Tuesday, May 26, 2009

A Quick Note of Encouragement

I was reading in the wonderful Old Testament book of Ezra this morning when the Lord spoke a wonderful word of encouragement, not only to me, but to you.

Ezra relates the story of how Zerubabel and Jeshua had gathered the returned exiles together to re institute the sacrifices and begin rebuilding the temple. A decree had come in the hands of Ezra the Priest from King Cyrus that gave the go ahead. Cyrus had also sent all of the implements of gold and silver that had been stripped from Solomon's temple before it was destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar. With the decree in hand, the work began.

But just like it is whenever good begins to happen, the enemies of God and his children stepped in and closed the door. In fact, they slammed the door. A new King had arisen over Persia, and he evidently had no clue as to Cyrus' decree. All the bad guys had to do was sent a honey-filled letter to Xerxes, telling how taxes would dry up and the King's table would be short of food, and boom! Door slammed shut! Work stoppage.....and the work stoppage lasted for some time....until another King rose to the throne. Of course, Darius did a history review and saw the decree. He not only gave permission for Ezra to restart the work, he made the bad guys foot the bill.

It is encouraging to see that God never gets stopped. It may appear that we, his servants, get stopped in our tracks from time to time, as if our overshoes were suddenly filled with concrete. But that is only in appearance. This story reminds me that God's plan goes deeper, is wider, is more active, and will go more places in victory than I have the ability to see or understand. That means I am called at times to stand in my concrete galoshes and wait for God's purpose. No, it doesn't sound glamorous at all. In fact, it can be downright frustrating. But the Lord really does have it all under control. Even it comes to the winding down of the age.

So, hang in there. Or, should I say, STAND FAST! Jesus is doing his thing, and he's coming soon!

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