The Chair and the Desk, 3/23/16

From the chair:

“While the Israelites were camped in Gilgal they kept the passover in the evening on the fourteenth day of the month in the plains of Jericho. On the day after the passover, on that very day, they ate the produce of the land, unleavened cakes and parched grain. The manna ceased on the day they ate the produce of the land, and the Israelites no longer had manna; they ate the crops of the land of Canaan that year.” 

-Joshua 5:10-12

As soon as they arrive in the promised land, the manna–the miraculous traveling food that showed up every day–stops showing up. On the one hand, perhaps no one protested. They’d probably grown tired of manna every day for years. They were ready to eat “the crops of the land of Canaan.” On the other hand, some may have panicked: What if we can’t find enough food here? What if we need the manna?

This whole book suggests that God does want abundance for his people; he’s bringing them into “a land of milk and honey.” Yet, the promise of abundance does not eliminate the danger of excess. There’s such a thing as too much, too easy, that makes the good life not the good life. Because of our sinful nature, we often take excess as opportunity to be lazy, and laziness can lead to deep dissatisfaction with life.

We would be wise not to wait until we have both this and that. Manna and Canaan. When the salary comes, the free time disappears. When the big move comes, friends disappear. When the baby comes, hobbies disappear. They’re all good seasons. In every season, God provides. That includes this season, and in this season there’s something we might miss later, which we mustn’t miss now.

From the desk:

I spent today leading a preaching section and grading those preaching materials, so I have no quote to share. I have lots of great quotes from the sermons that I’d like to share, but I don’t have permission, so I’ll have to hold back.

That said, I want to reflect on the fact that this preaching section is exactly the kind of thing that I personally mustn’t miss in this season. In helping Dr. LaRue, I’m able to do a huge part of what I’m getting this degree to do: Teach preaching. Sure, I look forward to designing a class, but these are great preachers, and delightful conversations, and energizing workshops. This is an opportunity for which I thank God.

“The chair” is the one Annie aptly chose for the corner of our living room, and it’s where I am committed to daily hearing from God’s Word–the Word I above all else hope to speak to others. “The desk” is the one by my coffee grounds and spare charger (if I get to the library early enough); it’s where I have the privilege of reading and thinking all day, where I intend to learn for others’ sake.


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