Sunday, May 31, 2009

Daily Digest #295

Inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me. —Matthew 25:40

Allow me to share another excerpt from the article, "Why Is Life So Unfair" [based on Psalms 73 and 82], pp. 19-20:

Where Did Asaph Find Answers?

Life is filled with questions -- where do we turn for answers? One of the most enduring TV home-repair programs, This Old House, recently added a new segment called, "Ask This Old House." People are encouraged to write or e-mail their questions to the program's experts about plumbing, gardening, carpentry, or any other projects. The solutions are then demonstrated on the show. My wife and I are currently involved in the process of renovating out own "old house", so this is the kind of help that is of special interest to us right now.

But there are other questions by the media and its army of experts. Sometimes, we don't find the answers we need until we find ourselves in the presence of God Himself. This was Asaph's experienxe. He said he continued to struggle....Until I went into the sanctuary of God; then I understood.. . (v.17).

The quality of the answers we receive depends on where we turn for those answers.

Our Need For Sanctuary

The agonizing cry of the hunchback of the hunchback of Notre Dame, "Sanctuary, sanctuary!" becomes the cry of all those who are suffering. Quasimodo saw the sanctuary as a place of refuge and protection. But Asaph discovered it to be the place where he would find the answers.

The word sanctuary appears throughout the Old Testament. Sometimes it's used to speak of the tabernacle, the tent of meeting that was the place of worship for Israel prior to the building of the temple in Jerusalem (Ex. 25:8; 36:1,6). Other times it appears to refer to the temple itself (1 Ki. 6).

Sometimes the word sanctuary doesn't refer to a physical location but to an idea -- the idea of abiding in the presence of God (Isa. 8:14). It is what David longed for in Psalm 23 when he anticipated "still waters" (v.2) where the Lord -- his Shepherd -- would restore his soul. It's what Christ Himself sought when, as a man, He frequently moved away from the crowds, the work, and the disciples and went to a mountain alone to spend time with His Father.
Sanctuary suggests the idea of a place set apart for spiritual protection, rest and renewal. Everyone of us needs such a place -- a spiritual hiding place where our hearts are restored and strengthened for the struggles today and the challenges tomorrow.

I guess the whole point is to learn to establish a deep communication and strong relationship with the Lord so we may see as He sees, hear as He hears and walk His way. Because only in this way can we allow love to fill our hearts, and reflect it in our thoughts, word and actions toward others. Our love will be unconditional that no matter how another person treats us, we never cease to care and pray for him/her because everything we do is rooted in God. We will learn to oversee the flaws, and practice patience, compassion and forgiveness more because we have realized how God has been patient, merciful and forgiving to us. We learn to leave justice in His hands, and simply do our utmost for the time given to us.

Indeed, the world we live in is so messed up that hope for change seems impossible. But the good Lord wants us to make the inner change first. He wants us to gain His perspective so we may see His blessings rather than our misfortunes, and focus on the purpose He has instilled in each of us.

May we make time to talk intimately with God every day no matter how busy we are. Let us pray: Lord, thank You for your unconditional love. We long to develop a deep personal relationship with You. Many times, we may be afraid to ask You; please help us overcome our doubts and fears. Please be patient with us at times when we refuse to hear or ignore Your answers. Teach us more about love so we may practice love in our lives. May the knowledge we have turn into wisdom. Amen.

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