I asked this question of myself just this morning as I read the scripture in awe, both for its relevance in my own life and its timeliness for my journey.
Let me drill down a little further. You see, I serendipitously found myself reading from an old Thompson Chain Reference Bible that was part of my Christian journey now over three decades ago. My reading of this version was of necessity, as I by chance left my current NIV at an earlier speaking engagement last week.
As well, I was guided to II Corinthians by further chance after my daily reading of Oswald Chambers. Typically, I read Chambers each morning and then pick up the scriptures in an annual read from Genesis to Revelations. My disciplined approach to scripture was picked up after hearing the testimony of a ninety year old saint who attested to her strength of faith being the disciplined sequential reading of the Word since the early age of 11. Afterwards, I began that process at the age of 28.
Not trying to be religious, it has just worked for me, though occasionally I will get side tracked, as was the case this week.
What is my point? Through this week’s unexpected changes in my daily ritual, I am enjoying a fresh visit with the scriptures through my old leather friend, which causes me to pause and ask what might appear to be a silly and sentimental question? I’ll ask it anyway. Is God so intimate in one’s personal journey that what often seems to be serendipity is actually the hand of God?
Could He really be so awesome as to deal personally with this jar of clay, this least of saints, a repeat offender, dwelling on a planet that in celestial terms is only a speck of dusk, set in a tiny orbit among millions of galaxies? Is He Who I think He is?
Here I sit this morning reading an old text, with marginal notes scribbled in decades ago, now able to stir my soul much more than the day they were first written. Have I matured, yes. Did He know that I would be here one day? Yes. Did He know that thirty years later during an early morning devotional, I would be thrilled by these rediscovered gems of my early walk with Christ, long ago hidden away in some discarded archive of my Christian journey? You be the judge.
Here I am in Chapter 4 of II Corinthians, verse seven, “ But we have this treasure in earthen vessels” with a note to reference verse 5:1, “For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.” Then the note:
Earthen Vessels, that sinners might see God;
Heavenly Houses, that saints might be with God.”
Wow, there is a method to this madness we call a faith walk.
“Though my outward man is perishing”…unlike when I first penned these marginal notes, I feel that for sure, …“the inward man is renewed day by day.” I am then led to flip the page back to the first chapter where I find highlighted in verse 9: “But we have the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God which raiseth the dead.”
When I initally began to capture thoughts along side the margins of my Bible, reading these scriptures for the first time, I’m sure that I was just trying to follow along with some respected teacher, pastor or friend. Now, I have sufficient years that I can identify with these truths, not only from the aches in my muscles but the fire in my bones!
Is God who I think He is…an awesome being who sets over the heavens…an intimate friend who journeys with the weak…the master of situation, orchestrating every serendipity to my delight?
Good God Almighty!