When God Smiles and When God Cries

31 What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? 33 Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. 34 Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36 As it is written:

“For your sake we face death all day long;
    we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”

37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 8:31-39, New International Version)

A few years ago, before my Dad passed away, Cindy and I made a trip with my parents out to California to visit our oldest son and his family. It was a wonderful trip and I am so grateful we were able to make that trip.

One of the things I did on that trip was look for where I saw God at work. Then I recorded that in my blog. On that trip I saw God in an amazing scene just west of the Texas-New Mexico line. Looking out the driver’s window of the car snow was coming down hard. Out the passenger side window was a bright sunny day. It might not sound so incredible, but it was.

I saw God another day as we drove through the desert but things were able to grow. Even in such an inhospitable area as a desert. Cactus and other plants were there. We actually saw a rabbit hopping from plant to plant.

Of course, I saw God in my grandsons, the granddaughter (only one at the time) was back in Texas. Every day, to see where I would see God next was a blessing.

As I watch the news last night I thought about those days. There was news reports of a man, a retired military man, who passed from Covit-19 today. There was another report of how many more people were diagnosed today with the virus. Then there was an additional report about hording and price gouging. It is difficult to see God in such times but make no mistake, God is present and at times when we treat each other poorly by hording and gouging, I believe it grieves God to the heart.

It is easy in times of difficulty for us to lose sight of God. It can be hard for us to see God’s presence when we lose people as it seems we do each day this month. It is really hard to see God when we see people taking advantage of others for their own benefit. Yes, it is hard to see God in such times. But, I also know God is with us. And if we really look, I think we can always find at least glimpses of God.

The final verses of our lesson this morning are among my favorite verses in Scripture. These verses remind us that even in times when God is very hard to see, we are NOT separated from the love of God in Christ Jesus. Think about all the things that Paul listed and none of them, not even death itself can keep us from the love of God. Maybe we need to look for God a little harder.

I did and I did see God in the same news report a story about the teachers at one elementary school who had a parade in their cars decorated with streamers and posters and banners. They drove the streets of the neighborhoods where their students live. I believe these kind of actions bring God joy and bring a smile to the lips of God.

Years ago I said I wanted to write a book titled, “When God Laughs and When God Cries.” Certainly God isn’t laughing about any of this. Perhaps I should rephrase to “When God Smiles and When God Cries.” I think I saw both last night.

Have a blessed Day in the Lord,

Seeking the Genuine,
Keith

Copyright 2020, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved
Permission given for the non-commercial use of this post.

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Published by drjkbroyles

I love Mike Ashcraft's book, "My One Word." For the past nine years I have participated and encouraged others to participate to in the "My One Word" Challenge. My first word was discipline was my word the first year. Since then my word has been focus, sight, jungle, peace, concentration, serve, genuine and this year is fit. I seek to be fit for my health, my family, my church, my ministries. I seek to be fit in any are of my life where God might point to me. I also have a nickname, "Dr. B." When I was a public high school teacher, Dr. B. is what most of my students called me, at least in my presence. I am still called that by many people though I no longer teach in public schools. I am the author of "Average Joe: With an Extraordinary Story" (available on Amazon). The book fits into the genre of "Biblical Fiction" or "Christian Fiction" and features some of the Bible's lesser known characters. The name of my blog is, "Fork in the Road." Life is filled with forks in the road. It isn't a matter of if we encounter a fork in the road, but when will we and how many will we experience in a lifetime. I love to strum my guitar. I am not a great guitar player but I enjoy it. I also enjoy writing music. I get excited with I feel a new song emerging. I live with my wife Cindy and our little dog, "Bishop" in Lufkin, Texas. I spent the past 30 years as a United Methodist pastor, serving churches all over east and southeast Texas, from just north of Tyler to south of Houston, from the Gulf Coast to east of Madisonville. I currently serve Perritte Memorial UMC in Nacogdoches. I spent one year in the classroom, teaching High School government, economics, psychology, and sociology. Cindy and I have been married for 43 years. We have two grown sons and six grandchildren, three boys and three girls. I enjoy preaching and all it's aspects from research to writing to the actual preaching event. I also love writing, reading. I have dabble in drawing and "painting" with pastels as well as woodworking and woodcarving. My current projects are two ukuleles. I collect, repair and restore guitars too. I play the guitar (badly, but I still do) I also enjoy working with paracord on various projects, mostly prayer ropes I usually give away. I hold an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Business Data Processing, from San Jacinto College in Pasadena, TX, a Bachelor of Science in Political Science with a minor in History from Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, TX, a Master of Divinity from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX and a Doctor of Ministry from Carolina University of Theology. This blog started out as devotional writings. In August of 2020, I made a major change to the blog, switching to a daily theme format. Sunday Sermon-usually my manuscript sermon Miscellaneous Monday-misc. writing, poetry, ministry Tuesday Thoughts-Devotion Wed. with Wesleys-hist. & theol. of early Methodists TED Talk Thursday-Video & appl. in current theology Five for Friday-5 things I've seen & my thoughts Sing-Along Sat. - Usually a new song I have written I write, "Strumming a G-Chord with Dr.B." to get my thoughts onto something permanent. After all, they say, once something is on the internet it never really goes away. Still, I hope you enjoy reading it. Who knows, it might generate a bit of discussion between you and me and anyone else who might make their way here. Seeking the Genuine, Keith Lufkin, Texas August 2020

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