Daniel 3:52, 53, 54, 55, 56
“There is no need for us to defend ourselves before you in this
matter…If our God can save us…may he save us! But even if he will
not…we will not serve your god.”
“If you remain in my word, you will truly be my disciples, and
you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
It’s the first day of spring! I have always loved living in a climate where we have a real change of seasons. I guess that is a good thing since I have never lived where there has NOT been some change of seasons. I love all the seasons for their unique characteristics, but I love spring the most. It is the time of promise and hope. It is the time to get out in the yard and ready the gardens for planting, and make decisions on what to plant. It is the time to enjoy the freshness of the rain and the smell of the earth.
Planting in the spring requires trust. Trust that the frosts are gone. Trust that the rains will come at the right times. But if they do not that will not stop me from planning next year with the same expectations. Even though we have had a mild winter, I have not jumped the gun, because we can have frost until May 10th here in Omaha. I learned this to be true the hard way because I lost many flowers one year soon after we moved here by starting too early. I was not patient and did not trust God’s timing. But now, spring is officially here and I can begin my work…..slowly.
The readings today speak of trust in God. And living by God’s time. Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego trusted in their God. They did not put Him to the test. They did not wager Him against King Nebuchadnezzar’s god. They merely said that they would remain faithful to Him rather he helped them or not. Their faithfulness and trust was rewarded with comfort and help in the fire AND conversion of a non-believer who witnessed this great trust and the response of their God.
The readings all this week speak of trust in God and waiting on God’s time. Lazarus’ sisters trusted in God, but had to wait on God’s time. Susanna trusted in God’s promises and He rescued her in the eleventh hour. Joseph trusted God and accepted Mary into his home. Abram trusts God, but had to wait until he was very old before he has his sons. All these people trusted God completely and they were rewarded for that trust.
Why do we have these stories in our Scriptures? Why do we have them now in our Lenten readings? They teach us to have faith in God’s promises. They show us what happens when we DO trust in the Lord. They also tell us to be patient and wait on God’s time. They teach us to be humble so that God can take over. Trust requires humility. It requires being open, like a child, receptive like the earth.
In planting our gardens, in living our lives, in accepting our joys and sorrows, we too have to trust and wait on God’s time. If we remain in Jesus, who was meek and humble of heart, we will know the Spirit of Truth, and His truth will set us free so we can trust in God.
Humility is the condition of the earth;
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