I returned “home” to Cedar Rapids yesterday afternoon; I say “home” because I’ve been living in Bolingbrook Illinois since the last few days of March. I say “home” because Anne, Nate and John remained in CR. It’s a time of transition for our whole family:
Our daughter just finished the first semester of her junior year at Lincoln Christian University. Her brother Nate is graduating from high school this weekend, John is finishing up his 8th grade year, and Anne is finishing out her last week of work. We’ve had our house on the market for 6 weeks now, and not much has come of it. In the next two weeks:
- Katie will be returning to Illinois to work at a church camp for the Summer.
- Nathan will be going to South Dakota to work for his grandfather and uncle and aunt for the Summer.
- Anne and John are joining me in Bolingbrook at the beginning of June.
It’s a lot to deal with. Too much, actually. Maybe it was the Mexican food that I ate last night, or the three cups of tea that I drank, perhaps it was just nerves over the busy weekend ahead…but last night, as I lay in bed, it all hit me. So, I got out of bed, unpacked my Bible and did some reading.
From my YouVersion reading plan, I found 2 Corinthians 4:17– “For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever!”
I recently began to read the daily liturgical readings from the OCA, an epistle (Acts 13:13-24) and then a Gospel (John 6:5-14) reading. In both of these readings…God delivers. In the Acts reading, Paul recounts for the gathered Jews how God had heard the cry of His people, delivered them from Egypt, cleared out the Promised Land and then, set up kings. From one such King, David, we get Jesus…the ultimate deliverer. The people were delivered from their temporal situation to find ultimate delivery (from their sin) from Jesus. In the Gospel reading, Jesus calls upon his disciples to feed the people gathered nearby. the people are fed, there are baskets left over, and then, the disciples are quoted as saying, “This is truly the Prophet who is to come into the world.” A people delivered from the temporal (hunger) in order to be delivered for eternity.
These three sets of texts align. The Orthodox have been led by God to create a daily reading set that has an inherent coherence. That this is made easy by God is besides the point. All scripture is inherently coherent. The third addition, the test from 2 Corinthians, is especially interesting.
Our present troubles are just that. Present. Temporal.
Not selling a home? A pain in the butt, to be sure. Yet…Temporal. I consistently am finding myself in the shoes of the man who wants his daughter to be healed by Jesus. Essentially, Jesus tells him that healing comes by faith. The reply of the man is astounding…”I have faith. Increase my faith.”
Increase my faith. Deliver me from the temporal, but do so in a way that leads me to an eternal deliverance.