Recently I had the extraordinary privilege of spending some time with the chaplain of the United States Senate Ret. Rear Admiral Barry C. Black in his Capitol hill office. We had a wonderful conversation about his journey to where God has placed him in ministry. We spoke of past Senate Chaplains such as Peter Marshall and Lloyd John Ogilvie whose prayers were so very timely and effective. At the end of our time together however Chaplain Black said in his very deep baritone voice, “Pastor Tim, allow me to pray over you” and pray he did!
As he concluded his prayer for me he began to quote the words of Paul in the 3rd chapter of his letter to the Ephesian church where he said, “That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God. Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.” What an incredible blessing!
His powerful prayer and God’s amazing word reminds me that in the face of whatever is before us in life… God is able! According to the Bureau of Standards in Washington, a dense fog covering seven city blocks to a depth of 100 feet is composed of less that one glass of water. That amount of water is divided into about 60 billion tiny droplets. Yet when those minute particles settle over a city or the countryside, they can almost blot out everything from your sight. Many Christians today live their lives in a fog. They allow a cupful of troubles to cloud their vision and dampen their spirit. Anxiety, turmoil and defeat strangle their thoughts. Their lives are being “choked by the cares of this world” Friend, regardless of what is before you right now, God is able to help!
I’m also reminded that whatever is happening in the nation or the world for that matter… God is able! Dr. E. Stanley Jones once said, “I am inwardly fashioned for faith, not for fear. Fear is not my native land; faith is. I am so made that worry and anxiety are sand in the machinery of life; faith is the oil. I live better by faith and confidence than by fear, doubt and anxiety. In anxiety and worry, my being is gasping for breath—these are not my native air. But in faith and confidence, I breathe freely—these are my native air. A John Hopkins University doctor says, “We do not know why it is that worriers die sooner than the non-worriers, but that is a fact.” But I, who am simple of mind, think I know; We are inwardly constructed in nerve and tissue, brain cell and soul, for faith and not for fear. God made us that way. To live by worry is to live against reality.” What a blessing to know that the God who made heaven and earth is able to keep us in his care no matter what happens around us!
Lastly, remember that whatever you have experienced in your past or whatever you face tomorrow… God is able! In his book, Pastoral Grit: the Strength to Stand and to Stay, Craig Brian Larson wrote “In 1972, NASA launched the exploratory space probe Pioneer 10. The satellite’s primary mission was to reach Jupiter, photograph the planet and its moons, and beam data to earth about Jupiter’s magnetic field, radiation belts, and atmosphere. Scientists regarded this as a bold plan, for at that time no earth satellite had ever gone beyond Mars, and they feared the asteroid belt would destroy the satellite before it could reach its target. “But Pioneer 10 accomplished its mission and much, much more. Swinging past the giant planet in November 1973, Jupiter’s immense gravity hurled Pioneer 10 at a higher rate of speed toward the edge of the solar system. At one billion miles from the sun, Pioneer 10 passed Saturn. At some two billion miles, it hurtled past Uranus, Neptune at nearly three billion miles, Pluto at almost four billion miles. By 1997 Pioneer 10 was more than six billion miles from the sun. And despite that immense distance, Pioneer 10 continued to beam back radio signals to Earth. Remarkably those signals emanate from an 8-watt transmitter, which radiates about as much power as a bedroom night-light it accomplished more than anyone thought possible.” So it is when we offer ourselves to serve the Lord. When we allow God’s power to work in our lives… more than we can even ask or think is possible! Remember, he is able!