July 8 / Proverbs 8 / Matthew 8


 Proverbs 8:6-8

“What I tell you is right.
 What I say is true.
 Everything I say is honest.
 Nothing I say is twisted or false.”
     -Woman Wisdom/LOGOS
Speech is so very important (see the Letter of James in the NT), and wise people emulate Woman Wisdom in this regard. They avoid speech that is characterized as gossip, rumor, slander, and lies. They do not speak at length on what they know little about, and they realize and acknowledge the fact that there is much for which they do not possess plenteous information.
Just the other day I received a text message from someone ridiculing another person, with the unwritten invitation to join in the bashing party. Thankfully, these years of pouring over Proverbs has implanted a resource always at the ready in my frontal lobe. My response, therefore, was simply the reminder that Jesus is always drawing us closer to Himself, is ultimately in control, and who knows what good the Lord has in store. It was genuine, from the heart, and quickly shut down the would-be gossip fest which always does harm instead of good. Praise be to God our Father.
Key in these situations, I feel, is to draw attention to God and back to the person doing the slamming. It’s quite the beautiful buzzkill.
Matthew 8:26
Jesus answered, “Why are you afraid? You don’t have enough faith.” Then Jesus got up and gave a command to the wind and the waves, and it became completely calm.
I want to live my life without fear because I follow the One
who made everything and therefore in control of everything.
The wind obeys my Master. What shall I fear?
Whenever I am scared I imagine Jesus standing before me asking, “Why are you scared, you of little faith?” in a calm, gentle voice and soothing presence.
A life of moment by moment trust and surrender is what He desires of us I believe.
He made everything and can do anything.*
In this story, Jesus broke through the disciples’ fears, and convinced them of the power and presence of God; and THAT is the essence of miracle. That is the desired effect, not fodder for debate on whether it was a natural phenomenon or supernatural or coincidence, etc.
I love Augustine’s comparison of Christ asleep in the boat to faith asleep in the heart. Sometimes it must awakened by a great storm. At some point, we must rouse faith awake by  the desperate cry of, “Wake up, Lord, we are perishing!” Then, there will be a great calm.

*Because of the gift of free will, I do not believe God controls every single thing per se. I think He graciously grants me the the ability to actually choose what I have for breakfast. If everything single thing that happens is God’s willing it to happen, there would be no such thing as free will or choice, or any need to pray His will be done, for that would always be happening. But I do believe that God is in ultimate control, and therefore has, and will have, the last word, and it will be good. I also believe that He dose break in and act in our lives now, especially through prayer–which is our choice to practice of course.

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