But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Corinthians 15:57
The other day I came across an old, German legend.
It begins in a farming community which had been repeatedly hit by drought and disaster. Believing God was being unfair and unwise, the people came together and said, "Lord, our crops have been scanty and skimpy and small. If You have no major objections, and we hope You don't, we'd like to run the show."
Now, the story says that God, who knows best and is always caring, for reasons of His own, said, "Okay. I'll let you take control -- for a year."
And so it was. If the villagers wanted rain, they got rain. If they wanted sun, they got sun. That year the plants grew big and strong. Sadly, when harvest time came, there was no grain brought in. None at all.
Once again, the people complained.
In reply, God told them: "You got what you asked for. But you didn't ask for what you needed. Along with sun and rain you also need the north winds which pollinate your plants. No harsh wind ... no crop."
Now that old story is telling us a number of things. First, it identifies our human desire to have only sunny skies in the day and gentle rains which come at night. More importantly, the tale tells us we want to be in control because we think we know better than the Lord.
Thankfully, the Lord doesn't let us take control as He did that fictional German village.
Look at the disaster which occurred when He didn't supervise us 24/7 in the Garden of Eden. Adam and Eve thought they knew better than God, and they ended up opening a whole Pandora's box of trouble when they ate from the forbidden fruit.
Scripture points out others who thought they could improve on God's handiwork.
Against God's orders, Lot's wife tried to sneak a peek at the destruction of her home and city. Moses thought He knew better than God when He struck the rock for water rather than speaking to it. The Children of Israel thought they knew better than God when it came to conquering the Promised Land.
Those stories and others lead us to thank God that He doesn't give us our way and follow every foolish notion that might spring from our sinful brains and hearts.
The truth is God is God, and we are not. Left to our own devices, we would still be trying to work our way into heaven. Left to our own invention, we would still be ineffectually struggling and incompetently striving to atone for our many misdeeds. But God has not left us on our own. In His wisdom HE decided to send His Son to rescue us. In His love HE declared that whoever believes on Jesus as Savior will have their souls washed of all wrongdoing.
Now because of what HE has done, we are moved to say, "But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ."
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, may I always be thankful that You hold the reins of the universe, this world, and my eternal salvation. May I be brought to a mature faith that can confidently pray, "Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven." In Jesus' Name I ask it. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries
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