Every so often a father hears his child say something that simply melts his heart. In moments like this, such praise is both so uplifting and endearing that words can scarcely describe the pleasure that he derives from them.
An excellent “case in point” occurred to me last week as I arrived home from having been gone all day on various errands that I had completed. I pulled into my driveway, grabbed my bag, and exited my van only to be greeted by my children who burst out of the doorway.
I was glad to see everyone and pleased to see that they were evidently glad to see me as well. “Hi, dad!” (or variations of it) came from each my sons and my three-year-old daughter ran to me with a huge smile on her face. “Daddy! Daddy!” she called out, and then she cried out something that I didn’t quite hear.
“What did you say, honey?” I asked as I scooped her up in my arms.
“I said, ‘You’re not stupid after all!’” she repeated as she flung her arms around my neck and squeezed.
For a moment, I stood there, returning her hug, yet I shot a questioning gaze at my sons. They stood there gaping at me with puzzled expressions on their faces. My wife, Diane, who had come out just in time to hear the perplexing proclamation of praise from our daughter, shrugged her shoulders as she giggled. “I honestly have no idea where that came from,” she said. I looked back at the boys who merely duplicated her shrug with amused looks on their faces.
Well, all I can say is that it’s nice to know that I’m not as stupid as I might appear. I take this episode as an amusing reminder to remember that I’m not necessarily as smart as I’d like to think I am, but perhaps not so foolish (in the grand scheme of things) as some might think who measure wisdom in worldly ways.
The fact of the matter is that the majority of the world considers the admonitions presented us in the Bible as being backward and archaic. A recent comment in the last couple of weeks resonated that sentiment in a stinging criticism of Christians who take their faith seriously. “Why are you citing the Bible?” the critic wondered. “It was a simple book, written by a simple people, for simple times.”
But as I reflected on that comment, I wondered from what planet its speaker had just emigrated. Only deluded pride could have us honestly believe that human nature has evolved to any extent beyond what it was two thousand years ago. The human condition is pretty much the same as it was then with the same needs and the same idiosyncrasies characterizing it. People still crave love, yet battle loneliness. They still seek security, but are accosted by fear. They still strive for more, yet continue to find that the awful emptiness inside is unsatisfied.
Is the Bible a simple book? Perhaps, if we mean by “simple” that it is straightforward. Was the Bible written for a simple people? Maybe, but if so, then its because we remain a simple people who haven’t learned a whole lot from the accumulation of countless mistakes over the course of a couple of dozen centuries, in spite of our supposed wisdom. Was the Bible written for a simple time? On that note, I definitely must disagree. There wasn’t anything simple about the days and times in which the Scriptures were written as empire followed empire, armies stormed first one way and then another, and civilization usurped civilization. And while there isn’t anything simple about life today, wars, terrorists, Jihad, natural disasters, economic upheavals, and so forth, all have their ancient counterparts – no less grisly or horrible because the numbers on their calendars had fewer digits.
So even if it is true that the Bible was written for men and women of two thousand years ago, how much more is our need today of its straightforward invitation from God to know Him and His ways? How critical in our day and age is the knowledge that Somebody knows what’s going on and knows what we are to do about it all!
I realize, of course, that many will continue to discount God’s Word, writing it off as irrelevant or outdated. But then again, God realizes this too. After all, the Bible itself says that
“The message of the Cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God…. Where is the wise man? Where is the scholar? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know Him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe…. We preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than man’s wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man’s strength” (1 Corinthians 1:18, 20-21, 23-25 NIV).
There is hastening towards us a day in which there will be a final reckoning on who was right and who was wrong all along. In the end, eternity itself will be the showcase for what was truly a wise outlook on life and what was not. The Bible speaks of those things being done in obedient faith to Jesus Christ as being the very things that will endure into the world of the everlasting. So wouldn’t it be a good idea to sort it out now? Wouldn’t it be grand if we each today would run to the Father’s arms and cry out, “You knew what You were doing all along! You were right about everything!”
If we would only humble ourselves enough to go to Him, repenting of our going our own way and confessing that He is Lord, we then would discover just how graceful and ready He is for us to come into His presence!