Friday, August 8, 2008

The Certainty of Yesterday

For those of you who do not know; I was laid off from my job yesterday. Please do not, in that statement, try to detect even those most minuscule amount anxiety, fear, regret or sadness. For me, today is no different from yesterday, save that the particular details of today are different than that of yesterday. Nothing that is ultimately important has changed.

As I walked the docks up at my in-law's boat up on Lake Superior, contemplating (with joy) the change that has occurred, I heard God say to me "Has anything really changed?" The implication in the question, and I think in His tone (if one can perceive a tone from that divine, quiet internal voice) was that nothing had changed, more specifically, He Himself had not changed and therefore nothing of consequence had changed. God was who He was when I was working Boston Scientific, and was the same before that. What is certain now, the past, was once just as uncertain as today and tomorrow. What is certain now, however, is that God was faithful yesterday, and since God has not changed; I have no reason to believe that today or tomorrow will be any different.

After thinking these very thoughts walking the docks late yesterday; I started to read a sermon by G. Campbell Morgan (and chose to read this one very indiscriminately) entitled "The Untrodden Pathway". Please do not think my unconscious chose to read this sermon because of the nature of the title. I thought for sure the title implied that the sermon would be about the way of Christianity that few people will tread upon. I was shocked by the entirety of the content (and not shocked given how God tends to work this way with me). Here is a section of the sermon I read as the sunset and stars rose yesterday evening:

"As you face the new, never forget the old, for the most absolute certainty that we possess as we face the uncertain is that of the things of the past. Deliverance prophesies deliverance. Guidance predicts guidance. Supply promises supply. Let me make this a little more geographical. There is a river in front of us. Then measure the river by the sea. He divided that, He can divide this. There is an unknown land before us. Measure the unknown land by the unknown wilderness. But passing into a new country, we shall need to be fed with bread and water. Measure your hunger in the new land by the manna in the old.

The one thing no man can take away from me as I face tomorrow is yesterday. You may confuse me about problems of next year, but you cannot confuse me about the solutions of last year. You may tell me of all the perils and difficulties and dangers that are ahead, but on the pathway o'er which I have passed lie dead my foes. I have sung a song on the deliverance side of the Red Sea; Jehovah hath triumphed, His people are free, and I do not think you can frighten me with a running river when I have seen the sea divided. Therefore, I look into the future and it is all uncertain, and I come to it with the certainties of the past, with the deliverances wrought, the prayers actually answered, with the supplies that have come out of nowhere into the here. That is the first certainty, and it is a great one...

What of the future? With the inspiration of the past filling the soul, with the certainty of the present enabling the life, they were to go in and possess. Thus let us go forward to face each day in the name of the Captain of salvation. Oh, but giants are there! To be slain! Walled cities are there! To be taken! Difficulties await us! To be overcome! So may God give us grace to follow our greater than Joshua into the unknown tomorrow, and to possess it in His name, and for His glory."

These words to me were obviously very timely! The one certainty that Morgan keeps pointing to is the certainty of the unchanging nature of God in His character, nature and promises. Don't worry for my future, because I don't. Instead, let us all realize the uncertainty of our everyday and watch and witness as it transforms into the certainty of the past that tells us certainly that God is certainly faithful, and will continue to be so.