"Here dies another day
During which I have had eyes,ears, hands
And the great world round me;
And with tomorrow begins another.
Why am I allowed two?" (Chesterton)
Truly every day comes from God's hand of mercy--the fact that I wake up to breath and see another day. "If nothing else, nature reveals God as mysterious, incalculable, 'wholly other,' worthy of worship." (Yancey)
Atheist have the problem of the origin of pleasure to explain "in a world of randomness and meaninglessness"......Christianity provides "the clues to solve the mystery of pleasure............Rather than merely wag our fingers at such obvious abuses of God's good gifts, perhaps we should demonstrate to the world where good gifts actually come from, and why they are good. Evil's greatest triumph may be its success in portraying religion as an enemy of pleasure when, in fact, religion accounts for its source: every good and enjoyable thing is the invention of a Creator who lavished gifts on the world." (55-Yancey)_ "The beauty of the world is Christ's tender smile for us coming through matter." (Simone Weil). Yancey describes nature as, "a symphony that plays on whether or not I stop to listen". "Should we not start with the most obvious fact of existence that whoever is responsible is a fierce and incomparable artist beside whom all human achievement and creativity dwindle as child's play?"(49)
Today in SS we were discussing part of Romans. (and in church Jeremiah). ..how because of man's sin we are under God's wrath. This is why there is so much pain and bad in this world. I do not suffer because I am any worse than anyone else---we are all sinful...we all suffer...no one escapes suffering. Part of suffering is to show me my need of God. In Jeremiah the people kept asking God Why--(Jere 14)""O thou hope of Israel, its savior in time of trouble, why shouldst thou be like a stranger in the land, like a wayfarer who turns aside to tarry for a night? Why shouldst thou be like a man confused, like a mighty man who cannot save? Yet thou, O LORD, art in the midst of us, and we are called by thy name; leave us not.' Thus says the LORD concerning this people: 'They have loved to wander thus, they have not restrained their feet ; therefore the LORD does not accept them, now he will remember their iniquity and punish their sins."
AND THIS IS WHY WE ALL NEED GRACE AND THIS IS THE BEAUTY OF GRACE TO ME. Every day is a gift from Him whether in this life or the life to come--- a gift of grace. He has chosen to forgive me because of His great love demonstrated to me by His sending His son to die in my place. No one can love God with all one's heart, mind, soul--no one can be absolutely perfect. BUT God gives ABSOLUTE GRACE--I love how Yancey states this:
"Yet the same Jesus tenderly offered absolute grace, perhaps the greatest distinctive of the Christian faith. God loves us not because of who we are and what we have done, but because of who God is. Grace flows to all who accept it. Jesus forgave an adulteress, a thief on a cross, a disciple who had denied ever knowing him. Grace is absolute, all-encompassing. It extends even to the people who nailed Jesus to the cross: 'Father , forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing' were among the last words he spoke on earth."145
Pain, yes, suffering for all, yes. But this drives me to Him and He daily extends grace, cleansing, forgiveness, .....In a way He cries, as Jesus wept because of the punishment that was coming upon Jerusalem for rejecting his way of peace--Luke 19:41ff--"And when he approached, he saw the city and wept over it, saying, 'If you had known in this day, even you, the things which make for peace! But now they have been hidden from your eyes.......they will not leave in you one stone upon another, because you did not recognize the time of your visitation." He wept--means a loud lamentation--it does not give him pleasure to bring judgement. He weeps here at the coming judgement. But in contrast, there is" joy in heaven over one sinner who repents" Luke 15:7.
What a God of infinite love ...that loves us so much that he weeps when He disciplines us---Who seeks to drive us to the most beautiful gracious and loving being--who longs to be intimate with me...who rejoices when I repent.....and yet I constantly fall---and yet He constantly extends mercy and grace. I am amazed.