Archive for August 29th, 2007

A Solid Foundation

Wednesday, August 29th, 2007

Today’s scripture: Daniel 4:1-18 (NRSV) (The Message)

As you read, consider: What might God be saying to me in this passage? Summarize your thoughts in a sentence or two.

My thoughts (Theresa Benson):

I used to walk around in life scared to death when things seemed to be going right. If I was dating a great guy, I was just waiting for that THING, that one “gotcha” that was going to ruin it. Or if I got a raise at work, or won some big contract, I was always looking for the “catch.”

I was convinced that for every good thing going on in my life, there was surely something nasty around the corner. That behavior made sense given how I was raised — it was an adaptive behavior from childhood gone haywire in adulthood.

I grew up in a classic abuse environment — where if I got some awesome presents unexpectedly, or we were having my favorite dinner and it wasn’t my birthday, I knew things were going to get crazy shortly thereafter — it was almost like the adults in my life would sort of “buy” permission to treat me as something less than the precious child I was. And just like Pavlov’s dog, I soon learned the pattern, and began to anticipate what was “really” in store for me.

I have good news for you today. That isn’t what today’s reading is about.

God doesn’t want us walking around in fear, worrying about the moment He might decide to rip away the abundant life He’s given us. God deeply desires to celebrate our successes with us and share God’s goodness with creation.

No, today’s story is instead about those times when we get away from a daily relationship with God in lieu of the world’s pleasures, and what can happen when we do. It’s about when we put things like money, sex, success, and other people’s opinions of us ahead of what’s truly important, and begin building a life on a foundation of those things rather than keeping ourselves rooted in God.

It’s also about the incredible transformative power of losing everything. As that shaky foundation crumbles, it has the potential to change my perspective dramatically for the better.

Today’s lesson is an Old Testament reminder of a story we hear over and over again in the Bible — that everything we have is on loan from God. We are stewards, not owners, and everything that comes to us is a gift from the One who loves and created us.

Thought for the day: May I always remember that the Source of the good things in my life is You, God. May I always remember, and be thankful.

We encourage you to include a time of prayer with this reading. If you need a place to get started, consider the guidelines on the How to Pray page.

"Be still, and know that I am God." Psalm 46:10
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