I was reading in Ezra this morning, and was just struck at the first few lines, "...the Lord moved the heart of Cyrus king of Persia...". What a mighty God we serve! Because even later after an insecure King Artaxerses shut down the rebuilding to the temple, God then appointed Darius as King and it was better than before. He not only allowed the rebuilding to begin, but paid for all of it! So, as we sit here in Post-election America with some celebrating the victory of Obama, and some bemoaning what that might mean for our nation, I have to wonder....since when do we put our trust in one man? No, no....the LORD moves hearts! And even when it seemingly doesn't go our way....its always going His! Whew!
I was also struck, considering the upcoming holiday, that the people gave "freewill offerings...according to their ability" for the rebuilding of the temple. And, as they did there wasn't instant gratification. It took YEARS and many, many people. But,when only the foundation had been laid, they stopped, "with praise and thanksgiving, they sang to the Lord: 'He is good; his love endures forever'". I've always said that I wished I lived in musical (wouldn't that be a blast to sing to one another all the time? Ha!)! No, but it challenged me, once again, to give freely and accordingly to the Lord.....and to stop in the midst of the basics and the little things and totally abandon myself to give HIM all the glory! It's kind of like when I watch my little 3 year old at Creative Movement class at the YMCA on Monday mornings. Those kiddos have no inhibitions and are running around acting like animals, being so silly! I want to stop and do that in honor of the Lord this Thanksgiving. Okay, maybe not in the same manner....although I'm sure my family would enjoy the show! Ha! And it might prove difficult for me to adopt this habit daily as I should because I'm a type A and we don't like to stop work for anything that seems trivial and not about the end goal.
But, it's not trivial. Because if the Lord is out there moving the hearts of men that seem to be unmoveable, then the least I can do is freely and accordingly offer all that I have and am, and then stop and give thanks and praise for His purposes being carried out. Simple, right? Ha!