#411: What Works



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Reflections by the Pond
September 7, 2009

For the word of the Lord is upright,
And all His work is done in faithfulness.

Psalms 33:4

What Works

It began, innocently enough, with an impending thunderstorm. As is our custom at such times, we unplugged all our vulnerable electronics—computers, satellite internet, television and associated components.

The next morning, when I went about the house restoring power to everything, the modem for our satellite internet service would not come back on.

After trying all the common sense remedies, I broke down and placed a call to India. Because the quoted fee for a service call was disagreeable to this writer, I forestalled that inevitability with a few more common sense remedies—this time up on the roof with the formidable dish.

Nothing.

I thus swallowed my pride and redialed India. After five days without internet and e-mail, the repairman showed up and, after a struggle, coaxed some life back into the system. But thirty-six hours later, after an area-wide power outage, we were back to square one. Five more days without internet and e-mail, after another service call, the final resolution is still pending. So what does one do when one's interconnected world is crumbling about him?

One mows the lawn.

Yesterday I prepared my new-to-me, zero turn-radius mower for an afternoon out in the sun. Turned the key. The engine would crank, but not turn over. Tried this. Tried that. No go. Called the shop from which it was purchased, and followed the owner's helpful directions. No go. This morning the mower will be picked up for a quick trip to the hospital.

° ° °

Perhaps our disbelieving anguish over the periodic failure of our possessions is the price we pay here in the States for things usually working as promised. The television news last night included a story about the appalling quality of automobiles manufactured in Russia. They are so bad that drivers routinely carry sufficient cash with them to pay for the inevitable towing and repairs when their cars break down by the side of the road. They always carry tools with them because it is understood that the decrepit Russian autos will dependably break down several times a month—that is, if they will run at all.

It can be a frustrating inconvenience when things fail to work. For better or worse, the rhythms of our lives are based on the reliability of the things on which we regularly depend. When they become unreliable—when they don't work as promised—we are thrown off our stride, the bile in our belly churns and rises, and we spend far too much time nurturing our anger and resentment.

God—by which I mean every member of the triune Godhead—works. If He were an appliance, He would not break the day after His warranty expired. If He were a car, He would never break down, He would never even need a tune-up. If He were an internet connection, He would always be on line, stable, fast.

God just works—always.

"Now behold, today I am going the way of all the earth, and you know in all your hearts and in all your souls that not one word of all the good words which the Lord your God spoke concerning you has failed; all have been fulfilled for you, not one of them has failed."

Joshua 23:14

° ° °

Not only does God never break, but every day He keeps getting better and better in the lives of those who call upon His name.

God just works—faithfully.

This I recall to my mind,
Therefore I have hope.
The Lord's lovingkindnesses indeed never cease,
For His compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
Great is Your faithfulness.
"The Lord is my portion," says my soul,
"Therefore I have hope in Him."

Lamentations 3:21-24

God through Christ is the original creative genius, and He employs that creativity every day in the lives of the redeemed.

He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.

Colossians 1:15-17

Our God is not "constant" in the sense that we often use the word, for that constancy implies a static state. He is constant in the sense that He never forsakes the believer, and His lovingkindness is everlasting. But God is never static. Each new day He creates new and different ways to minister to our needs, new and inventive ways to encourage us to a higher level of maturity in His ways.

He is never static, but always inventive.

He never breaks, but is utterly dependable.

He never lies about what He can and will do, but is faithful to who and what He is.

God just works—eternally.

"But I will not break off My lovingkindness from him,
Nor deal falsely in My faithfulness.
My covenant I will not violate,
Nor will I alter the utterance of My lips."

Psalms 89:33-34