Published: Monday, 11 December 2017 18:13
Written by Don Goulding
In fact, if they had been thinking of the land that they had left, they would have had opportunity to return. But as it is, they aspire to a better land, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore, God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them. (Hebrews 11:15-16 NET_FL)
Every eucalyptus twig quivered with orange and black wings as thousands of monarch butterflies rested from their transit in Pismo Beach, California. It’s a natural wonder that should be on every bucket list.
The monarchs’ annual journey is called the “miracle migration” because they fly from the Sierra Madre mountains of central Mexico. Many cross the Gulf of Mexico, devoid of directional markers. Subject to storms and predators, they travel thousands of miles to reach Canada and the eastern United States. Most die en route only to have their offspring metamorpihize, then continue the parents’ journey. Scientists have puzzled for years over this instinct to return to a home they have never known.
God also placed a drive in his human children that makes us hunger for a home we have yet to know. My Christian predecessors moved in the right direction but they never reached paradise during their earthly sojourn. Now it’s my turn to take up the migration. I must reach home with Jesus or die pushing in that direction.
My heart yearns for my eternal home with a desire that neither loss nor earthly blessing can overcome. I watch a loved one dragged off by cancer, and I pine for home myself. I lose my livelihood, and it only serves to pull my soul toward home. I lie on a beach in Hawaii and it’s not enough, I long to go home. The homeward draw is more powerful than all temporal distractions, good and evil.
As long as there is a twitch of strength left in me, I will use it to press after the goal of my heart.
I must get home.
Prayer: Beloved Jesus, I hurt for wanting to be at home in your city.
Published: Monday, 04 December 2017 17:22
Written by Don Goulding
Do not judge so that you will not be judged. Matthew 7:1 (NETFull)
Every surface of the cell oozed with self-righteousness. Along with my fellow prisoners, I combed the Scriptures deciding whom to denounce outside our bars. By incremental arguments, we redefined acceptable to mean just like us. We wrote out the names of those we exposed and chanted their infractions. The name of our dungeon was Judgmental.
One morning the door scraped open and a shaft of light cut through the gloom. My grinning Savior strode to the corner with his hand extended.
“All right friend, enough of this nastiness. Let’s get you out of here.”
He led me into a world of glimmering beauty. There were bright skies, pounding waterfalls, and space—open space everywhere. My Lord proclaimed me forgiven and showed me laughter and music.
I knew so little of what free people did that I felt out of place. Seeking the door of my prison, I found my cronies still there. They had my name on their lists. To appease them, I found my old notebook and read some names aloud. But the fetid air began to take its toll and I had to get out.
Tucking the notebook under my arm, I pushed the door until a strong hand stopped it halfway. I peered into the face of my shining Friend.
“Not with that thing you don’t.” He nodded at the list. “You can stay in there to condemn others, or you can live free out here. But what you cannot do is accept my forgiveness, live in my land, and keep that notebook. Not one page or a single accusation, they must all stay behind. Choose.”
Prayer: Lord Jesus, I choose to let you be the Judge.
Published: Wednesday, 29 November 2017 18:08
Written by Don Goulding
It is the glory of God to conceal a matter, and it is the glory of a king to search out a matter. Proverbs 25:2 (NETFull)
When it was introduced, I was skeptical of the Hubble Space Telescope. Scientists wanted to find out how the universe began—a question already resolved by the Bible. The money was sorely needed elsewhere.
I’m glad no one called me before they pushed the launch button, because now I look at the Hubble photographs and I go limp. New images of the Sombrero Galaxy reveal millions of stars like our sun, spread as white grains of flour over black velvet. My veneration of God jumps.
In the 1800’s we thought our Milky Way Galaxy was the whole universe. In the 1920’s we realized the number of galaxies was tens of thousands, in 1999 it went to 125 billion, and a current estimate is 176 billion and growing. My awe of the Maker keeps stretching.
God doesn’t need me to protect his existence by nay-saying scientific endeavor. I need science to carry me past my undersized notions of God.
There are untold billions of celestial bodies, subatomic structures, life processes, and physical laws that God is anxious for us to discover, for in the reflection of his vast creation is the wonder of him. It is his joy that we reach into both the macro and the micro to explore the breadth of his power.
Science can carry me toward God but, because it only addresses the physical, it dumps me outside his doorstep. I cannot resolve my greatest need with science alone. I need a supernatural removal of sin and that feat is only accomplished through faith in the cross of Christ. Nevertheless, as an increasing number of scientists are discovering, their trade expands my understanding of our breathtaking Creator-Savior.
Prayer: Mighty God, oh the depths of the wonder of you I see about me.