My daughter Alyssa used to be an EMT while she was studying to be a Physicians Assistant. She worked on an ambulance part-time while she was going to school. One day she was called to a scene of an accident where a man had too much to drink. He had been driving down a highway much too fast when suddenly something happened. In a split second he flew off of his motor cycle and went about 50 feet into a bunch of brush, bushes and brambles on the side of the road. This man’s angel undoubtedly saved him that night because the brush in the woods was so thick that it cushioned his fall so he didn’t land on the hard ground. He literally could have been killed. Well, Alyssa arrived on the scene and fought the sticker bushes, the branches and the thick brush to reach this man to help him get to the ambulance. And praise the Lord, this man made it to the hospital, was treated and now he’s doing fine.
But Alyssa picked up more than she bargained for in those woods. After a few days she noticed a few red spots showing up on her skin which turned out to be poison ivy. But she’s not really allergic to poison ivy so that’s where it stopped. But Mom happened to pick up Alyssa’s clothes which she wore in the woods and put them into the washing machine. Mom is really allergic to poison ivy, poison oak, and anything that even smells like poison and you guessed it, I ended up with big whelps and patches of that stuff all over my body. It was miserable, to say the least. Now the Bible says we reap what we sow... but sometimes we reap even what we don’t sow. We bear the consequences of someone else’s mistakes or someone else’s actions. A stranger may run a motorcycle in the woods but we get the poison ivy. Someone else makes the mistake at work, but we get the blame. Even genetically, our great, great grandparents may have broken some health laws, but we may bear the consequences.
Then we think about what happened in New York City on September 11, 2001. It was a terrible tragedy! This is an issue that a lot of people have trouble resolving in their minds. It can be a real stumbling block in relation to how they feel about God because they ask, “if God is really so powerful, and He’s a God of love, why do the tragedies happen in this life?” And they happen to people who serve God as well as those who don’t. And the question buried within this question is “What kind of God is God, anyway? That’s what we really want to know and more than anything that’s what God wants us to know too.
So then we need to go to the Word of God, and that’s where we discover the awesome character of God. There are thousands of texts that show us how wonderful He really is, but because of time I’m just going to share a few texts today. Psalm 89:14 says “Justice and judgment are the habitation of Your throne, mercy and truth shall go before Your face. Did you hear that? God is a God of justice and judgment, that means He’s going to be fair no matter what. A long time ago our relatives, Adam and Eve, chose to live by the laws of sin and death. Even though God knew this would just bring them a lot of untold heartache and misery, He honored their choice. If He stepped in at that point and said “No, you can’t choose that kind of lifestyle,” He wouldn’t be a God of justice and judgment. And He would just have a bunch of robots instead of people. He had to let them choose, and that’s why He lets us make choices today. Sometimes those choices aren’t very good, but that’s when His other character traits of mercy, love and longsuffering are there to catch us. If we turn even our bad decisions over to God He will intervene and help us, and that’s a promise because He loves us so much. If we give God the calamities and tragedies that happen to us because of other people’s bad choices, He will help us. And that’s because He loves us so intensely, He loves us so much that when we hurt, He hurts so much more. But still yet, He loves us enough to honor our choices and the choices of others, even when they are bad choices. Thankfully the world we see today is just temporary and one day the sin and suffering and rottenness of this world will be done away with forever. But meanwhile, this is what the Bible says is happening right now. Isaiah 30:18 “Therefore the Lord will wait that He may be gracious to you and therefore He will be exalted, that He may have mercy upon you, for the Lord is a God of judgment, blessed are all they that wait for Him.”
...Blessed are all they that wait for Him. The Bible says that God is the first and the last, that means He had the first word when this world was created and He’s going to have the last. Right now we have to live with the consequences of the choice that our relatives, Adam & Eve, made for us. We have to live in a world where the rain falls on the just as well as the unjust. But a day is coming when a perfect world will be ours if we are faithful to God and we patiently wait for our deliverance. I know sometimes the waiting period seems so long, but think about this, the waiting period we have right now is much more difficult to our perfect God than it is for us. I watch the news for just 10 minutes and I feel like I’m going to faint from all the junk that is happening in this world, but our perfect God of love, whose heart is much more sensitive than ours has to see the whole picture of what is happening in every human beings life around the world and it has to absolutely break His heart. As much as we long for that better world and for sin, death and suffering to be put away forever, our heavenly Father is longing for that day so much more. But until that time God says “Blessed are all they that wait for Him.”
I can remember when I was a little girl and we would go to Northern Wisconsin on vacation and it would be such a long drive up there, especially when there were 3 kids crowded in the back seat of the car. I would ask my Dad, “Are we almost there?” And he’d say “Yes, we’re almost there, and when we get there you’ll be so happy you’ll forget all about the trip.” And I really feel that’s what God is saying to us today, “We’re almost there, and when we get there you’ll be so happy you’ll forget all about the trip.”