Providence, necessity, and mercy

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As we go through Isaiah for our Lord's Day series, I lately have been emphasizing the importance of the Sabbath. Isaiah 56 and 58 practically demand it.

So I've been pondering a lot on the nature of our duties tied in with "calling the Sabbath a delight." As noted by Chris in this forum, we are to be active in our observance. Our Lord's yoke is easy, but we must remember it is his yoke nonetheless. Part of that are works of necessity and mercy.

We are going through a heat wave. The National Weather Service has been issuing warnings. The usual hand wringing occurs. When we got home from church, the outside temperature was 110F. I kind of like it--dry Eastern Washington heat. Inside our house, with its central air, was a pleasant 79F. Time to contemplate God's goodness, maybe sing some psalms.

But by 3 PM it seemed odd. The house felt stuffy. I checked the temp and it said 84F inside. Hmm. Look at the thermostat--set for 79. Hmm.

Check circuit breakers, OK. Now the house is 87.

My dear wife, who suffers dementia, was hot. She opened up a bunch of windows. I closed them and tried to convince her that the 110F outside was worse than the 87 inside. No go. I had to figure out why the A/C wasn't working.

Out into the blast, I gathered tools and a meter. I needed gloves to remove the sheet metal panels because they were so hot. Sun, God's glorious burning sun, beat down on my shoulders. On the south side of our house the thermometer read 113 in the shade. But I sat there in the sun with my things trying to figure out what was wrong.

My digital voltmeter got so hot I had to take it inside and put it into the fridge for a bit. It was displaying nonsense.

After about 30 minutes I diagnosed the problem. An old inline fuse had blown. I noted that the condenser was old and probably needed replacing, and that likely caused a bit of surging when the compressor kicked on. Something for tomorrow to deal with.

So, for now, the A/C runs and gradually is winning out over the heat load. The sun is getting low on the horizon and the temp is now around 104F. Another glorious day on God's earth, all in all.

As I sat out there in the heat, I was sweating hard. It felt good. I thanked God for the resources he gave me, and for the providential reminder that he is in control. He taught me something. I had sort of fallen into a formulaic checklist of mercy and necessity. If I were on my own, I probably would have just poured cold water on my head and waited until Monday. But I couldn't ask my wife to do that. And, as I thought of it, if one of my people told me they had this problem on this day, I would have been over there with my tools immediately. I know that, because I did that for a dear brother who had a heart condition a few years ago.

We always wrestle with pride. Today I learned that I could wrestle with pride even in how to delight in God's Sabbath: Should I be stoic or not? May he have mercy on us all, and may he be glorified.
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