December 14, 2016
As I write this “Ponder,” I am in the process of alerting people that all activities on the campus are canceled this evening due to the weather. It is not an easy call, because right now the storm is not too severe, but the outlook appears worse. It does not seem wise to have children and parents traveling and walking in these conditions.
This is a good reminder to me of how limited we humans are in our knowledge of a lot of things – in this situation the weather. Weather forecasters have progressed from holding up a finger to see whether they feel any wind or rain to using amazing computer models and satellite photos. But in this part of the world, their projections are often questionable. Weather patterns can change without warning.
People in the medical profession have made amazing advances in detecting illness in time to offer treatment. I am grateful for what this means in my life. I realize that, whether giving Creator God credit or not, it is His power and provision that make these advances possible. And with all of the expertise, our ability to discover and help is limited. As a friend said recently about the growing number of years in life expectancy, the death rate is still one-for-one.
After decades of study of the Bible and excellent teaching from scholars, I know more than I used to, but in reality, I do not know very much at all. And after 51 years of marriage, I should know a lot more about being an excellent husband, but in so many ways, I am limited. Attitudes in relationships, and responses to what other people say and do, are better handled than in my younger years, but I still have challenges. My limitations are obvious.
It is good for me to admit my weaknesses because in doing so, I realize God’s strength. Self-worth is important, but self-sufficiency can lead to arrogance if I begin to see myself as more than a mere limited human. The Apostle Paul realized this when he said: “For when I am weak, then I am strong” (II Corinthians 12:10). It sounds like a contradiction, but in context, it is actually a declaration of hope.
Pastor Bill Ehmann