“…it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.”
A pastor was called to officiate at a graveside service for a woman from a small town. Her family was known to the pastor and other citizens of the small community where they all lived as quarrelsome, meddlesome and difficult. The dead woman and her family, to put it mildly, were a wildly dysfunctional bunch. After the brief service, as the mourners were leaving the grave site, the pastor overheard one of her relatives say, “I know she is up there looking down on us.” The pastor thought to himself, “Not if God has any mercy.”
Speaking for myself, it gives me little comfort to think that those who have preceded me have a front row seat as our lives, with all their works and all their ways, are played out on the human stage. I like to believe that in their joy, God is shielding them.
However that may be, I believe God is not only watching the errant world, He is deeply engaged with a love that relentlessly pursues the good. In Jesus Christ we see this God deeply immersed in a life committed to mercy and grace. So Paul could confidently remind the Philippian Christians that in His nearness to them and knowledge of them God is at work, carrying out His will in Christ Jesus.
The work of brooding over the fallen world must be left to a love so deep and so enduring that it is able to look into the heart of this broken life without flinching and have the capacity and will to do something about it. In Jesus Christ we see such a love.
“May the peace of God that passes all understanding keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus our Lord.”