Summary: “I Am Christian!” A Cry of Thankfulness for God’s Faithfulness In Preserving Our 1) Body, 2) Mind, and 3) Soul.
“I Am Canadian!” It’s too bad a beer commercial had to popularize that slogan. A beer company shouldn’t have to tell us that we have much to be proud of and thankful for in this country. No, Canada isn’t perfect but it’s better than many other countries. At least here we don’t have to hire an armed escort to drive out of town. Nor do we have to fear imprisonment should we disagree with the Prime Minister’s policies. Here we have adequate food, clothing, and shelter. It’s great to be Canadian.
Still, Canada can’t compete with the greatness of God’s kingdom. This kingdom is everlasting and its king takes a personal interest in each one of his subjects. Therefore instead of revelling in the cry: “I Am Canadian!” why not be bold in proclaiming: “I Am Christian!” This is a fitting cry of thankfulness for God’s faithfulness in preserving our body, mind, and soul.
Psalm 145 was written by King David, the strongest king Israel ever had. Of course David hadn’t always been in a position of strength and wealth. Perhaps you remember how he started out life as a shepherd boy working long hours without much pay to protect sheep from marauding bears and lions. Later, he suffered abuse at the hands of the envious employer – King Saul. And then in his golden years one of his own sons tried to take the throne from him. Through it all God was faithful in providing for David’s physical needs. Therefore David wrote, “15The eyes of all look to you, and you give them their food at the proper time. 16 You open your hand and satisfy the desires of every living thing…20 The LORD watches over all who love him ” (Ps. 145:15, 16, 20a).
David was confident that God provided for every living thing. That sounds impossible doesn’t it? How can God care for the six billion people of the world? In fact some would say that he doesn’t and point to famine stricken areas to prove their point. Although certain regions of the world have less food than others, over all there is more than enough food in the world to go around. In fact God uses Canada to this end. Even when we have poor harvests, we still have more food than we can eat. Thankfully our government ships this food to people who need it. God is faithful in his promise to provide, not just for all people, even for every insect and every blade of grass.
Still, there are times when it doesn’t seem as if God provides. Maybe it’s in regard to finding a decent job or a place to live. When things aren’t going the way we would like in regard to these matters we need to keep in mind what David said about when God provides. In verse 15 of our text David said that God gives at the proper time. God knows best when to give us a job. David learned that lesson first hand. It wasn’t until fifteen years after he was anointed king that he actually became king. Even then he had to wait another seven years before he ruled all of Israel. God used that time to train David. Although David spent most of those years on the run from King Saul, God protected and provided for David proving that, even though David himself didn’t have much strength or wealth to protect himself, God did. Later in life David would recall how God had been with him during those tough times. He could be confident then that God would continue to provide for all of his needs. Friends, God still deals with us in the same way. If he hasn’t yet given you what you think you need, be patient. God will give you what you need (although this may not be the same as what you think you need) when you need it.
Still, it’s hard to wait for the Lord. At times even David thought so. In Psalm 55 David wrote: “Listen to my prayer, O God, do not ignore my plea; hear me and answer me. My thoughts trouble me and I am distraught at the voice of the enemy, at the stares of the wicked; for they bring down suffering upon me and revile me in their anger” (Ps. 55:1-3). David begged God to save him from whatever peril he was in but didn’t seem to receive an immediate answer. Did that mean God had abandoned David? No. In our text David admitted that God not only cares for our bodies, he cares for our minds as well. David said: “The LORD upholds all those who fall and lifts up all who are bowed down” (Ps. 145:14).
Just as you shook the heavy snow off of the trees in your yard this past September so that they wouldn’t snap, God holds us up so we don’t snap under the pressures of life. If we do snap, we have only ourselves to blame. It’s like this. On the west coast of Japan, especially in the mountainous areas, every home has a steeply pitched roof – about as steep as our church roof. It has to be this way because they get a lot of heavy wet snow and if you built a house with a flat roof, it would cave in under the weight. A steep pitch, on the other hand, causes the snow to slide off, protecting the house. When we get flat in our spiritual life – flat from not reading God’s Word, flat from not coming to God’s house and receiving the Sacrament, the burdens of life will pile on top of us until we snap under the pressure. We can keep that from happening by staying active in our prayer and devotional life. As we aim our thoughts heavenward towards God’s promises, faith, like a steeply pitched roof, will cause the burdens of life to slide right off of us.