spilled rice and Revelation 7

This morning I have been working on my sermon for Sunday and just a few minutes ago I realized that I was getting pretty hungry. I have a hard time focusing on anything when my stomach is growling. So I walked over to the kitchen and found my leftovers that I had to warm up, put them in a bowl that was nearly overflowing and started the microwave.   After two minutes the temp seemed almost perfect and believe it or not, every one of the 1,000’s of grains of rice stayed in the bowl. And I was feeling pretty good…   As I was walking away with my lunch I realized that I may need a napkin, so I carefully reached in the cupboard for the napkin and then it happened….   The bowl slipped in my hand and rice spilled everywhere….at least that’s what it looked like. As soon as I felt it slip, my mind began to race and in a millisecond, I thought about the huge mess and the loss of my lunch.   It took only a few seconds to assess the situation and realize that it wasn’t nearly as bad as I had just imagined. So, I set the bowl on the counter (I have attached a pic…b/c its worth a 1,000 words =)) and decided that I better clean up the mess.   There was rice on the counter and rice on the floor, however there was a lot more rice still in the bowl. Granted, I had to take a minute or so to clean it up, but all in all it was not really a big deal at all.   As I look back over the “accidents” that have happened in my life, this lunchtime story seems to relate. Often when the situation is revealed, I immediately imagine the worst case scenario and then allow the facts to reconcile my reality.   In my lunchtime story, it wasn’t a total loss and the worst case scenario was a big mess to clean up. However, sometimes in life, we have more to lose than a bowl of rice and so we have more anxiety.   So how do you deal with the accidents of life?   Last week we looked at Revelation 6 which reveals the first 6 of 7 seals that communicate a  time of unprecedented disaster and terror that is yet to come in the future. In fact the term “accident” doesn’t come close to describing the intensity of the situations.   This week we will see that Revelation 7 forms a parenthesis between the 6th and 7th seal to answer the question, “Who can stand?” This chapter demonstrates that even in the midst of this awesome display of God’s wrath, the mercy of God is still present.   People from every nation, tribe, people and language (this includes us) who have been redeemed by the blood of the Lamb will stand. In fact, we will be singing and worshipping as we stand. It will be an incredible time of proclaim unashamedly that “salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.”  When it comes to splattered rice or other problems in life that can raise our level of anxiety, we have hope!   When it comes to natural disaster and wars, we have hope!   When it comes to our future destiny, we have hope! For now, clean up your spills and cool your jets, God is in control!   I hope your day is great! Troy



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