In the August 2003 issue of the Archives of Neurology it was estimated that over 4.5 million Americans suffer from Alzheimer’s disease. From 1980 until 2003 this number doubled. Today the count is over 5.5 and rising. This increase is attributed to the rise in our elderly population. But it also prompted me to wonder about spiritual Alzheimer disease.
Calvary Chapel founder, Chuck Smith, has often said that he loves to cup a handful of sand and pour it slowly to the ground, watching it pile up like an hour glass, contemplating the passage in Psalm 139, that God’s thoughts towards us are more than the sands of the sea. That is a lot of thinking! How often we wonder if God has forgotten us altogether, only to see Him pop into our circumstances, rescue our emaciated souls and then chide us a bit for our lack of faith.
God’s many thoughts toward His people assure us that we can acknowledge Him in all our ways (Proverbs 3:5,6), that all things work together for our good (Romans 8:28), that our days are fashioned for us before they happen (Psalm 139:16), that He will be our guide right into the grave (Psalm 58:11) and that, even now, a place is being prepared for us in heaven (John 14:1).
Maybe that is why He gets a bit testy when we, on whom all of these glories are showered, ignore him in our pleasures, despise him with our offerings, dismiss Him in our decisions, and forget Him “days without number.”
Actions have consequences. God is not a petty lover who punishes those who do not sufficiently requite His love, for who among us is able to give back to God what He has done for us? But God knows that He is our life and breath and health. God knows that He is our destiny and our joy. He knows that apart from Him we will sow seeds of the flesh that will flourish for a short season but lead to ruin, grief and desperate sorrow.
How He loves us and desires our fellowship! Oh that the inclination of our hearts would always be to praise and adore the One who adopted us into His family, Who channeled the riches of His limitless resources in our direction from the foundations of the Earth!
We are like jugglers wildly tossing glass plates into the air, afraid that our act will end in broken shards if we do not watch with attentive care. It seems counter intuitive to stop what we are doing and call upon the name of the LORD, because to do so requires a sudden shift of focus. It takes an act of faith to simply lift up a cup and drink in celebration to the One who gives us the ability to juggle.