affected by suffering and hardship, death, prison, rejection, poverty, physical limitations, and the realities of immigration sang together, "What a fellowship! What a joy divine, leaning on the everlasting arms. What a blessedness, what a peace is mine, leaning on the everlasting arms."

And the weight of those lives closed my voice with an overwhelming sense of God's greatness. He is the Giver of grace. He may not change my circumstance, but He will get me through. He may not allow an easy, carefree life, but He is with me. Frances Brook wrote, "My goal is God Himself, not joy, nor peace, Nor even blessing, but Himself, my God; ’Tis His to lead me there—not mine, but His— At any cost, dear Lord, by any road."

Kabod is the Hebrew word for glory, meaning, "weight." Man has weight, or kabod, because He is made in the image of God. God's glory is beyond our comprehension. In using an Old World scale, how do the things I value balance with God's value, or weight? Do I give them more time, energy, thought, and importance? Or does God Himself equal the weight of my life's pursuits? Do I give Him the glory, or the importance He deserves? His glory, His weight, is predetermined. It is what it is and it will not change. How often in my daily life, do I ascribe to God the glory due His name?

One way is, regardless of my circumstance, to lean on His everlasting arms, trusting Him instead of myself, others, or chance. I can believe that He is who He says He is and that He will do what He says He will do and act accordingly. That is how, in word and deed, eating, drinking, and whatever I do, I can glorify and honor Him above all.

Ascribe to the Lord, O sons of the mighty,
Ascribe to the Lord glory and strength.
Ascribe to the Lord the glory due to His name;
Worship the Lord in holy array.

The voice of the Lord is upon the waters;
The God of glory thunders,
The Lord is over many waters.
The voice of the Lord is powerful,
The voice of the Lord is majestic.
The voice of the Lord breaks the cedars;
Yes, the Lord breaks in pieces the cedars of Lebanon.
He makes Lebanon skip like a calf,
And Sirion like a young wild ox.
The voice of the Lord hews out flames of fire.
The voice of the Lord shakes the wilderness;
The Lord shakes the wilderness of Kadesh.
The voice of the Lord makes the deer to calve
And strips the forests bare;
And in His temple everything says, “Glory!”

The Lord sat as King at the flood;
Yes, the Lord sits as King forever.
The Lord will give strength to His people;
The Lord will bless His people with peace. (Psalm 29)

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