A Daily Dose of Good News
Monday, June 8, 2020
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Good morning! It is time for our Daily Dose of Good News. Today is June 8th and boy, do we have it! (Laughs). It’s coming from Job- can you imagine?! (At this point, a woman walks behind me on the path behind my house, with her dog. This is unplanned, but please remember that visual image). Coming from Job this morning. Today we’re going to talk about Good News- coming straight from Job. So, before we read the text, which is Job 38:39-39:12, I would like for you to think about your own life. Think about something that’s confusing or hard or maybe makes you angry. Maybe it’s something you’re struggling with right now. I want you to hear this passage with that own, personal, contextual piece for you, in mind.
So, I’m going to give you a glimpse of mine, as an example. You all may remember that I talked in recent weeks, about putting my current family home on the market. My husband and I are at the beginning of going through a dissolution process, so putting that current family home up for sale, that house went under contract. I then looked for a home closer to school for the kids and I, found a great house for that, that house went under contract. I told a whole story about that, involving a rainbow, so let’s just call that the Rainbow house, ok? So, since then, my current home flooded! When we had all that huge amount of rain in the middle of May, it flooded for the first time ever, it spooked our buyer, and our buyer terminated the contract. So, I’m under contract with the rainbow house, and the current house has no contract suddenly. That was confusing for me and perplexing for me. “God, what am I going to do?” So, the current house went back on the market this week, and it’s been me trying to figure out- where is God in all that? And, what in the world? Why did I put a house on the market when it doesn’t sell and what’s going on with that? So, some confusion, some maybe fear in that for me, well definitely fear in that for me, so that’s where I’m coming in on this text, ok? You may think about other things of where you’re coming in on that text. One possibility I’d raise for you to consider: I know many of you are struggling about Carol Stewart. We had her memorial service this weekend and I know at the end, she deteriorated, and she was a different Carol Stewart than you knew previously. You may have confusion or anger or pieces around that. Or maybe there’s something else that I have no clue about. Whatever that is, take a second, get that in your head, and I’m going to read this passage to you.
“Can you hunt the prey for the lion,
or satisfy the appetite of the young lions,
when they crouch in their dens,
or lie in wait in their covert?
Who provides for the raven its prey,
when its young ones cry to God,
and wander about for lack of food?
“Do you know when the mountain goats give birth?
Do you observe the calving of the deer?
Can you number the months that they fulfill,
and do you know the time when they give birth,
when they crouch to give birth to their offspring,
and are delivered of their young?
Their young ones become strong, they grow up in the open;
they go forth, and do not return to them.
“Who has let the wild ass go free?
Who has loosed the bonds of the swift ass,
to which I have given the steppe for its home,
the salt land for its dwelling place?
It scorns the tumult of the city;
it does not hear the shouts of the driver.
It ranges the mountains as its pasture,
and it searches after every green thing.
“Is the wild ox willing to serve you?
Will it spend the night at your crib?
Can you tie it in the furrow with ropes,
or will it harrow the valleys after you?
Will you depend on it because its strength is great,
and will you hand over your labor to it?
Do you have faith in it that it will return,
and bring your grain to your threshing floor?
Here ends the reading.
That passage, basically, is God saying “I take care of all these things. I look after all of these things. Are you able to do it? No. But I AM able to do it”.
Whether it’s the lion or the ravens, whether it is any animal- there will be provision. Do you trust, do we trust that the grain will be brought to our threshing floor? Do we trust for the raven, who has young ones who cry out to God and who wander about? Do we trust in God that God will provide for those little bird babies, or even our own babies, or even those we care about?
So, here’s the awesome, as we apply it to our lives, and as an example, I’m going to apply it to some personal lives of mine or people whom I now know.
For me, yesterday, I ended up going under contract with my current home. We had multiple buyers that ended up being interested, and we ended up going under contract for more than we had originally. So, financially, it’s actually a better deal for us now, than it was then. And the people who went under contract for the house, are not represented by a real estate agent, so that’s additional money we save on selling the house, because we don’t have to pay that. So, God has provided, really well for me, in a time of confusion. I think God was comforting for me, even in who God provided as a buyer. It’s a blended family from divorce and it is encouragement to me of: there’s life going forward. I know when I previously mentioned in that Daily Dose that I was at the start of a dissolution, there were several from the congregation who reached out to me by email and who gave me comfort. One of the things that one of them said, that I thought were God’s words, through their mouth, was: “you’ll have a rich life ahead of you”. I was so comforted by that. And it’s so nice to know that God has us in the midst of that.
And as another example, for somebody I’m just now meeting, I wanted to read to you the email that I got yesterday, while I was out of the home and these new buyers came to show their children the house. This is an email from my realtor:
“Congratulations on going into contract! I don’t know if I mentioned much about this family (and I’ll try to keep this part a little bit vague to protect their privacy), but one of the buyer’s siblings died a year ago, today. The spouse had died two years before, on the same exact day. (Both of these days being yesterday). The children are begin adopted into the buyer’s family and so all of them, are here today, looking at the house. The daughter, stopped to tell me, that today is the anniversary of her mother’s death, and that her mom used to walk the path behind your house, and stop and look at your house. Because it was her favorite in the neighborhood. The buyers did not know that, until today”.
I read that email and I just cried. Because how sweet, that God cares for that daughter, and on a day that has a lot of pain for her, in the death of both of her parents, that that’s also the day that God arranges for her family to buy the house that was her mother’s favorite. And the daughter knew it. The daughter knew that her mom loved this house. The daughter knew it was her mom’s favorite. And what a comfort from a loving God, who is trying to convey to all of us:
“I’ve got you, and I’ll care for you, even in the midst of things that you don’t understand. And I’ll do it so specifically and so tenderly, to the date. To the date of when you have pain, I will bring in joy and I will bring in life”.
And they’re very invited to a new life here. I was so happy to hear that and so comforted by that. So I hope that God brings you some comfort in knowing that God will work it out. God didn’t even have these buyers’ house on the market. They had a fluky thing where somebody simply offered to buy their house. So, God can do it! We just need to trust in that. And that is great news! Good news, beyond good news- fantastic news! So, I hope that you can remember that God is in whatever you’re carrying today that’s confusing or hard, whether it’s personal stuff, pandemic stuff, racial injustice stuff, whatever. You may look at that and be confused and think it’s hard and it’s painful. And just like Job, God’s in it. And we know the end of Job’s story, and how it turned out even better than it was before. So, help us to trust in that. Take care, everybody. Bye-bye.