DayBreaks for 9/25/20 – Pouring the Sea Down a Hole

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NOTE: I am on a “retirement/anniversary” trip and will be out until late September. In the meantime, I’m sharing recycled DayBreaks for 2010. Thanks for your understanding!

From the DayBreaks archive, September 2010:

One thing that has always puzzled me is how atheists think.  I sometimes wonder if they do think seriously about the question of God and His existence.  I must admit that I struggle to think about God, too, but in a different way.  I find myself pondering His character, His nature, His power, wisdom, greatness – and I soon find that I’ve come to the end of my ability to grasp infinite things.  I wish I could understand more about Him!  I hope that when we are in eternity with Him that somehow, our capacity to understand His mind and ways is increased.  I don’t believe we’ll know all about Him, for He is infinite – something which we will never be, even though we will have eternal life.  We will still, I think, be finite creatures – and He will remain as He is – infinite.  And we shall delight in our eternal discoveries of and about Him!  Perhaps atheists give up thinking about God because they can’t understand Him.  I can understand that to a degree – it can be frustrating to ponder something that you just don’t “get” – like biochemistry or nuclear physics or the theory of relativity.  But it can also be very rewarding and cause us to grow and discover new horizons that we had no idea even existed. 

Augustine walked the seashore one day, pondering the majesty of God.  He saw a small boy who had dug a hole in the sand.  The boy kept scooting down to the ocean, scooping up water in a seashell, and scrambling back to pour the water in the hole.

“What are you doing?” Augustine asked him.

“I’m going to pour the sea into that hole,” the boy said.

“Ah,” Augustine thought, “That is what I have been trying to do.  Standing at the ocean of infinity, I have tried to grasp it with my finite mind.”

It is fun (not to mention extremely profitable!) to try to grasp and understand as much as we can about God – but it should humble us as well and reveal to us our own finitude and creatureliness. 

PRAYER: God, we long to revel in Your infinite Presence forever!  Daily, let us grasp new truths about You as we walk through this life, truth that will draw us into a closer and more intimate relationship with You!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2020 by Galen C. Dalrymple. ><}}}”>

DayBreaks for 9/16/20 – I Am a Christian

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NOTE: I am on a “retirement/anniversary” trip and will be out until late September. In the meantime, I’m sharing recycled DayBreaks for 2010. Thanks for your understanding!

From the DayBreaks archive, September 2010:

In 1988, the poet Carol Wimmer became concerned about the self-righteous, judgmental spirit she was seeing in some people because she felt strongly that being judgmental is a perversion of the Christian faith.  So, she wrote a poem called “When I say I am a Christian” and here it is:

“When I say, ‘I am a Christian,’ I’m not shouting, ‘I’ve been saved!’ I’m whispering, ‘I get lost!’ That’s why I chose this way.

When I say ‘I am a Christian,’ I don’t speak with human pride. I’m confessing that I stumble – needing God to be my guide.

When I say ‘I am a Christian,’ I’m not trying to be strong. I’m professing that I’m weak and pray for strength to carry on.

When I say ‘I am a Christian,’ I’m not bragging of success. I’m admitting that I’ve failed and cannot ever pay the debt.

When I say, ‘I am a Christian,’ I don’t think I know it all. I submit to my confusion asking humbly to be taught.

When I say ‘I am a Christian,’ I’m not claiming to be perfect. My flaws are far too visible, but God believes I’m worth it.

When I say, ‘I am a Christian,’ I still feel the sting of pain. I have my share of heartache which is why I seek His name.

When I say, ‘I am a Christian,’ I do not wish to judge. I have no authority – I only know I’m loved.” 

This is a rather stark contrast to the statement that many make, “I’m a Christian!” in response to something that they have observed that disgusted them, or to an invitation to do something that they should not.  It makes the three words sound like a boast – a judgment – that “If you were a Christian you wouldn’t do such things!”  It is sad, that of all the people who should be the most humble in the world, Christians are frequently proud rather than abased.  Shouldn’t knowing that I’m wretched and sinful that Christ had to die for ME make me humble, not proud?

PRAYER: Lord, I am a Christian because I believe in Your Son and I am so desperately needy!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.Copyright 2020 by Galen C. Dalrymple. ><}}}”>

DayBreaks for 5/13/20 – The Poor in Spirit

Blessed Are the Poor in Spirit - New Boston Church of Christ

DayBreaks for 5/13/20: The Poor in Spirit

From the DayBreaks archive, May 2010:

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of God. – Jesus

It is easy to get confused about what Jesus is saying here.  He’s not saying that poverty is blessed…nor is he saying that we need to necessarily sell all we have and give it to the poor – to become materially poor – in order to receive this blessing given to the poor in spirit.  Throughout the centuries, there have been Christian men and women who chose to become materially poor in order to minimize those things that may have distracted them from spiritual commitment and whole-hearted following of God. There’s some virtue to that!

But the poorness that Jesus is describing is a poorness in spirit – the person who recognizes their despondency and depravity before God.  We all want to think that we realize how dependent we are on God, but I think that more often than not our instincts try to tell us that we can do pretty well on our own and that our dependency on Him is limited to spiritual things.  Philip Yancey suggests some questions which can help us evaluate our “poorness in spirit”:

Do I easily acknowledge my needs?

Do I readily depend on God and on other people?

Where does my security rest?

Am I more likely to compete or cooperate?

Can I distinguish between necessities and luxuries – and do my actions in this regard support my answer?

Am I patient?

Do the Beatitudes sound to me like good news or like a scolding from the lips of Jesus?

How did you do with those questions?  Was there one – or two – that caused you pause or which was difficult to answer?  If not, go back and read them again and ask God to help you to more honestly evaluate your responses.  If you couldn’t find even one where you are falling short, let me suggest that it might be because you are not poor in spirit.  As Yancey again put it: “The poor in spirit don’t have the arrogance of the middle class, who can skillfully disguise their problems under a façade of self-righteousness.”

God can only bring His kingdom (His rule) to our hearts when we realize how desperate our need is and we surrender in our poverty of spirit.

PRAYER: May we, Lord, learn as did Isaiah that we have no righteousness of our own, nothing to commend us to You.  May we throw ourselves in total brokenness of spirit into Your arms!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright by 2020 by Galen C. Dalrymple.  ><}}}”>

DayBreaks for 12/17/19 – How Christmas Must have Felt

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DayBreaks for 12/17/19: How Christmas Must have Felt

From the DayBreaks archive, December 2009:

In one of my messages this Christmas season, I pondered what it must have been like for God to become human.  Jesus, as God, had been worshiped and adored throughout all of eternity past.  For ceaseless ages He was enthroned in fabulous and indescribable glory.  He spoke – and worlds came into being.  He had no limitations that weakened His power to do good.  Angels waited at His beck and call ready to do His most minute bidding. 

I’ve wondered how it felt when God in the flesh first stepped on a sharp stone and cried out in pain.  I’ve wondered how it felt when He felt that virus spreading through His body that would cause His nose to run and fever to spread prior to vomiting up the contents of His stomach?  It must have been strange for the God of creation to become like one of His creatures and take their frailty into His own being. 

How did Christmas day feel to God? I know that we can’t recall what it was like to be new-borns, but try to imagine for just a moment becoming a baby again: giving up language and the ability to communicate in anything but cries, to give up muscle coordination and to be unable to do anything to help oneself, to surrender for a period of time the ability to eat solid food and even to control your bladder. God as a newborn took on all those things.  A more appropriate analogy, though, might not be for us to once again become a baby, but to imagine ourselves becoming sea slugs – something vastly of lower position than what we have always known and something we have never been.  This is more like what God did when He became one of us.

Gone were the vast choirs of angels and the heavenly music disappeared only to be replaced by mooing, belching cows, roosters crowing and donkeys braying.  Gone was the throne and the glory that had once surrounded Him only to be replaced by swaddling clothes and straw.  Words were gone – the Word that spoke everything into creation was exchanged for cries of hunger and discomfort.  No one remained to do His bidding except for his mother and father who were lost in the wonder of it all as they alone knew Who this was Who was held in their arms and hearts. 

How does this make YOU feel this Christmas – to know what God endured for you?  

Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death– even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. – Philippians 2:5-11 (NIV)

PRAYER: For Your humiliation to become like us, we are thankful and we worship Your Holy Name!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright by 2019 by Galen C. Dalrymple.  ><}}}”>

DayBreaks for 9/16/19 – Two Appropriate Thoughts

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DayBreaks for 9/16/19: Two Appropriate Thoughts

From the DayBreaks archive, September 2009:

My wife and I live outside of the glare of city lights, about 5 miles from the closest town.  We feel very blessed with the peace and quiet of this place.  On occasion on warm summer nights, I go out onto the deck and just stare up at the skies.  You can see far more stars here than in town.  It is possible to see the milky scatter that is called the Milky Way as it stretches across the sky. 

Just the other night as I lay there gazing up, I was struck by several thoughts.  I am always totally amazed at the vast distances involved in the universe.  I thought about the deep, absolute cold of outer space.  I thought about the huge amounts of nothingness that presents itself through the absence of any sign of light.  And, I thought about the incredible fact that some of the “stars” I perceived as a single point of light are really extremely distant galaxies that are composed of billions (some say as many as 350,000,000,000) of stars.  What appears tiny may indeed be exceedingly massive. 

I also always find myself repeating David’s question as I stare into this vastness: What is man that Thou art mindful of him, or the son of man that Thou visitest him?  And I ask myself: Why, God, do You think of and take notice of ME? 

God, of course, didn’t have to make the universe so vast.  In fact, He didn’t have to make it large at all.  He could have been content with just creating a nice little cozy solar system for us to live in.  That would have been impressive enough!  We don’t even understand all that happens on our planet, let alone in our solar system.  They mysteries and wonder are deep, indeed. 

Once again, Francis Chan found himself wondering about the same thing.  “Why would God create more than 350,000,000,000 galaxies (and this is a conservative estimate) that generations of people never saw or even knew existed?  Do you think maybe it was to make us say, ‘Wow, God is unfathomably big?  Or perhaps God wanted us to see these pictures so that our response would be, ‘Who do I think I am?’”

The Bible tells us that God is unfathomably big and powerful.  And it amazingly tells us that He does in fact notice and care about us as individuals, that we matter GREATLY to Him – each and every one of us.  Perhaps, as Chan suggests, the most important feeling that the universe should stir in us is to put us in our place when we are thinking too highly of ourselves. 

Space should make us feel small, for we are infinitesimally small in comparison to the universe.  Our God holds all that exists in the palm of His hand.  We need to be reminded of that when we’re too puffed up and feeling hoity-toity.  If the universe makes us feel small, when we compare ourselves (our wisdom, goodness, knowledge, capabilities, etc.) to God, may we all be led to view the skies with wonder and ask, “Who do I think I am?”

PRAYER: For the wonder of your creation, we thank you.  For the way you feel about us and love us, we adore you.  When we start to get too big for our shoes, keep us humble before You!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright by 2019 by Galen C. Dalrymple.  ><}}}”>

DayBreaks for 5/01/18 – All Things in the Right Place

 

DayBreaks for 5/01/18: All Things in the Right Place

From the DayBreaks archive, May 2008:     

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DayBreaks for 5/01/18: All Things in the Right Place

Job 38:4-7, 12-13 (NIV) – Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation? Tell me, if you understand. Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know! Who stretched a measuring line across it? On what were its footings set, or who laid its cornerstone–while the morning stars sang together and all the angels shouted for joy? Have you ever given orders to the morning, or shown the dawn its place, that it might take the earth by the edges and shake the wicked out of it?

How do you like it when you get “put in your place?”  It’s not real pleasant, is it?  Job discovered what it was like when God started asking him questions that were impossible for Job to answer.  Job’s response was the right one, once he recovered from his shock: I put my hand over my mouth!

God put Job in his place with his questions.  That is as it should be…whenever God asks us questions, they are designed to remind us who and what we are, and to make us realize that we are not God.  We can’t do any of the things that God asked Job, and yet God does them day in and day out without even breaking a sweat.  No, we are not God and we need to be put in our place.

But, at the same time, it is important that we put God in his right place, too.  I like this bit of historical trivia that shows that Martin Luther grasped this perfectly: Philipp Melanchthon was a German theologian who lived as a contemporary of Martin Luther.  One day as the two of them spoke, Melanchthon said to Luther, “Today, you and I shall discuss the governance of the universe.”  Luther looked at Melanchthon and said, “No.  Today, you and I shall go fishing and leave the governance of the universe to God.” 

PRAYER:  Thank You, Father, that You’ve shown us the truth about ourselves, and revealed your greatness and glory to us.  Today, may we trust all things into Your infinitely capable hands!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

COPYRIGHT 2018 by Galen C. Dalrymple. All rights reserved.

DayBreaks for 4/06/18 – Unclear on the Concept

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DayBreaks for 4/06/18: Unclear on the Concept

From the DayBreaks archive, 1998:

This emergency room story was interesting: “A 28-year old male was brought into the ER after an attempted suicide.  The man had swallowed several nitroglycerin pills and a fifth of vodka.  When asked about the bruises about his head and chest he said that they were from him ramming himself into the wall in an attempt to make the nitroglycerin explode.”

Galen’s Thoughts: My first reaction to the story: duh!  Acts chapter 8 tells us about Simon the magician.  Simon had made a living by practicing magical arts before the gospel came to his town.  Many in his city heard the gospel and believed, including Simon.  But when he saw what happened when the apostles laid their hands on people, he saw an opportunity and went for it.  He did what many do: he tried to bribe God (through the apostles).  Here’s the outcome from Acts 8:18-22: When Simon saw that the Spirit was given at the laying on of the apostles’ hands, he offered them money and said, “Give me also this ability so that everyone on whom I lay my hands may receive the Holy Spirit.”  Peter answered: “May your money perish with you, because you thought you could buy the gift of God with money!  You have no part or share in this ministry, because your heart is not right before God.  Repent of this wickedness and pray to the Lord. Perhaps he will forgive you for having such a thought in your heart.”

Have you ever tried to “bribe” God?  “Lord, if you’ll just get me out of this financial mess, I’ll tithe the rest of my life.”  “Lord, if you’ll heal my child of this disease, I’ll go to church every Sunday till I die.”  “Lord, if you’ll just give me through this battle alive, I’ll stop drinking and serve you the rest of my life.”  I’m ashamed to admit that I have tried to bribe Him.  The only problem is: God cannot be bribed – least of all by humans.

Both the man in the ER and Simon the magician were unclear on the concept.  Simon was not interested in bringing the Spirit to others but rather to gain the power and prestige of being able to do so for his own selfish motives.  Selfish motives are forever the bane of preachers and teachers.  We must remember that we cannot at the same time show how clever we are and how wonderful Christ is.  Christ must have the preeminence. 

Secondly, Simon forgot that not all gifts can be bought with money.  I may look at a birthday gift for my wife or children and buy it with money, but character cannot be bought.  Certain gifts are dependent on character.  It is impossible to bring the Spirit to others unless you first have the Spirit yourself. 

Are you clear on the concept that in all things Christ must be first and you must be last?   Be sure that in all things He is first in your life and that you put Him front and center so He (rather than you) is glorified!

PRAYER: Jesus, give us hearts that are content to yield all glory to you and to seek none for ourselves! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

COPYRIGHT 2018 by Galen C. Dalrymple. All rights reserved.

DayBreaks for 3/7/18 – The Horns of Pride

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DayBreaks for 3/07/18: The Horns of Pride

NOTE: Galen is traveling this week.

From the DayBreaks archive,  March 2008:

Pride and self-confidence are very dangerous things.  Witness this story: “Pali, this bull has killed me.”  So said Jose Cubero, one of Spain’s most brilliant matadors, before he lost consciousness and died.  Only 21 years old, he had been enjoying a spectacular career.  However, in this 1958 bullfight, Jose made a tragic mistake.  He thrust his sword a final time into a bleeding, delirious bull, which then collapsed.  Considering the struggle finished, Jose turned to the crowd to acknowledge the applause.  The bull, however, was not dead.  It rose and lunged at the unsuspecting matador, its horn piercing his back and puncturing his heart.

The matador trusted in himself to have killed the bull.  It appeared to be dead.  Jose was only focused on one thing at that time: hearing and acknowledging the applause of the crowd.  His pride did him in – it caused him to become careless and it cost him his life.

Romans 8.13b-14: … but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live, because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. 

In his contest with the bull, Jose with his own sword and power thought he’d put to death the beast.  There are many parallels and some differences between his struggle and ours:

FIRST: it was possible for him to kill the beast under his own power.  You and I proudly think we can defeat sin on our own, but we cannot.  The Romans passage quoted above says we must “by the Spirit” put to death the sin-beast.  If we trust in ourselves and our strength to do it, it will rise up again;

SECOND: the creature Jose fought was external while ours is internal.  The bull could be watched and probably as it rose to it’s feet while he had his back turned, the crowd went wild trying to get his attention and warn him.  Jose probably thought that they were just cheering even louder, so he took more bows, unaware of the danger behind him.  Our fight is with the pride within us.  Sometimes, no one can see it but us, but that doesn’t mean pride isn’t deadly.  In some ways, because our pride may be invisible to others, it is all the more deadly because it is so insidious.  We, like Jose, may be too busy taking our bows for some great act or service when that which we thought was dead comes back to haunt us;

THIRD: if we are too attuned to the crowd (the world) we will fail to see the danger of our pride.  The world doesn’t care if we are proud – it just wants us to fall.  The world (and Satan) wants us to rely on ourselves and our power and to grow prideful.   

FOURTH: when we attempt to stop sinning it is like thrusting the sword into a bleeding, delirious bull.  Satan will become enraged with our desire to serve God and be done with sin.  He will find any way possible to get back at us, including using pride about our “victory”.

Just when we think we are done with pride and we turn to accept the congratulations of the crowd, pride stabs us in the back.  We should never consider pride dead before we are.

PRAYER: Teach us humility, Lord, and drown out the cheers of the crowd around us so we can hear only Your words of love and warning.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

COPYRIGHT 2018 by Galen C. Dalrymple. All rights reserved.

DayBreaks for 12/14/17 – A Theology Lesson from Dr. Seuss

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DayBreaks for 12/14/17: A Theology Lesson from Dr. Seuss

From the DayBreaks archive, December 2007:

How’s your world going today?  When you got up out of bed, did you leap up full of joy and excitement, or did you stub your toe or arise with a headache?  There are things you plan to do today, right?  Chances are, either formally or informally, you’ve got your day somewhat planned out.  You know some things that are “must-get-done’s” and others that you can do if you get around to it.  You know some of the people you’ll probably be talking with and what you’ll talk about.  You may be filled with trepidation about some of those meetings, or excitement at the prospect of spending some time together with them.  Either way, you have a schedule, a plan, in your mind for how you’ll spend your day. 

We like to think that we are in charge of our lives – that we have a significant say-so in how the day unfolds, how our interactions will turn out, and what we’ll do and where we’ll go.  And, to some extent, we do have some control over some of it – at least, we have an illusion of control.  We like to think that we are masters of our destinies – even if it’s just a small, insignificant destiny like planning to stop at Starbucks for a cup of joe on the way to work.  Our little fiefdom, over which we rule…or so we think. 

One of the best commentaries about this is in a book on political science theory by a “theologian” you may have heard of, named Dr. Seuss.  It’s a book called Yertle the Turtle.  A little pond of turtles is ruled—or so he thinks—by Yertle, who’s a turtle.  One day, he decides his kingdom needs extending. 

Yertle, the turtle, the king of them all,

Decided the kingdom he ruled was too small. 

“I’m ruler,” said Yertle, “of all that I see. 

But I don’t see enough. That’s the trouble with me.

With this stone for a throne, I look down on my pond.

But I cannot look down on the places beyond. 

This throne that I sit on is too low down. 

It ought to be higher!” he said with a frown. 

“If I could sit high, how much greater I’d be! 

What a king! I’d be ruler of all I could see!”  

And so it happened that Yertle the Turtle sent out a decree that all the turtles that lived in his pond should be stacked up to be his throne—to extend his power and glory.  The whole pond scrambles to obey; first dozens, then hundreds of turtles were positioned underneath Yertle, who rose higher and higher into the air until finally he was so high up that he could see for miles. 

I’m Yertle the Turtle, Oh marvelous me,

For I am the ruler of all that I see! 

Yep, Yertle thought he had it made.  He was “on top of the world”, overseeing his little domain, inflated with a sense of his own importance, overflowing with prideful arrogance.  He believed he had everything under control and that his reign in his little realm was as secure as could be, but in the end, it wasn’t:

For the turtle on the bottom did a plain little thing. 

He burped, and that burp shook the throne of the King.

And today, the great Yertle, that marvelous he –

Is the King of the Mud. That’s all he can see.

And that’s where all who lift themselves up eventually wind up – back down in the mud.  We are all just one little burp away from reality.

We think it’s about us: my family, my work, my friends. We want to fashion our lives into a kingdom we control. But every once in a while, there’s a little “burp” someplace and we’re reminded of reality. 

Luke 18:14 (KJV) I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.

PRAYER:  Give us this day the wisdom to keep You on the throne and may we be content to be Your servants!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright by 2017 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

DayBreaks for 10/10/17 – Confidence Builders

DayBreaks for 10/10/17: Confidence Builders

From the DayBreaks archive:

Patrick O’Boyle once recalled the late-1940s Hyde Park “Speakers’ Corner” appearances of Frank Sheed, a Catholic author and publisher, with these words:

“Sheed could be devastating with hecklers.  Once, after Sheed had described the extraordinary order and design to be seen in the universe, a persistent challenger retorted by pointing to all the world’s ills, and ended shouting, “I could make a better universe than your God!”

“I won’t ask you to make a universe,” Sheed replied. “But would you make a rabbit—just to establish confidence?”

I suppose much of the human problem stems from the crazy idea that we could do things better than God.  We think we would make a world where there was no evil, no pain, no suffering; a universe where there are no hurricanes or stars that go super-nova – in short, we just think we could do better than God in just about everything. 

Have you ever really stopped to think how stupid such a thought is?  We who are as finite as a speck of sand in the entire universe are so proud and pretentious as to think we actually know better than God.  Hogwash! 

But when it comes to my own life, I’m really prone to think such things.  “God, having me suffer deprivation isn’t good for me.”  “God, there no good reason for what just happened to me!”  “God, I’m a faithful child of Yours, and things like this just aren’t right!” 

Maybe, when we have learned enough from life that we can see the interaction and inner-connectedness of every human thought and every human action on every other human, we would begin to get the tiniest bit of understanding about why things happen.  And, if we could see the eternal salvation that has come to who-knows-how-many-souls through hardship (which is usually God knocking on the top of our skull trying to get our attention!), we might think differently. 

At a Bible study I was teaching this past week, we were discussion Joseph and the period of time that he was left rotting in the prison after the cup-bearer was restored to his duties in the palace of Pharaoh.  It doesn’t seem fair to Joseph.  How could the cup-bearer forget the man who had interpreted his dream?  But, he did.  I’m convinced we should see God’s hand in that rather than just mere human frailty and forgetfulness.  Did Joseph have to learn more patience?  Did he need to learn to trust God more?  (Remember that Joseph had no inkling whatsoever that he would soon be the #2 man in Egypt.)  As I pondered those thoughts, another thought came to me: perhaps Joseph was left in the prison for another year or two (or longer) for the sake of some other human being, nameless and faceless and lost to humanity for about 3000 years now, who was also languishing in the prison? 

God’s ways aren’t our ways – but God can make rabbits, elephants and entire universes in the blink of an eye.  That should be a confidence builder for us to trust Him to know what is best for our individual lives!

PRAYER:  Father, thank you for all the things you’ve done to give us confidence in you.  Help us not to be so wise or smart in our own eyes that we think we can even begin to know better than you what is good for us.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright by 2017 by Galen C. Dalrymple.