If you were to ask people around here two weeks ago, what would you be doing on Labor Day? What would the answer be? Hanging out by the beach perhaps. Mow the grass. Grilling out. Lounging around. What if you would have asked people in Houston, Rockport or Port Aransas or any of those surrounding areas two weeks ago, and ask them what would they be doing on Labor Day? Then asked them today, what they actually did this last weekend, you would have had totally different answers. I think this shows how we all get really comfortable with our lives, and the day to day routine of going to school, coming home, and relaxing on the weekends. We are pretty happy with how things are going. Then all of a sudden, everything we know is threatened.
Psalm 1 starts off this beautiful book of the Bible with the word “blessed”. It is interesting because I have heard that word “blessed” used a lot around here lately. It is amazing how a Category 4 hurricane quickly redefines what it means to be blessed. Things like a hurricane, an unexpected death, sudden illness, all quickly remind us that we rely on ourselves so much and that things are really out of our control. The first question in the Heidelberg Catechism question is, “what is your only comfort in life and in death?” Your comfort. The only one. Here is the answer:
That I, with body and soul, both in life and in death, am not my own,
but belong to my faithful Savior Jesus Christ,
who with His precious blood has fully satisfied for all my sins,
and redeemed me from all the power of the devil;
and so preserves me that without the will of my Father in heaven
not a hair can fall from my head;
indeed, that all things must work together for my salvation.
This is our comfort. I do not belong to myself. I belong to Christ. He has redeemed me from all the power of the devil and He preserves me. He protects me. He works all things together for my salvation.
The catechism goes on to ask so if this is true in your life, what is the chief thing, the #1 thing you and I should be doing? The answer may surprise you. The #1 thing we should do if Christ is our only comfort in life and death, is pray. Prayer is the #1 way we show we are grateful and thankful to God. It keeps our mind and heart looking towards heaven and away from the trappings of this world around us. It reminds us what true blessing is. Prayer should be a daily, ceaseless part of all of our lives. A person who truly knows they are blessed is one who time and again falls on their knees in prayer because they understand how desperate they need God and are eternally grateful for what He freely gives each and every day. As desperately as we cried out to God during Harvey, we are to cry out to Him each day and do it from a heart of thankfulness because if you know Jesus, you are blessed. If you lost everything in the world but still had Jesus, you have everything.