In the Office: Great Is Thy Faithfulness

A friend of mine recently loaned a book to me that’s titled The Holy Wild by a pastor named Mark Buchanan. Building on A. W. Tozer’s rather famous suggestion that “What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us,” the book offers a series of reflections on the character of God; and the chapter that I read last night focused on God’s faithfulness.

Buchanan begins by calling our attention to the beauty of a single leaf. He then notes:

God makes these season after season, one after the other, billions upon billions, from the Garden to the New Jerusalem, most for no eye but His own. He does it faithfully, or else I would not live to tell about it, or you to hear. Perhaps of all my many sins against heaven, this ranks with the worst: Until this moment, I have never thanked God for a single leaf.

Which is the problem with faithfulness: We hardly notice it. Faithfulness is, by definition, the predictable, the habitual, the sturdy, the routine. It is the evidence of things seen, but seen so often we’ve grown blind to them. It is the substance of things expected, expected so unthinkingly that we now take them for granted.

We live amidst surpassing wonders, but most of it has become run-of-the-mill. We dwell among endless miracles that, repeated day after day, have grown tedious. We are lavished with gifts that we now expect or ignore or begrudge. Faithfulness bores us.

Mark Buchanan, The Holy Wild, pp. 54-55.


psalm-36-5Today, of all days (perhaps because it happens to be my birthday), I don’t want to be guilty of being “bored” by God’s faithfulness. My life, I’ll admit, is relatively ordinary; and it’s lived in a world that is crammed full with challenges that are personal, social, political, congregational, environmental, and so on. But in the midst of it all, how can I not be filled with joy and gratitude? I have a wonderful and talented wife and daughter. I serve a church family that is more gracious to me and more patient with me than I could possibly deserve. I’ve been blessed by so many friends and colleagues and teachers — most of whom I don’t get to see as often as I’d like — but all of whom have made my life deeper and more meaningful. And perhaps best of all, I trust that I am loved by a God whose purpose may sometimes remain beyond my knowing, but whose grace is sufficient for the invitation to follow Him that each day affords.

Buchanan concludes his chapter with this:

There are actually only three things God promises with a guarantee. In these three things, God is always true to Himself. These three things are the bedrock of His faithfulness. God is faithful to forgive our sins if we confess them…God is faithful to make us holy and blameless before Christ…And God is faithful to get us home. God alone made a way for you to live with Him forever. None of it depends on you. It all depends on the God who promised. And He is always true to Himself.

May you be upheld by His faithfulness today.

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