Longing for What’s Second Best

We often overestimate our wisdom. We often overestimate our capacity to rightly assess any given situation. We often overestimate our ability to know what would be best for ourselves and those we love. We are nothing if not self-focused, nothing if not self-reliant, nothing if not self-assured. Of course we know that, in theory, we are limited little creatures whose knowledge is small and whose understanding is minimal. But this rarely stops us from acting as if we know far …

When God Seems Deaf To Our Cries

Joseph died a young man, his eyes hollow, his body gaunt, his stomach distended. He suffered deeply in those final days before he finally succumbed to the great hunger that had already claimed so many members of his family, so many of the people of his land and the ones surrounding it. As his breathing slowed, as his eyes closed, he thought back to a day not too long before. He remembered pleading and praying as his brothers, made mad …

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It’s All Chocolate

It is one of the great debates of a privileged age: is dark chocolate superior to milk, or milk to dark? Both have their advocates. The ones who prefer dark chocolate boast of the flavor of cocoa that is undisrupted by excess sugar, that so wonderfully compliments the bitterness of a dark coffee. The ones who prefer milk tell that milk and sugar enhance the flavor of cocoa the way they do the flavor of tea. Cocoa is at its …

Don’t Reclaim Your Life

At the end of the most difficult twelve-month period in the history of air travel, Ed Bastian, the CEO of Delta Airlines, is sounding a note of optimism. Celebrating the steady rise in bookings and the gradual return to normal passenger volumes, he recently said, “As the case counts are coming down in meaningful levels as the vaccinations are starting to grow, people are ready to reclaim their lives.” It’s an interesting, thought that, and an attractive one: reclaiming our …

Always Read the Story to the End

We cannot truly understand a story until we have read it to the end. Very often it is only in the final pages of a story that the author springs the big surprise, that he pulls together the loose strands, that he explains the meaning and purpose behind his interwoven narratives. If we give up too soon, if we draw our conclusions before the end, we will never understand the author’s intent or appreciate the author’s skill. So too with …

A Side Of Perfect Beauty in Every Providence

Corrie Ten Boom famously compared God’s providence to a tapestry which, as it is being woven, seems to be little more than a mess of threads and knots. But when finished it is turned over to reveal its beauty. You can read this in a poem she popularized titled “Life Is But a Weaving.” But she was not the only one who has made such a comparison. Long before Ten Boom the abolitionist John Greenleaf Whittier wrote “The Pressed Gentian.” …

Do You Fail to Deliberately Remember?

We forget. Often we forget because we fail to deliberately remember—to remember and recount the goodness and mercy of God. In his work The Mystery of Providence, John Flavel gives a series of cautions to Christians who may be prone to this temptation to forget. Do not forget God’s care and kindness. All throughout your life you have been the beneficiary of God’s kind providence. Yet is it possible that God could charge you in the same way he charged …

8 Proofs of Providence

I have invited you, and others, to read a classic book with me as part of my ongoing Reading Classics Together effort. This time around we are reading John Flavel’s The Mystery of Providence. As you may have surmised from the title, this is a book about providence—about God’s care for his people. In Meet the Puritans Joel Beeke and Randall Pederson tell us what we can expect as we read through the book’s three sections and thirteen chapters. In …

Trusting God with what Matters Most

It strikes me often how life is cyclical; how things I wrestle with and ponder and pray about will come to the forefront of my life and faith a month or a year or two years later. One of the biggest blessings of having a journal (which is often how this site functions for me) is that I can go back and see how I dealt with these things in the past. It is good to see how situations repeat …

Reading Classics Together – The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment (VII)

After a week’s absence (based on a week’s vacation) I am back today with the next chapter (Chapter 7) of Jeremiah Burroughs’ The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment. The topic for this reading is “The Excellence of Contentment.” I do trust that many of you continue to read the book with me. Summary Every week I feel the need to begin with an expression of my affection for this book. Today will be no different! What a great book this …