June 17, 2010

Drenching Grace

Job 29:1-6

“How I long for the months gone by … when my path was drenched with cream.”
Job 29:2, 6


In this passage Job wistfully delivers several phrases that describe days when he was in his prime. He longs for times gone by when his “path was drenched with cream.” What an unusual and picturesque phrase! All we can do is give thanks when God lavishly drenches our lives with the rich cream of his grace, often through “the word of his grace” (Acts 20:32).

Jesus warns, though, that sometimes “the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful” (Mark 4:19). And it’s true. Sometimes we worry, asking, Do I have enough cream? or What will all this cream do to my cholesterol level? or Is the cream as good as it used to be? And we get taken in by the deceitfulness of riches and extras that cater to our desires as we wonder, Why can’t I have strawberries with my cream? or Why doesn’t God give me flavored cream?

When we focus on the cream—on the extra things, we soon become dissatisfied. How much better to be content with basic milk and daily bread, and if God chooses to drench us with cream, to say heartily, “Thank you, Lord.” Then, as an old catechism puts it, “we can be patient when things go against us, [and] thankful when things go well.”

God of abounding grace, today we give thanks for your word of grace, the cream of life. Teach us also to live joyfully on the daily basics you provide. Through Jesus Christ, Amen.

About the author — Dale Vander Veen

Dale Vander Veen is a retired Christian Reformed pastor who with his wife, Edith, has ministered in California, Washington, and Michigan. They have three married children and six grandchildren. He currently writes a daily e-mail series of devotions.

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