I make my living with assurances. There are many different names used. Examples include confirmations, affirmations, assurances, letters, and standbys. Everything pivots on the need for validation, assurance, and confidence between one party and another. It isn’t that we don’t trust. We trust; we simply require verification.
Ironically, the word trust doesn’t mean what one might think. There is little action without a confirmation, conditions, and independent verification. With these additional elements, we will permit (trust) others within certain conditions. Bankers have a simply description for these types of actions, services, and products; risk mitigation. We like mitigation tools. We understand the need for their existence. They provide comfort, peace.
I often don’t trust God. I need assurances. An explicit letter of conditions would be nice. We could skip an ambiguous document with stories of God. Why can we have something that passes legal muster?
There have been examples where God reached out and provided a sign to those believing and looking. In one case God told Hezekiah exactly what was going to happen. “‘This is your confirming sign, confirming that I, God, will do exactly what I have promised. Watch for this: As the sun goes down and the shadow lengthens on the sundial of Ahaz, I'm going to reverse the shadow ten notches on the dial.’ And that's what happened: The declining sun's shadow reversed ten notches on the dial.” (Isaiah 38.7, 8)
Experience has revealed something others have seen as well. A contract often provides the rationale for not acting, delivering, or being there. A promise is different. A promise is a simple, easy to understand, personal commitment.
God isn’t interested in getting out of obligations, Divinity is fully, unconditionally, and completely committed. Your life and mine can be the confirmation of this promise. Paraphrasing another writer, God didn’t wait until we were ready. God acted, got everything prepared. When we open our door to God, we find God has already opened everything for us. We are right where we need to be – free, accepted, standing tall, surrounded by peace, children of God!
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