"That Which Is Real"
September 7, 2013
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make straight your paths. Proverbs 3:5-6
Have you ever gone to a museum of natural history?
If so, perhaps you remember seeing some of the stuffed animals they had on exhibit. A great deal of work was put in by someone to make sure those animals looked lifelike. Of course, even though the eagle seems to be flying, he never makes it out of his glass case. The wolf seems to be letting out a howl, but there is no sound to be heard. The lion is gnawing on a freshly made kill, but he never swallows. The trout always seems to be rising to the water's surface for a meal, but the insect he is chasing remains eternally safe.
These animals look real. Their exteriors look real. Their eyes of glass have more brightness than the natural eye of the creature. But a closer inspection reveals something is lacking in that menagerie of fin, feather and fur.
No matter how real the animal looks, he is not.
In a similar way, this world offers many things in which it says you should believe, trust and cling. It says these things are real and will bring you happiness, hope and contentment. No matter how often it says it, the truth is, a sinful world cannot bring about perfect peace.
The things of this world cannot answer your needs.
Oh, they may bring about some transitory pleasure for today or tomorrow or even next year, but inevitably that which has been manufactured by a sinful world must, by design, let you down. For some folks that disappointment will be both shattering and shocking, devastating and demoralizing.
This is why we need something -- make that Someone -- who is more reliable than anything this sinful world can manufacture. Might I suggest the Someone we need is the Triune God. He is in many ways absolutely unique when it comes to reliability. Not only did He set the universe into motion with a word, He has also shown an unbelievable and gracious capacity to love His erring children. When we rebelled and sent ourselves on a one-way skid into hell, He promised to send His Son to save us. When we sin, because of Jesus' blood shed on the cross, He offers forgiveness. Yes, He is the Someone -- the only One -- we need and upon whom we can count.
All of this means, even though we don't know what tomorrow will bring, even though we don't know what temptations and trials, what pains and problems may come our way, He will be there offering His peace, His support, and His Son as our Savior.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, help me distinguish between that which is real and that which is not. Most of all may I always recognize the consistency and constancy of Your love, which comes to me in the Person of Your Son. In His Name I pray. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries