Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Tell Me The Old Old Story"1 (Lyrics)
Psalm 67:1-2 – May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face to shine upon us, that your way may be known on earth, your saving power among all nations. (ESV)
Ever since I was a small boy with a telescope, I have loved the mystery of astronomical science and the universe. Scientists now understand that gravity can bend light, space, and time, which was only discovered and verified in the early twentieth century by Einstein and Edington. I am amazed at the discoveries of a collapsing sun twenty times larger than our own, and colliding neutron stars, exploding billions of years ago.
Over a lifetime, I have had much to encourage myself and others. So, it was a shock, with no little self-recrimination, that recently, I found myself, whilst pondering creation, just for a moment doubting the need for the existence of God. How could this be possible?
Matthew 16:23 – But [Jesus] turned and said to Peter, "Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance to me. For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man." (ESV)
There you have it. Where is our focus: on Jesus or on our desire for self-determination?
Distracted, we can let the focus of our mind and heart wander away from the centrality of God's incarnation, His Word, and His desire to bring about our salvation at the inception of the universe.
Once the doubts have been raised, they can't be unraised, like attempting to return an airbed to its original packing when it has been blown up, or trying to return a spilled liquid from the work surface back into its container.
Of course, our part in doubt — and possibly Satan's hands — seeks to amplify the shame of our foot-in-mouth before God, to turn us away from Him. I believe that Satan seeks to widen the gap between us, the created, and a loving Creator. Doubt is an age-old tool used to belittle God's love, His grace, and the victory found in Jesus.
It was true for Peter, and it is true for us. We must sort out where we put our trust.
God's ways, His timing, and the physics of creation may be beyond our ability to comprehend, but that does not stop God's love from being effective to bring us back into the light!
So, with a contrite heart, I deliver my shortcomings between the love of God and my faith into His hands, to allow the Holy Spirit to unpick and remove the hurt and shame from my side of our communing.
Nothing is too big for God to handle, not even the universe!
Prayer: Lord, You are the Inaugurator of life in all its fullness. Forgive us all that is past which is not pleasing in Your sight. Then, may we go with You and take Your peace and presence with us through the day to bring solace where there has been fear, and to bring encouragement where there has been doubt. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.