A newspaper reported an unusual incident at a fast-food restaurant. The manager had put the day's cash in a paper bag for deposit that night, but an attendant mistook it for an order and gave it to a couple at the drive-through window.
Over the last 50 years I have often reminded bereaved people of the wonderful truth that a glorious resurrection awaits all who believe on Jesus Christ. But sometimes grieving people are so overwhelmed with their loss that they cannot rejoice in the prospect of a far-off-in-the-future reunion.
One afternoon I was deeply engrossed in a book. With the radio and TV off, the entire house seemed quiet. Suddenly my surroundings went dead, as if something alive had departed. And it had—the electricity had gone off! I had forgotten that some electrical appliances emit a barely audible hum. I had grown so accustomed to it that I had lost my awareness of it.
As long as we have had our family cabin on Piatt Lake in Michigan's beautiful Upper Peninsula, Lyle Hopper has been caretaker for our Christian association of property owners. Now Lyle is nearing retirement, and I was thinking about the years of work he and his wife Pauline have given the lake community.
Meter readers brave wind, rain, dogs, and dark basements to check gas, electric, and water usage in homes. But in some cities today, gas meters have radio transmitters. Mobile vans equipped with radio receivers and computers can collect readings by simply driving by. While a good meter reader could check 250 meters a day, a van cruising residential streets can cover almost 100 times more in the same period.
The story is told of a man visiting a farmer who was going through hard times. He wondered what had gone wrong, so he asked the farmer, "Did you have a poor harvest this year?" The response quickly came back, "I didn't have any!"
Jeremiah watched intently as the workman shaped the clay. All seemed to be going well until the potter saw a flaw in what he was making. But instead of throwing the clay away, he reworked it until he had produced a perfect vessel.
Most celebrations of national independence mark the day of final victory in the struggle for freedom. Perhaps it's a mark of our American brashness that we celebrate the adoption of our Declaration of Independence, which occurred 7 years before the final treaty ending the Revolutionary War (September 3, 1783). The Declaration's adoption on July 4, 1776, burned the final bridges of Britain's authority over America. It was a bold and risky start. We still celebrate the beginning.
As we read through the Bible, Genesis 5 sounds like the records kept down at the county courthouse. Name, age at death, survivors. But in this terse list, we are suddenly confronted with a man who stands out from everyone else. "Enoch walked with God; and he was not, for God took him" (v.24).
When we suffer pain and loss, we sometimes ask the question, "If the Lord is with us, why has all this happened?" While the Bible tells us the future of human history, it supplies no specific explanation of the events that take place daily in our lives. Sometimes when tragedy strikes we understand a little, but as a rule we are unable to fathom the mystery of disease or accidents.