I don't want to think about the flood of emotions that will bombard me on his birthday. I don't want to envision Kaleigh (10) and Kyra's (6) weddings and try to imagine the glaring absence of Kaleb's presence. Those things - Lord willing - will happen one day. But we don't need grace for sadness fifteen years from now. We need grace for today's.
Our adversary the Devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking to devour people (1 Peter 5:8) who answer the question this way. How so? Because he is halfway from getting you to curse God.
Everyone has fears. I'm not talking about encounters with undesirable creatures (spiders, snakes, etc.), but experiences with undesirable realities. It could be losing our job, our spouse filing for divorce, getting cancer, or a child dying. We all have worse case scenarios in our mind that we pray never makes it into our lives.
This verse rings of happiness. I imagine it being recited by a family of smiling faces diving into a big meal. I see a church worship gathering beginning to sing praise songs and someone exhorting them with this verse. I see a man or woman repeating it to themselves as they gleefully walk into the new job they've been wanting . The passage sounds peppy. It feels lighthearted.
Many Christians are unaware of the life and ministry of John Newton. He is often known as "that guy who wrote 'Amazing Grace.'" What many do not know about Newton is that he was a highly influential and effective pastor in England in the 18th century. He wrote many hymns. He provided spiritual direction for many Christians, including William Wilberforce - who Newton helped persuade to fight against the African slave trade.
Just over thirteen years ago I got a phone call that changed my life. It was my wife. We had been in the hospital for a couple months with our ten week premature baby. He had a bad kidney, filled with cysts, that needed to be removed. That day began as a hopeful day. The day prior his bad kidney was removed. We were supposed to be getting discharged from the hospital. We were finally going home.