DayBreaks for 4/15/17 – Silence

DayBreaks for 4/15/17: Silence

From the Holy Week devotional guide from our church:

“The silence is excruciating. He’s dead. That’s all the disciples knew. They couldn’t try to distract themselves with busyness because it was the Sabbath. They just had to sit in it – the pain of loss weighing down on them with no escape. We had hoped He would be the One to redeem Israel, some of his followers said after he died (Lk. 24:21). We had hoped. Losing a loved one is devastating (and none of them had ever experienced love the way Jesus had loved them) but they not only lost him, they lost hope. Hope that they would be redeemed by him, hope that he was who they thought he was. But now he was dead. The apostles had staked their whole lives on him being the one to redeem, but then in his greatest act of love, they ran away from him, piling guilt on top of their pain of loss. Afraid and ashamed. Now they’re trapped in the painful silence of Saturday.

“But Saturday isn’t the whole story. We know that. We know that there is incredible hope: real, true, eternal redemption nearly bursting through seams of that dark, silent Saturday. On Sunday that hope explodes onto the scene of history as a reality to experience with joy and wonder in the face of the Risen Savior. On Saturday that hope is a reality in the form of a promise to be trusted in, amid the silence, the doubt and the pain. A promise from the lips of Jesus: I will rise again on the third day. A promise from the beginning: that the serpent’s head will be crushed (Genesis 3:15), sin will be conquered, that death will be put to death and that redemption will be accomplished by the One who came to redeem – not just Israel – but all who would believe in Him.

“That promise should have given great hope to Jesus’ followers in the painful silence of Saturday. And it should give hope to us when we feel like we’re living hrough that same kind of painful silence day after day. One this side of history, we have more than a promise. He has Risen and conquered sin and death and given us His Presence. But all things are not yet the way they’re supposed to be. There is still a promise to be fulfilled. Jesus is coming again to deal the final deathblow to death, to rid the world of sine and to wipe away the last tears of grief (Rev. 21:19-20).

“Maybe you find yourself overwhelmed with the silence of a question that has gone unanswered; a loved one who stands at a distance, resistant and angry; a realization that your shame is ever before you. There is hope. Jesus has overcome all our Saturdays. You don’t have to live in the dark, silent shadow of Saturday. You can live in the amazing hope of Sunday.” – Ryan Brown, discipleship director, Perimeter church

PRAYER: Lord, thank you for providing all we need. Thank you for not abandoning us in our times of painful silence. Facing days of undertainty knowing that You are with us, calms our anxieties and our fears. We look with hope to Your coming when You will make all things right. In Jesus’ name, Amen. 

Copyright 2017 by Galen Dalrymple.

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DayBreaks for 11/10/16 – A Significant Variation

DayBreaks for 11/10/06: A Significant Variation

From the DayBreaks archive, November 2006: (Galen is traveling again)

Genesis 1:3-5 (NIV) And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.  God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness.  God called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.” And there was evening, and there was morning–the first day.

I love the book of Genesis.  I’m so excited because I started teaching a new Bible study on it just last week.  So many of the great stories of the Bible, and really all of the great themes of the Bible, are found in the book: creation, light/darkness, the fall, Messianic expectation, sacrifice, compassion and grace and mercy, Lordship, faithfulness, covenant living, redemption, forgiveness, and on and on and on. 

But I recently was fascinated all over again by the creation story itself.  When we talk about a 24-hour period of time, we speak in these terms: “I’m working day and night.”  If someone asked you what constituted a day, you’d probably say “Twelve hours of daylight, 12 hours of night,” or something very similar.  Yet in chapter one as it tells the story of God’s creative genius, all six days of creation repeat the sequence: “And there was evening and there was morning – the first day.”  Do you see it?  Evening comes before the daylight, night before day.

“So?” you say.  “Big deal.”  Maybe you’re right.  But I don’t think that God put anything in His Word that isn’t intended to show us or teach us something.  The “day” in Genesis starts with night, and ends with the close of a period of light, when a new day starts again.  So what’s the point?  Day #1 started at a time when mankind couldn’t have worked or done anything if we wanted to.  It starts with darkness…a time when God alone can work.  And when we sleep.  Then, we wake up each morning and we can see what God has been doing all night.  He’s been preparing the sun to ride across the sky again, for the earth to continue spinning on its’ axis, for the plants to refresh the oxygen and break down the carbon dioxide. 

But there’s more to it than just that.  God works in the darkness of our lives, when we can’t see our way.  And perhaps that gives new meaning to the oft-quoted verse from Psalms 30:5 (NLT) – His anger lasts for a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime! Weeping may go on all night, but joy comes with the morning.  From the reading of the text of Genesis 1, it appears that God pronounces His work good once the light has shone – after the night when He’d been so busily creating. 

One more thought also occurs to me: it was dark as Jesus hung on the cross, and it was morning when He arose.  Again, we see God working in the darkness, again it was for our benefit.  And He was doing work that we could not possibly do for ourselves.

May His Light shine upon us, and when He and we see what He’s been doing in our lives, may we echo God’s words: “It is very good!”

PRAYER: Father, at times the night seems do deep and dark.  We are frightened by every little sound, every creak of the floorboard.  Help us to remember that You never sleep, You never slumber, and that You perhaps do Your greatest work in the darkness.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2016, Galen C. Dalrymple.  All rights reserved.

DayBreaks for 06/07/13 – What God Does in Caves

DayBreaks for 06/07/13 – What God Does in Caves

FROM the DayBreaks Archive and Word for Today, 5/14/2003, copyright by Bob Gass (used by permission):

mammoth-cave …YOU ARE MY ONLY PLACE OF REFUGE…”  PSALM 142 : 5 (TLB)

 “When David told God, ‘…You are my only place of refuge…’, he’d no way of knowing there was a crown in his future or that he wasn’t going to die in hiding. For all he knew, the cave he was in right then might be as good as it would get. When you’re in a situation you can’t sort out, can’t heal and can’t escape, you have to learn to trust God.

That’s not easy, because it means becoming so immersed in God’s Word, so convinced of His goodness, so submitted to His lordship, that wherever you are is fine – so long as He’s there!

Jesus knows all about caves; He suffered too. His life was in constant danger. He lost His position as a leader, His status as a teacher, and even His friends. Then things seemed to get worse; He went to a cross and died. With Him, the dreams He’d inspired in others seemed to die too. What started as a shining success appeared to end up a shameful failure.

Jesus understands your feelings of isolation and loneliness better than anybody, because nobody else ever descended into death the way He did. But His enemies made the mistake of putting Him in a cave. They didn’t know that that’s where God resurrects dead things – like dead hopes, dreams, marriages, ministries, and relationships. They didn’t realize that He does some of His best work in caves! If you’re in one today, be encouraged:

Jesus came out victorious – and His plan is to bring you out, too!

Galen’s Thoughts: Have you ever been in a really deep, dark cave when they turned out the lights and there was no ray of light anywhere and you couldn’t see your hand when it touched your nose?  I have.  I hate the thought of being trapped in a cave like that.  My thoughts go back to the miners who were trapped in the coal mine in Pennsylvania about a year ago and their dramatic rescue.  The darkness would have consumed me.  I don’t think I could have gotten out alive.

I would imagine that David felt the same way from time to time.  Brother Gass makes a great point, though, about caves.  God does great work in caves!  He brought David from the throne of a boulder in a cave to the throne in Jerusalem, he brought Jesus from the cave of burial to the throne of heaven.  God likes to work in the dark.  He’s not afraid of it.  And when we know that we will never be alone in the dark we need not fear it either. 

There are days when you may feel that you’ll never be freed from the cave you are in.  But Jesus does have a plan for you, that you WILL come out victorious someday.  I can’t tell you how, I can’t tell you when, just that it will be so because he’s given his word on it.

PRAYER: For those in caves of despair and darkness right now, Lord, we pray for deliverance and freedom.  Let the light shine into our lives!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2013 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

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