Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Immortal, Invisible, God Only Wise"1 (Lyrics)
When I was growing up, our chicken house usually housed a dozen or so generally docile hens, but the least disturbance could result in a cacophony of indignant clucking and flapping of wings before they'd all settle back down again on their roosts — until the next disturbance.
This flurry of clucking and flapping of wings makes me think of my neighbourhood. I use a computer app that is branded as a social networking service for neighbourhoods. It also serves — unfortunately — as a platform for complaining and venting about all kinds of neighbourhood issues.
About a year ago, our city's department of roads began restriping many of our main city arterials to give bikers a safety lane for travel. Four-lane roads suddenly shrank to two lanes, with bike lanes on either side gobbling up the remaining asphalt. With only one lane in each direction now available for cars, speeders soon found that they were being blocked by drivers who were observing the speed limit. The speeders began to duck over onto parallel residential streets, sometimes driving 50 miles an hour in 25 mile-an-hour zones.
There seems to be a rippling cause and effect to everything in life, so in order to slow down traffic in residential neighbourhoods, where there were now also more pedestrians walking for exercise due to the pandemic, the city designated some of those residential streets as "Local Access Only" and has marked them off with barriers.
Oh, the cacophony of clucking and flapping of wings that all of this traffic control has set off on the social networking app! Have all of these changes been for our good or for our harm? I guess people's opinions largely depend upon whether they are speeders or law-abiding citizens! I expect that the city monitors traffic patterns and may be flexible enough in future to make needed adjustments.
Don't we all view life with its blessings and problems in the same way? Basically, our attitudes and outlooks on life colour how we see the things that happen to us. We can view life's happenings as problems and barriers, or we may choose to see them as challenges with future good outcomes.
When we belong to God as His children, we can fully trust Him to knit life's happenings together for our good and His glory, and not for our harm. Let's trust Him to be for us, not against us.
Romans 8:28 – And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose for them. (NLT)
Prayer: Dear Father, help us to view life with its good and bad events as an arena for You to work in and through us — for Your glory. May we willingly accept whatever You bring our way as a gift to be received with confidence. Amen.