God loves fast and slow

(Paul Merrill writes here every First Friday)

Since I was a little kid, I always thought God valued what was long-lasting more than what was quickly over. Lately, I have been seeing that God lives and breathes in both worlds.

In Matthew 6, Jesus says, “And why worry about your clothing? Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you.”

God made mountains – and flowers. Both are beautiful and can cause us to praise their creator.

God did many amazing things for the Israelites, as He has for me during my lifetime. But like the Israelites, I easily forget those His wonderful actions and interventions in my life. So God asked them to build memorials (piles of stones) that their future generations could look at and remember (or be explained) the ways God had worked. Those altars were long-lasting ways to remember God’s power. That was important for the times when they did not see His actions.

On different piles of stones, God asked his followers to burn sacrifices to honor Him. Those actions were very short-term. But God enjoyed those sacrifices and what they represented. The quick and very much ephemeral benefit of those sacrifices somehow pleased God. He wanted (and wants) both short-term and long-term obedience. And He enjoys both short-term and long-term beauty.

So what does this mean for our lives? We can remember that God is worthy of our devotion, as He wants both our long-lasting, more expensive gifts as well as our smaller, easier short-term acts of worship. God wants every part of us.

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3 thoughts on “God loves fast and slow

  1. I for one loved your view on fast and slow. I would also like to point out big and little. I recently had right hand surgery (predominant hand) and was forced to occupy myself with jigsaw puzzles (the only thing I could do creatively with left hand) This was huge for me as I am a musician, artist, as well as a “speed” typist at work) So sitting there doing the puzzles was a healing process. I found that God was interested in my little puzzle pieces as much as he was the bigger things in my life. When I would get in a “stumped” position, I would pray and miracles would occur. God showed me that if he so interested in my puzzle completions, then there should be no worry about the future of my bigger things, i.e. health, employment, roof over my head, food on my table.
    Blessed be God and his Son Jesus Christ. I truly feel loved and watched over.

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