One who searches Scripture cannot manage to escape the faithfulness of God: it’s the ink that forms the print and is present everywhere from “in the beginning” to “come, Lord Jesus.” His promises, His acts, His attitudes, His character—it’s all steeped in His faithfulness.
Our culture doesn’t value faithfulness very highly, and the “muchness” of the concept has leaked out like an old balloon. Can we take just a minute to restore its substance? (I promise it matters.) Faithfulness is the quality of being firm in adherence to promises or steadfast in affection; it’s a deep loyalty or unswerving reliability; and it implies a long-continued, consistent fidelity. Sound like something from an old dictionary? Let’s apply it to you.
The trees have shamelessly disrobed once again. Birds flock to warmer spaces, and family gathers in. As we tiptoe toward another season of thanks and giving, may I ask, How’s your heart?
Mine is frankly concerned with other things—details, plans, the small bits of life. I mean, who really has time for giving thanks continually, in all things? Am I meant to be grateful for the toothpaste globs in the sink?
The graduation party. The big promotion. The skinny jeans. The dazzled guests. The “I do.” Every season, adventure, and project you begin has a pleasant conclusion that you find worthwhile, and if you can push past all of the difficulties, you wind up with the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow (or the medal at the end of the marathon, or… you get the point).
Finishing strong is a must for those who represent Christ. We push through, leave it all on the field, so to speak, and then celebrate big. This is the pattern of God’s people over and over in Scripture, and it will never be a bigger party than at the end of time. Talk about the grandest finale ever! So while we look forward to the final resolution to the groaning of all creation, may we display tiny foreshadowing pictures of it throughout the world.
Just so you know, I’m awful in the kitchen. My great culinary feats include turning instant rice into a horrible pudding-like substance (apparently it’s not meant for the rice cooker) and prematurely mixing a cherry dump cake which ended up looking like vomit lasagna. You’re welcome for the visual. But the biggest catastrophe was mistaking paprika for nutmeg… in my Christmas egg nog. It’s relatively safe to say that if Riley didn’t cook for us, we would live on cereal and toast. Cooking is hard: one wrong spice, and the recipe is shot.
Guess what word my name sounds like in Spanish? Almost. I know this because I was fondly called Almost a lot during a brief mission stint in Monterrey, Mexico, and I kind of hated it. ‘Almost’ shows a lack: sure, you’ve made progress, but you’re still falling short of complete. (The optimist would spin it the other way, making a season of ‘almost’ a gift of hope rather than an emotional burden.)
Sharing was a big deal during my upbringing, and it’s never really let go of me. As that is the case, I’d like to open up the first Monday of every month by sharing some happy pieces of the world with you. Philippians 4:8 says to dwell on things that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, or praiseworthy. I learned in studying this text that Paul was expecting believers to search for these kinds of things in all different arenas of life, not just within the church’s walls or on the shelves of a Christian bookstore.
I feel like all of the best stories could start like that. When you hear those words, you can pretty much count on the fact that you should snuggle in and listen well because things are about to get good.