Now that the "assignment" for work is completed, I can play at blogging for myself. It's not much fun to write this if no one is going to read it, so I'll just maintain the same blog that the dogs started, and see where it goes for a while.
It was fun writing from the dogs' viewpoint. They are totally relationship oriented -- well, at least Blackie is. (Rufus's meaningful relationships must include several tennis balls.) But there is one relationship to which the dogs cannot relate, and it has more potential than any human bond. That is the one I would like to discuss.
This morning's reading followed one that pointed out error and resulting judgments. That one was honest and right, but the administration of discipline is a hard thing. Today, in the very next chapter, God said, "But..."
"But now, thus says the Lord, your Creator, O Jacob,
and He who formed you, O Israel,
'Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by name; you are Mine!
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
And through the rivers, they will not overflow you.
When you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched,
Nor will the flame burn you.
For I am the Lord your God
The Holy One of Israel, your Savior..."
Despite the time we've spent sniffing around instead of following Him, despite our outright disobedience, He created us for His glory, and His glory will prevail. Why? Not because of any good thing I have done, but because He paid the penalty for me. He bought me, even though He had already made me. He stepped in and took away the guilt of my selfish acts, so that I might come again to be His pride and joy.
And He will be very present, here and now, in times of deep-water distress and fiery troubles. Even though I walk in these scary, awful places, He is here. He does not simply lift me away from harm, but He will somehow protect me from utter destruction. I know this is true. I am in the swift waters, and I have felt the singe of flame. But He is here. May the name of the Lord be praised.