Friday evening I watered the young trees and shrubbery in my front yard. I noticed a plastic soft drink container wrapped in gray tape. It looked suspicious enough, so that not wanting my children to pick it up, I chucked it across our road.* The next morning while Bryan and Stephen and I shot hoops in our driveway, a police car pulled alongside the curb across the street. Someone evidently reported the object and a bomb squad was dispatched. Sure enough, it was a poorly-made bomb that failed to explode. Perhaps you can imagine some of the thoughts that ran through my families’ heads as we pondered the incident.
Later that morning, my wife called me. The minivan was acting up. So, she drove into Les Schwab for an inspection. The mechanic informed her the front brakes were metal-to-metal and the front tires were too worn for her to be driving safely. Money set aside for taxes would now have to be spent on our vehicle.
As I drove down to Eugene to conduct a wedding, I couldn’t help thinking “as bizarre as this day has gone, I bet the interstate will be blocked with some accident.” Sure enough! I hadn’t gone fifty miles before I hit total gridlock. Cars lined up for miles because of a wreck. Fortunately, an exit was available and I was able to find an alternate route and arrive in time to officiate John and Kristi’s wedding.
It was a great day. God gave me the opportunity to share from His word before wedding participants that by the comments afterwards, were starved for spiritual truth. I suspected as much. When adversity strikes, often holy opportunities are close at hand. Yet an even greater realization helped me through a challenging period.
Jeremiah 17:16--But I have not run away from being Your shepherd, and I have not longed for the fatal day. You know my words were spoken in Your presence.
The prophet Jeremiah seemed to have a clear understanding that he lived his life before the ever-watching eyes of God. Profoundly he operated as a wise prophet. Most of us get caught up living as if God were as distant as some undiscovered galaxy. When our irritation is as thick as contaminated oil, when our eyes are on the wrong things, if we are not conscious of who it is we live before, we behave poorly! The Lord is, as Os Guinness notes, our Audience of One. He sees all. He is the One we live to please!
We ought to cringe and quiver at the thoughts and actions we commit mindless of Him whose gaze fixes us with love and a heavy heart. Not so we sink into the morass of depression but that we might be inspired to bring Him joy. To live coram deo, that is our challenge, our privilege and our gift! Now go and be what pleases Him.
Behind the voice of God is the eye of God and behind the eye the face and behind the face the heart. To follow the call of God is therefore to live before the heart of God. It is to live life coram deo (before the heart of God) and thus to shift our awareness of audiences to the point where only the last and highest—God—counts.—Os Guiness in The Call
*Don’t ever do this—foolish move on my part!
©2001 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the “Click here to receive weekly devotionals” box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)