May he give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed. May we shout for joy over your victory and lift up our banners in the name of our God. May the LORD grant all your requests. Now this I know: The LORD gives victory to his anointed. He answers him from his heavenly sanctuary with the victorious power of his right hand. Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God. They are brought to their knees and fall, but we rise up and stand firm. LORD, give victory to the king! Answer us when we call (Psalm 20:4-9).”
As I sit in a McDonald’s tonight, the weather outside is frightful. The lights and displays in here are flashing on and off.
This is because there is a violent thunderstorm accompanied by lightning outside. If I was smart, I would turn off my computer. But, I guess I am not.
We humans are fascinated by the weather, aren’t we? I mean, we have an entire cable TV channel dedicated to it.
It’s usually on the monitor to the left of my treadmill at the gym. I learn about the weather whether I want to or not.
Another cable channel had a show about the effect of weather on history while I was exercising. They mentioned how a violent tornado caused the British to flee Washington, D.C. during the War of 1812.
The British infamously burned down the White House during this raid. But the tornado killed more of them than the American army did and they took off.
Last night the family watched a computer-animated flick called “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs”. In the movie, failed young inventor Flint Lockwood creates a machine that turns water into food.
Needing power, he hooks his machine up to his town’s power grid and the machine shoots into the stratosphere like a rocket. With the water in the clouds, the machine begins to rain food on Flick’s town and he becomes a hero.
Unfortunately, the machine goes out of control and mutates food. Soon, the whole world is being rained on and violent weather such as a spaghetti tornado wrecks his town.
Landmarks all over the world are destroyed by food weather. Flint goes from hero to goat.
As a result, Flint hides in a trash can, where his father find him. His Dad wants to know what he is doing there.
Flint tells his Dad that he is where he belongs. Since Flint is “junk”, he belongs with the junk in the can.
With encouragement from his father and help from him as well, Flint manages to fix the problem threatening the world. He destroys the food machine at the risk of his life. The world is freed from weather-borne pizzas, bagels and spaghetti and meatballs.
One morning this weekend I found myself in a state park, sleeping in a campground. I awoke to a beautiful, bright sun shining through the trees.
This was made even more impressive by the fact that the last couple of weeks have been filled with clouds and rain. The day ahead held a lot of promise.
While out in the nature, I sat at the picnic table at my site and turned to the day’s Psalm. I read:
“The heavens declare the glory of God;
the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
Day after day they pour forth speech;
night after night they reveal knowledge.
They have no speech, they use no words;
no sound is heard from them.
Yet their voice goes out into all the earth,
their words to the ends of the world.
In the heavens God has pitched a tent for the sun.
It is like a bridegroom coming out of his chamber,
like a champion rejoicing to run his course.
It rises at one end of the heavens
and makes its circuit to the other;
nothing is deprived of its warmth (Psalm 19:1-6).”
About that point I felt a little like Flint after his machine began to wreck the world. I was overwhelmed by the effects some of my choices had made on me, and I felt like junk.
However, when I read about the sun, this brought to mind a vague question the Apostle Paul made: “Is it with ____that God is concerned?” I couln’t remember the topic, but it turns out what Paul was referring to was oxen.
Like Paul, I figured God didn’t put this passage about the sun in the Bible because He had a big concern about this inanimate creation of His. He of course is concerned about people, not heavenly bodies.
Paul uses this simile: “It is like a bridegroom coming out of his chamber,
like a champion rejoicing to run his course.” Paul humanizes the sun. I think God is making the point here that we humans can be victorious, bright and strong, like the sun he planted in a tent in the sky.
At the time I read this, I felt quite defeated. However, I have been reflecting on this passage this weekend and thought that I don’t have to roll over and die or toss myself in the junk can like Flint Lockwood did.
The rest of this Psalm, after the segment on the sun, talks about how perfect and “right, radiant and pure” God’s Word is. It appears to me that if I want to shine like the sun, then I need to soak up the Bible and apply it to my life –daily.
If I depend on my own resources for success in life, my guess is that I will end up like Flint Lockwood BEFORE he listened to his Dad. However, if I listen to my Heavenly Father and heed His word, AND enlist his aid as Flint did AFTER his father encouraged him, then I can 0vercome my obstacles and difficulties.
Sometimes my problems are self-imposed. Sometimes they come from other people. More than ever, I am convinced many of them come from that devil Satan.
Whatever, the source, with God the Father’s encouragement I can triumph and succeed over the people and things that oppose His plan for me.
Tomorrow morning when I wake up I know now I can be strong and courageous in my life because my Father rescued my from the junk pile. I don’t have to be a wimp and let the storms buffet me anymore.
My heavenly Father has helped me before. He will do it again. Somehow, of late I have forgotten that in the midst of my storms. No longer.