Hearty Laughter as an Act of Faith

Sometime in my twenties, I realized that I have a big laugh. Like, really big—loud and sharp. If I think something is funny, there’s no chance I’m sneaking up on anyone.

I’m sure there are lots of people who wonder why it took me so long to figure this out. I guess self-knowledge can take time.

A Choice

Even though my default laugh sticks out like a giraffe in a chicken coop, I can rein it in. I can chortle in polite society.

When I realized how conspicuous my laughter made me, I had to make a choice. I could restrain myself, putting the brakes on my loud outbursts and moving closer to respectability. Or, I could throw back my head and howl.

I may be accused of spiritualizing here, but to me this was an act of faith.

Vulnerable

The word “vulnerable” comes to English from a Latin word that means “wound.” So when we are vulnerable, we are wound-able. And laughter jostles our normal armor out of place and exposes us.

When we laugh or show delight, we take a risk. By revealing what brings us pleasure we open ourselves to criticism and ridicule. Anyone who sees us rejoice in something they deem absurd or despicable can attack—if not publicly and openly, then in whispers or clicks on a keyboard. Laughter points a neon arrow at our joy, offering it up for public scrutiny. And boisterous laughter adds to the arrow a fire whistle and a fog horn.

An Act of Faith

A large part of my Christian repentance has been to stop focusing so much energy on people liking and praising me. And so, though I knew it may cause some to dismiss, mock, or avoid me, I embraced my laugh.

My laugh is one of the threads God used to knit me together, and I love to laugh. Laughter is part of the way I delight in the creative, beautiful, surprising, and strange ways God has made his world. (I mean, how can you stifle a laugh when you crack open a pomegranate?!)

The more I embrace my laughter and trust the Lord with the outcome, the more I learn to exercise my faith. There is no security in others’ opinions, no freedom in hoarding the worthless currency of back slaps from the respected. I trust that the love of God in Jesus is far, far better.

Any time we reveal emotion we take a chance. We give ammunition to those who may wish us harm. But we dare not turn stoic—God made us whole and he left out no ingredient.

So when we gather next, don’t be surprised to hear deep laughter coming from my direction. I won’t be trying to make a scene, but I won’t be holding back either.

There are wild, delightful things (and people!) in this world, and many times a chuckle just won’t do.

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A Man Under Authority

When the psalmist encouraged us to meditate on God’s word, I don’t think he had children’s songs in mind. But if you want to have biblical stories, words, and truths cycling through your mind every waking moment, you could do worse than to have a child who only ever wants to listen to one biblical children’s music collection. 

If this post were part of a series, it would be Part II of “Truths Sarah Learned from Children’s Songs” (see Part I here). This time the song was “The Centurion’s Secret” by The Donut Man, an overall-clad, mustachioed song leader and children’s show host from my childhood, who I rediscovered on Amazon Music. The song tells the story of the healing of the centurion’s servant from Matthew 8:5–13 (also Luke 7:1–10). Sometime around the billionth listen, as the chorus replayed a fourth time, a piece of the story clicked for me in a way it never had before. 

“I, Too”

I was familiar with the general narrative: A centurion approaches Jesus (or sends someone to him, depending which gospel account you read) with a request to heal his dear servant. Jesus offers to go to the servant, but the centurion states that he is not worthy to have Jesus come under his roof and that Jesus can simply speak a word and heal the servant—which indeed, Jesus does. 

But there’s an odd line in there that I never quite understood. As the centurion assures Jesus he doesn’t need to come, he says: “For I too am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. And I say to one, ‘Go,’ and he goes, and to another, ‘Come,’ and he comes, and to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it” (Matthew 8:9).

He’s certainly indicating that he understands that a person with authority can cause things to be done without their hands-on intervention. If he tells one of his soldiers to carry a message, the message will be delivered without the centurion traveling with it personally. Likewise, the centurion knew that a man with authority, like Jesus, could simply give the word for the servant to be healed, and it would happen. 

But he didn’t describe himself—and Jesus—as a man with authority; he said they were men under authority. At first, to me that seemed demeaning to Jesus. Jesus is the all-powerful God of the universe in human form. He was instrumental in creation itself (John 1:3)! How dare the centurion suggest that Jesus was subject to anyone else. 

Finally, while my daughter sang along in the back seat, it clicked: The centurion didn’t only believe that Jesus was able to heal his servant; he understood why Jesus was able to do it.

Just like the centurion knew that he received his authority to command his soldiers from those in authority over him, he understood that Jesus drew his authority from the Father. Jesus consistently described himself this way, such as in John 14:10: “Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own authority, but the Father who dwells in me does his works.” 

Declarations like these drew anger and unbelief from the religious leaders of Israel. It took this Roman occupier to see that Jesus did his great works, not to build his own glory, but on the authority of and for the glory of the one who sent him, God the Father. No wonder Jesus remarked, “Truly, I tell you, with no one in Israel have I found such faith” (Matthew 8:10).

“He Marveled at Him”

Throughout the gospels Jesus taught that his hearers must believe that he is from the Father in order to be saved and have eternal life. This centurion believed what the religious leaders missed, that Jesus was exactly who he said he was.

The centurion’s statement reflected a second aspect of true faith that, again, the religious leaders missed. This comes through most clearly in Luke’s retelling, where the centurion doesn’t even presume to approach Jesus himself. He sends the Jewish elders to Jesus first, and they plead the man’s works: “He is worthy to have you do this for him, for he loves our nation, and he is the one who built us our synagogue” (Luke 7:4–5). The elders assume that Jesus will be impressed by loyalty to Israel and acts of piety. 

Upon Jesus drawing closer to the house, though, the centurion sends out his own friends with a personal message: “I am not worthy to have you come under my roof. Therefore I did not presume to come to you” (Luke 7:6–7), followed by his statement about Jesus’s authority. The Jewish elders argued for the centurion’s worthiness; the centurion knew his unworthiness and made his case solely on Jesus’s mercy and power. At this, Jesus marveled (Luke 7:9).

Our flesh, like the Jewish elders, wants to plead our case based on our merits, our church attendance, our volunteer hours, our consistent devotional times. We are perhaps especially vulnerable as Christians in America; our culture values self-sufficiency and pulling yourself up by your own bootstraps. 

The centurion understood that he had no bootstraps to pull when it came to Jesus. The “John Wayne” approach that worked for leading troops wouldn’t sway a divine man who taught about loving one’s enemies and seeking a kingdom not of this world. This man who was so large in his own world knew that, before Jesus, he had no standing. 

Like the centurion, we need to see rightly what Jesus loves, what makes him marvel. He is not impressed by our works, even the best that we can bring. He marvels at true faith, the kind that brings nothing and asks everything, trusting in Jesus’ authority—and his goodness.

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Links for the Weekend (9/3/2021)

Each Friday, I’ll post links to 3–5 resources from around the web you may want to check out.

The Gospel According to Ecclesiastes

Here’s a nice summary of the book of Ecclesiastes and some thoughts on its relationship to the gospel.

Too often, our superficial, triumphalistic approach to Christianity in America doesn’t face the real problems of living in a sinful world. In Ecclesiastes 8:14, the Preacher, provides this depressing assessment, “There is a vanity that takes place on earth, that there are righteous people to whom it happens according to the deeds of the wicked, and there are wicked people to whom it happens according to the deeds of the righteous. I said that this also is vanity.” Not exactly the kind of descriptions that would make a tourism brochure for the global chamber of commerce. But the preacher in Ecclesiastes follows that statement up with “I commend joy” and “to eat and drink and be joyful” (Ecc 8:15). What is the connection between gut-wrenching, painful injustice and being joyful?

What Do I Do With “Wasted Years?”

Jeremy Howard writes a personal reflection that is worth your time. He wrestles with a question many of us face—how should we think about periods of our life where there is no obvious fruit from our diligent efforts for the kingdom of God?

Due to life circumstances, I left at the end of 2014.  Shortly after that, the school had to close for a myriad of reasons. When I left 6 years after starting, I had changed exactly none of that future for them.  Years of effort and love and passion poured into a project that one day vanished like the mist.  No discernible impact from my perspective. What was it all for?  Was there a purpose in what I did? I cannot speak to the greater impact, only eternity can reveal that. 

What’s the Difference Between Sloth and Rest?

John Piper gives a helpful answer to this question. He describes the difference between the laziness of the sluggard and the restfulness of the diligent.


Note: Washington Presbyterian Church and the editors of this blog do not necessarily endorse all content produced by the individuals or groups referenced here. 

Links for the Weekend (8/27/2021)

Each Friday, I’ll post links to 3–5 resources from around the web you may want to check out.

We Won’t Perfectly Practice What We Preach

Jen Wilkin writes in Christianity Today about being convicted by her own words (quoted back to her) on Instagram. I appreciated what she shares about sanctification and growth as a Christian.

Sanctification is not a swipe but a slog. It rarely looks like an immediate ceasing of a particular sin. Instead, we become slower to step into the familiar traps and quicker to confess when we do. Slower to repeat, quicker to repent. This becomes a mantra of hope. Our hatred of sin is learned across a lifetime.

We Agree, Right?

Holly Mackle discovered she was presuming that her conversation partners agreed with her unspoken opinions when they had other characteristics in common. In her, this led to condescension when there was not agreement. She proposes a wonderful remedy: curiosity.

Considering the opinions or beliefs of others can be hard. And it takes a supernatural, Holy Spirit level of humility and grace to grant another the space to disagree. It can be an exhausting exercise to continually remind myself to elevate others over my own opinions, plans, or preferences. But I’ve found that expecting others to agree with me all the time can quickly shade the way I approach God, luring me to attempt to poach on his lordship. This habit of presuming I’m in the right and that others will agree is a slippery slope to making God in my own image.

9 Things You Should Know About the Taliban

Sadly, the Taliban are back in the news because of their return to power in Afghanistan. If you’re unfamiliar with this group, here is a helpful explainer from Joe Carter.

On the WPCA Blog This Week

This week on the blog we published an article I wrote called Restore Us to Yourself That We May Be Restored. If you haven’t already seen it, check it out!

Thanks to Leeanne E for her help in rounding up links this week!


Note: Washington Presbyterian Church and the editors of this blog do not necessarily endorse all content produced by the individuals or groups referenced here. 

Restore Us to Yourself That We May Be Restored

Most Christians know that sin is bad. But, how bad is it, really?

Sin is a tornado, and the final chapter of Lamentations helps us see the extent of the damage. The consequences of breaking covenant with the Lord are dire. And yet, there is still hope for restoration.

See Our Disgrace

The first verse in this chapter frames much of what follows.

Remember, O Lord, what has befallen us;
look, and see our disgrace! (Lamentations 5:1)

The author is asking God to remember, to bring to mind for the purpose of action. Asking God to see and remember is a key part of all lament; those who lament are pleading that God would not forget them in their circumstances.

However, this is an unnatural request, that God would see or notice our disgrace. We usually like to hide those qualities and circumstances that are shameful. But in this situation, those embarrassments are exactly the reason for the lament!

Verses 2–18 provide a list of many disgraces of the people still living in Jerusalem. These disgraces range from the horrifying (deaths of fathers in Lam 5:3, rape of women in Lam 5:11) to the seemingly mundane (the people now have to pay for water and wood, Lam 5:4). To be sure, far more disgraces fall in the first category than the second, but the mingling of the two makes a profound point: Sin has brought judgment which has overturned every aspect of life. Even the loss of music and dancing (Lam 5:14–15) can be considered a tragedy.

One other disgrace is worth mentioning. In Lam 5:16, we read: “The crown has fallen from our head; woe to us, for we have sinned!” This is both a confession of sin and a lament about Judah’s inability to rule themselves. They are now in the hands of Babylon. This confession about leadership also sets the stage for verse 19 (see below).

On the whole, this first portion of Lamentations 5 (verses 1–18) shows us that the consequences of sin are real and heartbreaking. There is a direct line between the rebellion of the people and the desolation of Zion, and the present grief and loss are a result of earlier decisions to turn away from God.

Renew Our Days

The chapter takes a bit of a turn in verse 19: “But you, O Lord, reign forever; your throne endures to all generations.” Judah may no longer have a king ruling in Jerusalem, but that is not true on a larger scale.

In the midst of lament, acknowledging the sovereignty of God is vital. His rule is not negated by suffering. Pain and sorrow are not in charge—God is. Because grief and sadness feel so immediate and enveloping, God’s people must remind each other of this truth. The Lord reigns now and forever.

Verse 20 takes us into the deep questions of an honest lament. Lord, if you reign, “why do forget us forever?” If you’ve heard that asking “why” questions is forbidden in prayer, think again. God’s people should not accuse him of wrongdoing or blame him for evil, but laments are filled with “why” and “how” questions. (See Psalm 10:1, 35:17, 42:9, and 43:2 among many examples.)

The author of Lamentations then asks the boldest prayer in the entire book.

Restore us to yourself, O Lord, that we may be restored!
Renew our days as of old— (Lamentations 5:21)

The people want Jerusalem to be the way it was, they want to be restored. But they confess that restoration with the Lord must happen first. Jerusalem is in ruins because the people turned away from God, so a vibrant renewal of that covenant relationship is needed before any of the physical blessings can be enjoyed.

There is a good reminder here for modern Christians. When we see brokenness and rebellion in ourselves and others, we should think about the need for repentance and restoration to the Lord. A wayward heart is driving the train which is producing those acts of unrighteousness.

This chapter ends in a way that many Christians through the ages have found unsatisfying. (Apparently, some scribes have recopied verse 21 after verse 22, presumably to prevent the book from ending on a down note!) But tension is inherent in lament, and we need to learn how to embrace that tension if we are to be followers of Jesus who both rejoice and weep (Romans 12:15).

Here is the ending of Lamentations.

unless you have utterly rejected us,
and you remain exceedingly angry with us. (Lamentations 5:22)

The people know God has promised to bring them back from exile (Lam 4:22). And yet they do not know exactly when. God’s righteous anger may mean that this generation will not see the restoration they desire.

This tension—restore us, unless you remain angry with us—is a bit unsettling. But it also serves one of the purposes of lament, to keep us turning back to the Lord again and again. Our prayers may not be answered immediately; our sorrows may remain; we may feel seasick in heart through our years on this groaning earth.

Rejected No More

But God is always ready to receive our lament. He reigns forever, he is wise, and he is loving. For this reason, we can trust him with our pain and grief.

The Israelites wondered whether God had rejected them. We may wonder the same. But in Jesus we have an emphatic, definitive answer. No. Because Jesus bore our sin, we are no longer subject to that same awful judgment that he suffered. “Jesus is the answer to the cause of every pain” (Dark Clouds, Deep Mercy, Mark Vroegop, page 150).

Though we groan, we can look to Jesus, the Man of Sorrows. Because of him, our true, final restoration is secure.

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Links for the Weekend (8/20/2021)

Each Friday, I’ll post links to 3–5 resources from around the web you may want to check out.

Reflections from Week One of an Empty Nest

Jared Wilson writes about the next stage of life and ministry as he drops his youngest off at college.

One thing I keep coming back to in the midst of my nostalgia about my kids’ youth — and, admittedly, in my niggling fears about things I did wrong or at the least could have done better — is that watching your kids grow up and leave the nest is kind of the point of parenting. Sending them out was the goal all along. I do hope of course that our kids remain close to us relationally throughout adulthood. But our job as parents was not to coddle them into codependence with us, but to raise them to love Jesus and neighbor, to train them to be mature grownups. All of the raising in the home and the church was training for their followship of the Lord outside. That was the whole point. It’s silly to run the race to the best of your ability and then begrudge the finish line when it approaches.

Does the Book of Proverbs Over-Promise?

How should we think about those proverbs which don’t seem true in our experience? Are the Proverbs just probabilities, or is there something more going on?

We will partially see these promises in this life—that is, unless God calls us to a higher form of blessing. But, in Jesus, we will see them fully in the next. No one has ever lived the conditions for these promises more perfectly than Jesus Christ, yet God called him to something higher than mere earthly prosperity.

Six Dangers of Podcasts

John Piper offers some potential dangers associated with listening to podcasts. (Of course, the dangers are offered on a podcast, so there’s that.)


Note: Washington Presbyterian Church and the editors of this blog do not necessarily endorse all content produced by the individuals or groups referenced here. 

Links for the Weekend (8/13/2021)

Each Friday, I’ll post links to 3–5 resources from around the web you may want to check out. Note: Just two links today!

I Need You to Read Your Bible

I really appreciated this meditation from Glenna Marshall. We so often think our spiritual practices affect only us, but here is a helpful story of how God used one woman’s devotional life to bless another.

I need my own spiritual disciplines of study, reading, and prayer for my personal growth, knowledge, and affection for Christ. I want the believers in my life to do the same for their own edification and growth. But I also need the believers in my life to pursue their spiritual disciplines because I am desperate for them to do so. I want the spiritual food God has been feeding you. I don’t need worldly or even pseudo-Christian encouragement when I’m discouraged or doubting or worried. I need what is true and biblical and dependable.

Taste God’s Goodness in the Sweetness of Honey

Andrew Wilson writes about God’s good gift of honey, and in this writing he models how we can delight in God as we delight in his gifts.

We are called not just to learn about God but to experience him. We are invited to taste his sweetness and allow his golden richness—beautifully expressed in his rescue, his Word, and his grace—to brighten our eyes and refresh our souls. “Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good!” (Ps. 34:8).

On the WPCA Blog This Week

This week on the blog we published an article written by Erica Goehring called Broken, Yet Assured of God’s Plan. If you haven’t already seen it, check it out!


Note: Washington Presbyterian Church and the editors of this blog do not necessarily endorse all content produced by the individuals or groups referenced here. 

Broken, Yet Assured of God’s Plan

In one of my earliest memories, I follow my grandma up the hill of my backyard. She has a tiny pine tree in her hands, the roots wrapped in plastic. We kneel on the mossy ground together as Grandma digs into the dirt at the edge of my parents’ property. This baby tree joins a line of mature pines that create a natural boundary—a curtain of green that provides privacy and a bit of protection from the dust of the country road. I am about four years old, and I help by patting the earth and pouring water at the tree’s base. The tree is mine.

∞∞∞

This brief, clear memory opens up into years of playing with my sister in front of that young tree. We watched it grow. We stood next to it, marveling at both its growth and our own. It became a backdrop for our play. It stood watch as we acted out imaginary scenarios, had picnics, put up Dad’s old tent, and pumped our legs on the big swing set. As we surged up into the air, we could look over the roof of our house and see the beautiful Allegheny River below. This was the place where imaginations soared—the epitome of childhood.

Broken but Growing

I have another memory on that hill that is just as clear as planting with Grandma. One afternoon, I stood near my tree, talking to a boy. We were both around eleven or twelve years old. This boy was a classmate and the closest thing we had to a neighbor in our very rural spot in Armstrong County. He wasn’t being malicious when he wrapped his hand around the thin trunk and twisted my young pine. He was talking casually, absently fiddling with whatever happened to be near. But when he pulled and my little tree snapped, my heart dropped. By this time, the tree had grown to be a bit taller than me, probably around five feet, and suddenly, it lost its perky top to the hands of a middle schooler. I yelped! He apologized, but I knew he didn’t understand why I was upset about a little broken tree.

Years later, when I was a new college student home for the weekend, I noticed that the trunk seemed to bend around its wound and grow straight upward. The bend was visible, but the growth beyond that point was straight and strong. On a recent visit to see my parents, twenty years since college, I walked up the hill to where my tree is planted. The big swing set has been replaced by a small hammock swing, and from that perch, I could still see the Allegheny running by the property. I was shocked by the size of my tree. It towered over me, and there is no longer any sign of where the trunk was once twisted and snapped. A spot that was undeniably damaged years ago became strong again. The rough and bent scar is smooth and straight.

Hard Decisions

I had a conversation recently with a fellow Christian. We were talking about the gravity of big decisions and the common fear of possibly ruining one’s life by making the wrong choice. College or not? Marriage or not? This job versus that job? Say yes to the date? No to the cross-country move? These choices can feel dire. It sounds dramatic, but I have experienced that feeling of potential doom as I contemplated a life-altering decision. In childhood and in our teen years, we are often taught the big consequences of our choices, and we can be paralyzed by the potential effects. While wisdom and discernment are vital in making good decisions, when we bring fear as a major component of our decision-making process, we attempt to remove God’s sovereignty and create an idol out of our idea of a perfect future. As I chatted with my friend, I commented light-heartedly that God isn’t going to simply leave us behind because we picked the “wrong” college or turned down the “right” job. 

The Bible assures us that we can be confident in God’s plan. Job asserts in Job 42:2, “I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted.” This is reassuring! The Lord has plans that will not be interrupted by our failures and inadequacies. His will is not dependent upon us making perfect choices. We can find assurance in his infallible wisdom and strength. God’s plans are bigger than the life decisions and career goals about which we make long lists and agonize to friends. Consider Ephesians 1:7–11:

In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth. In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, 

God’s view of the future is a picture of eternity. His will covers forever, not merely the next step. We can be bent and broken like my tree and still grow steadily in God’s will. God’s plan is bigger than a single tragic moment or a seemingly pivotal decision. The things of earth and things of heaven work together toward the fulfillment of God’s perfect plan.

God’s Intended Path

At first, I thought my tree would die. The inner wood looked white and ragged, different from the smooth gray trunk. The trauma left a very clear mark, and the tree was forced to grow differently. It made a detour, and as time passed and the tree grew well beyond the point of its trauma, its health was stronger than the moment of its wound.

We come to the Lord broken. Sometimes our hurts come from our own actions; we take paths he never intended for us. Our sin is apparent and central. Sometimes we encounter pain, tragedy, and difficulties that leave us with profound wounds. But as we walk with the Lord, seeking his plans and calling out to him, he leads us along his intended path. Our wounds may be tender and obvious, rough and ragged, but he guides us around and through those places where we are torn. Some of our broken places will be completely healed. Some will leave permanent scars. Yet we can always find assurance in God’s plan and his purpose.

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Links for the Weekend (8/6/2021)

Each Friday, I’ll post links to 3–5 resources from around the web you may want to check out.

The Purpose of Sunday is the Re-evangelization of the People of God

Here’s a short, insightful article from Jared Wilson on the purpose of preaching on Sunday morning. It always comes back to our need for the gospel.

The sinner’s need for the gospel doesn’t end when he is converted. While the fullness of eternal life is bestowed upon the vilest sinner at that point, he still needs the good news to grow him, mature him, sanctify him. And when we stand before Christ our Judge at the last day, we will be standing on nothing more than the gospel for our acceptance even then.

Body Shaming Demeans Others and Insults God

This article is an excerpt from a book by Sam Allberry about our physical bodies. In this post, he writes about some of the ways we experience shame related to our bodies and how the Bible addresses this shame.

We’re now, it seems, hardwired to feel a sense of vulnerability when it comes to our body. We fear not just literal nakedness but a more general sense of being uncovered. We don’t want to be seen. We fear the shame it could bring. This being so, we need to be careful not to make our own words the cause of someone else’s physical shame.

5 Foundations That Lead to Compromise on Sexual Ethics

This article is a little long, but it’s a helpful diagnosis of the weaknesses of some strains of Christianity when it comes to standing firm on biblical sexual ethics.

In the landscape of contemporary Western Christianity, most roads away from orthodox faith travel through an increasingly populous pit stop called “LGBTQ+ affirming.” It’s a stop that doesn’t just change the route; it reconfigures the whole map. If we ignore, dismiss, or question what Scripture says about sex and identity, it naturally leads to further and deeper questioning of Scripture’s authority and an ever shakier faith. But more and more Christians—even those steeped in Scripture and raised in the church from a young age—are making this move. Why?


Note: Washington Presbyterian Church and the editors of this blog do not necessarily endorse all content produced by the individuals or groups referenced here. 

Links for the Weekend (7/30/2021)

Each Friday, I’ll post links to 3–5 resources from around the web you may want to check out.

Even to Your Old Age

At Desiring God, William Farley writes about the opportunities that come with being a grandparent.

Third, besides passion for Christ, humility, and wisdom, grandparenting is an opportunity to exemplify hope. Life is short. Decades of experience have taught you this in ways that your children and grandchildren do not yet understand. They need to see you not living in the past, but looking forward to “a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens” (2 Corinthians 5:1).

I Miss My Son Today

Tim Challies continues to grieve the death of his son. I appreciate the way he is letting us see what it might look like to trust God day to day with such a hard providence.

And just so, while God has called me to bear my grief for a lifetime, and to do so faithfully, he has not called me to bear the entire weight of it all at once. As that pile was made up of many bricks, a lifetime is made up of many days. The burden of a whole lifetime’s grief would be far too heavy to bear and the challenge of a whole lifetime’s faithfulness far too daunting to consider. But the God who knows my frailty has broken that assignment into little parts, little days, and has promised grace sufficient for each one of them. My challenge for today is not to bear the grief of a lifetime or to be faithful to the end, but only to carry today’s grief and only to be faithful on this one little day that he has spread out before me.

Back to School Book Deals from Crossway

Crossway+ is a free members program from Crossway. And if you join, you can get 50% off some excellent books until August 4. Some of these books would make great gifts for any college student in your life.

On the WPCA Blog This Week

This week on the blog we published an article I wrote called Solid Bible Promises for Times of Suffering. If you haven’t already seen it, check it out!


Note: Washington Presbyterian Church and the editors of this blog do not necessarily endorse all content produced by the individuals or groups referenced here.