Friday, August 15, 2008

Fit for the King

I have a recipe called "Cabbage Fit for a King." It's pretty good with cheese, cabbage, sausage and tomatoes. It's a great dish on cold winter evenings that is delicious enough to serve for company or take to a special dinner.

This morning I was reading Joni Eareckson Tada's devotional from her book Pearls of Great Price*. (I received a copy of that book when I was out at Joni Headquarters this summer. It's even personally signed by Joni.) Joni's devotional today has to do with being "ripe for the Kingdom" related to bananas. I could totally track with her description of how she buys bananas. I too buy green bananas. Unlike Joni, I can't stand bananas but other people here like them so I buy them green. I too don't consider them fit for human consumption after they turn all mushy with lots of spots - yuck!

Joni relates the statement about the Scottish Covenanter pastor Richard Cameron who was martyred in 1680 for the bold stand he took against the earthly king of England in defense of his loyalty to the heavenly King of Kings. The statement was that Richard Cameron was "ripe for glory" (aka: "fit for the King"). Cameron and his small band of warriors against the crown fround themselves faced by a far superior force. They were quickly overrun. Cameron prayed just before the final battle that ended his life, "Lord, spare the green and take the ripe." (Apparently Cameron believed God "shops" similarly to how I choose bananas.)

One thing I learned when my dear brother Ed went to heaven is the truth of Job 14:5. Ed was a vital recently retired Marine who had lived an exciting career doing what he loved as an officer in the USMC. He never got a serious scratch from his service to his country as far as I know. Just two weeks after he retired he was out bush-hogging a hillside on his North Carolina farm. The tractor turned over on him and crushed his chest. "(Ed's) days were determined; you (God the King) have decreed the number of his months and have set limits he cannot exceed." (Job 14:5, NIV)

It was not an accident that Saturday afternoon when Ed left the bounds of this earth for heaven. He was "fit for the King"! One of my questions for God when I get to heaven is why was God's clock wound just that way, but the fact remains that it was. Ed's time had been set before the foundations of the earth were laid and he could live not a moment longer nor die a moment sooner.

Ed had learned (sometimes through hard process) to live and love each day in the beauty of God's restoration of Ed's heart. When Ed went to heaven, he was fit for THE KING! His heart is now completely restored.

Living here in our world isn't always easy. It often isn't fun, but God calls us to live each moment ready to live and ready to die (aka: "fit for the King")! It's the way of the restoration heart!

Then at just the right moment - when God Who sees and knows all decrees - we become "fit for the King" in a moment. That's the moment of true and final restoration as well!

*If you would like to read Joni's devotional, go to "Joni and Friends Home Page" and search for "daily devotional" for August 15, 2008.

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