Parlor magicians hired to entertain children at birthday parties frequently begin tricks with a display of an empty hand, offering clear proof that there is nothing up their sleeve, nothing in the shiny top hat they are about to sit on the table in full view of the fascinated children. Then suddenly-presto!-a rabbit is pulled up by the ears, a dove with fluttering wings emerges, a shiny silver dollar flips into view. Something created out of nothing! We adults know that these are just parlor tricks, sleights of hand, practiced technique.
This quote comes from chapter seven of Andy Davis’s book, The Power of Christian Contentment. Davis is describing the best worship that comes from contented believers, and he shares this thought under the heading Most Comforted by Things Not Seen.
Some people want to know how the trick works. Not me. I’d rather not know. Were I to know, the awe and wonder would be gone. To keep the awe, I don’t want to know.
Often I’m tempted to know how God is going to do something, what He’s up to, or even to tell Him what to do. I’m learning that giving in to those temptations ruins contentment. Giving in also displays my lack of trust or my need for control. What I’m realizing is I’m also ruining my awe and wonder.
I need to stay off the stage and wait for presto!
Photo Credit: Unsplash/Omid Armin
A few months ago I received a copy of Ronnie Floyd’s book How To Pray, 20th Anniversary Edition. Was I excited? Ehh. Another book on prayer. I added it to the pile of books on my nightstand, and it waited its turn. That turn started a few weeks ago. Ended yesterday.
True to his promise, Floyd delivers a book for everyone. Whether you feel like a newborn or seasoned prayer, you will grow through his suggestions. He also delivers a book true to his objective-to be helpful. His help includes addressing barriers to giving keys discovering power and movement in your prayer life. All 19 chapters are practical, simple, and immediately applicable.
Of the books I’ve read on prayer, How To Pray is in the top three. I’d specifically encourage young (in age or in practice) Chistians to read it. Some books you read and pass along. Some books you read and add to your library. Then there are books that you read and reread. Floyd’s is a reread.
Ecclesiastes 3:11 says, “He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, he has put eternity into man’s heart…”
This verse explains why a pandemic like COVID-19 creates such response. In our hearts we long for beauty and eternity. Anything that smothers that longing is threatening and unnatural. The promise of beauty and eternity gives us reason to desire heaven more. Why?
- Eternity won’t have restrictions
- Eternity won’t be isolating
- Eternity will be peaceful
- Eternity will contain yet-to-be-seen beauty
Yesterday a thought came to me while visiting a friend who is dying from cancer. He talked about all the different birds that visit his backyard feeder every day. Made me wonder, “Can you imagine what the wildlife in heaven will be like?”
No pandemic can threaten eternity. Nothing will ever again separate man from God. So much beauty…for eternity.