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Sermon 8/15/04
Perspective – Psalm 32:4-5

Audio Sermon


For day and night Your hand was heavy upon me; my vitality was turned into the drought of summer. I acknowledged my sin to You, and my iniquity I have not hidden. I said, ‘I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,’ and You forgave the iniquity of my sin” (Psalm 32:4-5)

Life is the odd circumstance we find ourselves in; experiencing events we tried to prepare for, but never thought could possibly happen.

During our Sunday Fellowship each week, we pray for each of those who have expressed needs and have asked for prayer.  Sometimes, those contacting us ask for God’s will, His blessing on a ministry endeavor or faith to enter His service, but more often the requests involve cancer, financial disaster, potential divorce, injury, or other circumstances that have sent their lives out of control.

Often there is SURPRISE reflected in the requests, as events unfold within people’s lives that were never expected or wanted.  After our prayers a couple of weeks ago, the words of the first paragraph (Life is the odd circumstance we find ourselves in; experiencing events we tried to prepare for, but never thought could possibly happen) came to mind and I wrote them on a napkin.  I do a lot of writing on napkins, envelopes, tissues and anything else at hand, on airplanes and anywhere else those thoughts pop up.  One of the surprises in life for us all is the forgetfulness that accompanies us as we get older – Write it down quickly or it might be gone.

Here’s what Clifford the Clown, a man who has a ministry of helping others find laughter, wrote about “A.A.A.D.D. (Age Activated Attention Deficit Disorder)” – “I decided to wash my car.  As I went to the garage, I noticed mail on the hall table.  I decided to go through it before washing the car.  I laid my car keys on the table, put the junk mail in the trash can under the table, noting that the trash can was full.  So, I put the bills back on the table and took out the trash.  But then I thought, since I'm going to be near the mailbox when I take out the trash anyway, I may as well pay the bills first.  I took my checkbook off the table, and saw that only one check was left.  My extra checks are in my desk in the study, so I went to my desk where I found the Can of Cola I had been drinking.  I pushed the Cola aside so that I didn't accidentally knock it over, saw that it was getting warm, and decided to put it into the refrigerator to keep it cold.  Heading toward the kitchen with the cola, I noticed that the vase of flowers on the counter needed to be watered.  I set the Cola down on the counter, and discovered my missing reading glasses that I had searched for all morning, deciding to put them back on my desk, but first I would water the flowers.  I set the glasses back down on the counter, filled a container with water and suddenly spotted the TV remote that someone left on the kitchen table.  I realized that later I’d be looking for the remote, but wouldn't remember it's on the kitchen table, so I took it back to the den where it belongs, but first I would water the flowers, which I did, but I spilled water on the floor.  I set the remote back down on the table, got some towels and wiped up the spill.  Then I went down the hall trying to remember what I was planning to do.  At the end of the day: the car wasn't washed, the bills weren't paid, a warm can of Cola was on the counter, the flowers weren't watered, there was still only one check in my checkbook, I couldn't find the remote, didn’t know where my glasses are, and couldn't remember what I did with the car keys.  When I tried to figure out why nothing got done today, I was baffled because I was busy all day long and was really tired.  I realize this is serious and I'll try to get help for it, but first I'll check my e-mail.  Do me a favor, will you? Forward this message to everyone you know, because I don't remember to whom it has been sent.  Growing old takes guts!

Amen.  LIFE takes guts!  In a recent “Guideposts” article, Marilyn Morgan King spoke about the recent drought that plagued her beloved State of Colorado.  She could not explain the dryness, noting that Colorado Springs, where she lives, is usually a place of abundant water.  She observed that “in other parts of the world, there is terrible flooding.”  And asked, “Who can explain the cycles of nature?”  The answer is: we really can’t fully explain much of anything at all.  Ms. King continued, “Recently I saw a calendar with these words on it: ‘Never forget the thousand-year perspective,’” - and she noted that “if only we could stand way back and look from the thousand-year perspective, we’d see God’s great pattern… In my seventy-plus years, I’ve learned to trust that!”  Ms. King is right, but how do we step back out of our circumstances and UNDERSTAND what’s going on?

In Washington, DC recently, we were privileged to again meet Jennie Le Fevre, who is President of the Agent Orange Victims and Widows Support Network, which sponsors “Quilts of Tears,” drawing national attention to the plight of Vietnam Veterans affected by the Agent Orange sprayed on them in Vietnam.  Sadly, she has just been informed that she has cancer of the larynx and possibly also a lung – (Please pray for Jennie).

Her quilts bring much to mind, and PERSPECTIVE is part of that.  Life is not unlike a great “quilt” called “the human race,” initiated by God.  Since we are a part of that “quilt,” we are too close to it to really see how our lives relate to the whole.  But we do relate, for you and I are a part of humanity everywhere!  We may not understand, but humanity is one people and like the ripples in a pond, what one does affects everybody!  And all too many times we have been on the wrong side of that quilt through sin, making it even more difficult to understand the events that assail us.

But there are no “accidents” with God, and ultimately nothing in life is “negative” because God intends GOOD for you and me.  Sometimes, as in our Scripture for today and in the article by Marilyn Morgan King, it seems that “drought” has entered our very souls!  But, by allowing that “drought” to assail us, God shows our need clearly, so we may turn to Him, our Remedy.  The problems we have in life, by the way, may actually not be about us at all, but for someone else years in the future who will be touched by what happened (even if they do not meet us personally) and because of us, they will TRUST in Him.

Your situation is USEFUL in the hand, the quilt of God.  YOU are useful to Him.  God’s Hand may feel HEAVY, and you may not see anything other than your need, your drought, but you do not have to fully understand.  Your greatest need in life is to FINALLY and completely TRUST in the Son of God.  Will you trust in Him now?

Father, Your Hand feels heavy and I am tired.  I need Your Son.  I trust in You, Lord.  Forgive me and fill me with peace.  Thank You.  In Jesus Name.  Amen.

Ron Beckham, Pastor
Friday Study Ministries
Tel: (562) 688-5559
PO Box 92131
Long Beach, CA 90809-2131
"While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8)


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