It’s Just Like Jesus

I Had A Dream: 9-12-20

My wife, Joyce, and I were taking a tour of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association headquarters and our tour guide was Billy Graham himself. I remember thinking that it was really nice of him to come back from the dead briefly just for us. Our tour ended up in a large, comfortable room that had a sitting area and a bed. He said they like to have people go there who need encouragement because it makes them feel at home. I leaned down on the bed and he sat across from me with Joyce sitting behind me. He said, “Is there any one question you would like to ask me before you go?” I thought for a minute and said, “Yes, there is.” “How is it that the Great Creator of the universe cares enough about our puny little prayers to actually respond to them?” Joyce was trying to interject something behind me, but I kept plowing through as I was breaking down in tears. “He didn’t have to. He could have said, like some say, ‘Whatever will be will be, because I’m God and I said so,’ but He didn’t. He actually hears and answers our prayers. I don’t understand. Why would He do that?”  By now I was sobbing so much I could barely get the words out. I thought, “I don’t cry. That’s what my sensitive wife does.” Unfortunately, I woke up before he could answer me, but the words of a song came into my mind after waking:

  1. A friend I have called Jesus, Whose love is strong and true,
    And never fails howe’er ’tis tried, no matter what I do;
    I sinned against this love of His, but when I knelt to pray,
    Confessing all my guilt to Him, the sin-clouds rolled away.
    • Refrain:
      It’s just like Jesus to roll the clouds away,
      It’s just like Jesus to keep me day by day,
      It’s just like Jesus all along the way,
      It’s just like His great love.
  2. Sometimes when clouds of trouble bedim the sky above,
    I cannot see my Savior’s face, and doubt His wondrous love;
    But He, from heaven’s mercy seat, beholding my despair,
    In pity bursts the clouds between, and shows me He is there.
  3. When sorrow’s clouds o’ertake me, and break upon my head,
    When life seems worse than useless, and I were better dead;
    I take my grief to Jesus then, nor do I go in vain,
    For heav’nly hope He gives that cheers like sunshine after rain.
  4. Oh, I could sing forever of Jesus’ love divine,
    Of all His care and tenderness for this poor life of mine;
    His love is in and over all, and wind and waves obey,
    When Jesus whispers, “Peace, be still!” and rolls the clouds away.

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“It’s Just Like His Great Love”

By Edna R. Worrell

Dark Before the Dawn

When I was younger it seemed like morning always came too soon. Raising and providing for nine children could be exhausting at times, albeit rewarding. At my current age morning can sometimes take seemingly forever to come. I used to wonder why old people took naps. Now I know. 

Life can also give us “nightscapes” that seem to drag on. I’ve been in one of those recently. Some unexpected financial setbacks while living on a fixed income had brought about a discouragement bordering on full-fledged depression that I had not experienced for years. 

Then, I read Psalm 107. I’ve never been a big fan of the Psalms. They’ve always seemed a little too “touchy-feely” for my tastes, that is, until you need them. Today I read:

Oh give thanks to the Lord, for He is good,
For His lovingkindness is everlasting.
Let the redeemed of the Lord say so,
Whom He has redeemed from the hand of the adversary…

Those who go down to the sea in ships,
Who do business on great waters;
They have seen the works of the Lord,
And His wonders in the deep.
For He spoke and raised up a stormy wind,
Which lifted up the waves of the sea.
They rose up to the heavens, they went down to the depths;
Their soul melted away in their misery.
They reeled and staggered like a drunken man,
And were at their wits’ end.
Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble,
And He brought them out of their distresses.
He caused the storm to be still,
So that the waves of the sea were hushed.
Then they were glad because they were quiet,
So He guided them to their desired haven.
Let them give thanks to the Lord for His lovingkindness,
And for His wonders to the sons of men…

Who is wise? Let him give heed to these things,
And consider the lovingkindnesses of the Lord.  (NASB)

There are those who would experience being tossed about in a boat, afraid they were going to die, and consider it a coincidence that the storm ended just in time. They would never consider thanking the Lord, even if they heard a fellow passenger crying out to Him. 

I was reminded of a story my wife told me years ago about a conversation she had with two other couples. One of the wives was a dear Catholic friend with whom she had had many conversations about her walk with the Lord. The husband of the other couple would probably have described himself as an atheist. Personally, I would call him an agnostic since atheists say “there is no God” and to hold that position you would have to possess all the knowledge in the universe. How else could you know for sure there is no God out there? I don’t believe in atheists. An agnostic, on the other hand, says “I don’t think there’s a God.” In the context of “can we trust a God we can’t see” my enthusiastic wife happened to mention that she had lost her keys the other day and right after she prayed for God’s help she found them. The man, let’s call him “Dave”, snarked with, “Well, I lost my sunglasses the other day and I didn’t pray and I found them.” My indomitable wife came back without hesitation, “Well, did you thank Him for it?” 

It doesn’t occur to most people to thank God for the things they see as their natural born right to have. And, yet, in His lovingkindness, He provides the very air we breathe. 

So, what is my take-away from all this? First, God loves to hear us cry out to Him, even when we’ve been ignoring Him. Second, I have discovered that you can’t complain or wallow in despair at the same time that you are thanking or praising Him. Maybe that’s what Isaiah was talking about when he said God sent him to bring good news to the afflicted… “a garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness.” (Is. 61 KJV)

I thought morning would never come and then, it dawned on me.