5th June 2019

Love Divine, All Loves Excelling

“Truly, this only I have found: That God made man upright, but they have sought out many schemes.”
Ecclesiastes 7:29 (NKJV)

I found that I was sharing my shower this morning with about half a dozen flies. They all seemed the same size, the same family. And they all seemed to know each other. As you will appreciate I was not best pleased. I don’t know from where they had come, but I expect it was probably through an open window from some nearby source. I quickly shut nearby windows to exclude more of their cousins and extended family from joining us. In a day or so those who escape my periodic sweeping attentions will become hopelessly woozy from lack of sustenance. I wouldn’t willingly kill anything, but when insects become a nuisance, they had better watch out!

It’s a good thing God doesn’t see us in a similar light, isn’t it? Always grace is extended. I’d like to do the same with the surviving family of flies, but they won’t move where I want them to, so that I can open a window and let them escape. Resolutely they will go the opposite way—just as so often do we. But God still has patience with us; far beyond when mine runs out.

We’re told that God remembers that we are but dust, frail, a summer flower which today is and tomorrow is gone. His patience with us is far beyond rationality. It’s abnormal—it’s divine. And, when we consider the God that we find revealed to us in the Bible, that’s the point. In everything he is so unlike us, except that he tells us he designed us to be in his image. Not just physically, but eventually to be mentally and spiritually in his image.

When we think of a tiny toddler clinging to a tatty old rag doll, that will not be given up or allowed to be washed, but must be gone to bed with and slept with all night through—and then, if it’s gone in the morning, the day cannot begin until it’s found—that’s how we can seem to our God. We cling to our ways through thick and thin.

It’s all very humbling when we consider that so often we are more like those buzzing nuisance flies than even a comforting compliant rag doll. We seem to go out of our way as human beings to end up doing the opposite thing to what God wants us to do. And that’s the contrast with what God wants from us. He wants us to come to the place where we willingly walk with him, where we learn not just about him, but learn him, so that we can act more like him, be more like him. Perhaps if flies set about to do that, they would have longer lives when they invade our houses.

Prayer
Great Father, humanity seems bent on flouting all the advice and guidance you give on how to lead a happy life. We will do our own thing! We ask you for the continuing humility to recognise that our ways oppose you, and to hear and heed what you instruct us. In Jesus’ name we pray.
Amen

Study by John Stettaford
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About the Author:
John Stettaford is an Elder in the Reading Congregation of the Worldwide Church of God UK.

Local Congregation:
Worldwide Church of God Reading
Prospect School, Room A1 (Main Building)
Honey End Lane
READING
RG30 4EL

Meeting Time:
Saturday 11am

Local Congregational Contact:
John Stettaford
Phone: 01923-241426
Email: pastor@wcg-reading.org.uk

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