” I know that my Redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand upon the earth. And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God; I myself will see him with my own eyes—I, and not another. How my heart yearns within me (Job 19:25-27!”
As I sat in the office of a rental agent yesterday, I looked to my left and saw raging flood waters. The reporters and banners on the screen were discussing a devasting flood that took the lives of numerous people in a campground in a remote area of Arkansas.
A downpour created a wall of water in the area within an hour, in the middle of the night, and created havoc.. This morning some of the stories have come out. A man described how his truck was picked up by the force of the water “like a piece of paper”.
One couple saved themselves by standing in the bed of their pickup while the water came up to their waists. A woman saw her 16-year old son floating down the river screaming for help, and she was filled with relief when he lodged against a tree.
Others were not so fortunate. The same woman heard people in the water screaming”Help me! Help me!”. However, there was nothing she could do.
Currently, authorities say that 16 people have died, but they are saying there is no telling how many people they will find in the camping site. The families of up to 70 people have contacted them for help in searching for missing loved ones. The missing are someone’s father, mother, brother, sister, son or daughter.
When I hear a story like this, it makes me think of what is really valuable, and it comes down to those I love: my wife. my children, other family and friends. Their lives are precious, to me and to God.
There is nothing worth more than someone’s life. In fact, the Bible says that a life is beyond cost. No payment is ever enough (Psalm 49:8).
Maybe that is why there is such pain when we lose a loved one, or our own lives end up in disarray. We grieve over the loss of something of which the cost is incalculable.
When disaster strikes, people die, and those left behind sometimes become dead men walking. Jacob could not be comforted when he thought his beloved son Joseph had been devoured by a wild beast (Genesis 37:34).
Job also was a man in despair over his own lost life and that of his dear ones. He grieved over the ending of the days when he was “in his prime”. Job mourned his dead children, his lost wealth and the end of respect from others (Job 29:1-10).
There is something else which is unimaginably priceless: God’s wisdom. Job said that man will dig deep in the earth for precious metals and stone, but he can’t mine for wisdom in the ground. He has to look up to God for it.
God is the Almighty One whose power is demonstrated in His creation. He created the forces that brought destruction to the campers in Arkansas. He knows what wisdom is all about, and He has told us that fearing Him is the way to get hold of it (Job 29:18-28).
I was in the office a rental agent yesterday because I was looking for a place to live. My family and I are searching for the best place we can find within our limited budget. The place we looked at yesterday seems to fit the bill.
There is one drawback, however; we have to move away from our new church, new friends and other things that have meant much to our spiritual and emotional well being.
When I think about the idea that God’s people and His wisdom are the things of most worth, temporary housing seems to pale. Leaving behind the things that matter most for eternity for shelter that will last for a limited time seems foolish.
People are priceless. God’s wisdom is beyond valuable. However, God Himself is of more worth than these. Whatever makes for knowing Him is where we should be parking ourselves.
” There are places I’ll remember
All my life, though some have changed
Some forever, not for better
Some have gone and some remain
All these places had their moments
With lovers and friends, I still can recall
Some are dead and some are living
In my life, I’ve loved them all
But of all these friends and lovers
There is no one compares with you
And these memories lose their meaning
When I think of love as something new
Though I know I’ll never lose affection
For people and things that went before
I know I’ll often stop and think about them
In my life, I’ll love you more (John Lennon).”
Joshua made his choice. He told wavering Israel that if they wanted to go after other things besides God, they could do so. Joshua said to his fellows,” But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD (Joshua 24:15).”
Whatever and wherever refreshes our love for God is worth pursuing over any other people, places or things. This life is short, but eternity with Him will last forever. Therefore, despite the obstacles, we will live in the place where we can love and serve our God, Jesus Christ, while we still have breath, because one day we see Him and adore Him face to face.
“besame, besame mucho,
each time i cling to your kiss, i hear music divine
oh besame, besame mucho, hold me my darling
and say that you’ll always be mine
this joy is something new
my arms enfolding you
never knew this thrill before
who ever thought i’d be holding you close to me
whispering it’s you i adore
dearest one, if you should leave me
each little dream would take wing and my life would be through
besame, besame mucho
love me forever and make all my dreams come true.
oh love me forever and make all my dreams come true”
To think Judas betrayed Jesus with a kiss. Hopefully, I can make up for it when I see Him.