The boat would turn onto the new tack, or course, as the passenger ducked under the boom that was swinging to the other side of the boat. The passenger would find a perch on the opposite side of the boat from the billowing sail and lean back to balance the boat. The sail would fill up with the wind and off we would go in the new direction. It was magical, like a dance on the water.
I’ve been thinking about those Wise Men this Advent. Their trip to Bethlehem was probably not looked upon as “wise” at the time.
It’s not as though they could call Delta Airlines and make reservations for a flight from, say, Samarkand to Jerusalem for December the 24th. This would have been a long and arduous trip. I’m imagining their conversations with their wives before they left,
“So, Melchior, where exactly are you going?” Melchior’s wife Ann-chior peers at him as she stirs their lentil stew in a pot on the fire.
“Heading toward Jerusalem, Honey. But I couldn’t say for certain where we’ll end up.” Melchior grabs pita bread and stuffs it into a pack.
“So you don’t have a destination to put into your Garmin?” Ann-chior puzzles.
“Actually, we are following a star,” Melchior mutters.
“A star. I should have known. It’s always stars with you.” She rolls her eyes.
My latest storm was, in fact, a hurricane. While Irma was pounding Caribbean islands, I, along with every Floridian, was running around making preparations. In the midst of buying bottled water and batteries, hurricane lamps and canned food, I struggled with fear of the unknown. Would we take a direct hit? Would a tornado spin off and damage our home? Would we lose power? There was no way to know.
Being rooted in Christ for me at least in part means that I need to get on my knees and dig around in the dirt of my life with Him. I can be honest with the Lord. I don’t have to pretty things up. I have to recognize the weeds of pride, unbelief, bitterness, and unforgiveness, and at the same time open my eyes to the blooming of His goodness and faithfulness in the midst of the messiness of life. In this way my roots go deep into Him and I am built up and strengthened in my faith.
While God’s act of justification in our life is immediate, our walk in this new relationship with God is painstakingly slow and imperfect! As Paul says, “the very thing I want to do (and know that I should do) I cannot do, and the very thing that I don’t want to do (and know that I should not do) is what I do! [Romans 7:15-20] I can just see Paul holding his head in his hands, pathetically bemoaning his human limitations.
[This is a post by a guest blogger, a friend to the ministry, Cassandra Laymon. We referenced this info in our series on Malachi.] For many folks in the church, the word stewardship is synonymous with tithing. Many believe that when they give their ten percent back to God then the remaining ninety is theirs […]