The Word of the Month: Permission — Novella McClung

Ecclesiastes 12:13 “…Have reverence for God, and obey his commands, because this is all that we were created for.”

The word for today is permission. While serving in Salt Lake City we learned that snow was expected on the “benches.” Maybe your first thought was like mine. Where were those benches? Found out they meant foothills of the mountains! Salt Lake City always had snow. The only month it did not snow was July. You may be one of those weird folks who like “feet” of snow. That would be great if y’all did what you are supposed to do – stay home! Snow means a day off from work. You stay home and play in the snow. No one asks me for permission to snow. Life goes on without my permission.

Another happening is that snow means summer has gone. I am a spring, summer and fall person. Winter person I am not. It is depressing. I like color and heat, flowers and heat, heat and heat!!! When winter comes that also means the days are shorter. I am a sunshine person. I love long days and short nights. I probably could live in Alaska during the summer. I would have to move during the long winters. I like light and things growing. It gives me the energy I need to make it through the winter. No one asks me if summer could go away. No one asks for permission to have summer all year long. Life goes on without my permission.

Have you been sick lately? Maybe it requires hospitalization and you are tired of sitting, tired of being in bed, tired of being poked and pricked and prodded and tired of being tired. Did illness ask you if you wanted to be sick? No one asks my permission to be sick. Life goes on without my permission.

Now we have to deal with terrorism. Mankind, including our nation, wages war on the unborn, elderly, over possessions and power. I don’t know of anyone who likes war. I have heard that soldiers pray hardest for peace. They are not afraid, they, like me, wish we didn’t have to live in a world that has such hate for another person. No one asks my permission to hate and kill. Life goes on without my permission.

Lest you think I am depressed, my little litany reminds me of Ecclesiastes. When you read this book you feel depressed. You wonder why it has been included in the Bible. You have enough to deal with without this “eat, drink and be merry because tomorrow you may die” attitude. Then you come to the last chapter in Ecclesiastes. David reminds us that God is in charge. He doesn’t need my permission. Life goes on with His timing. I don’t need to be depressed. I simply need to trust Him. He knows what is going on. He knows I don’t need snow and winter and sickness and war. He knows I am a sunshine person. He knows that if I allow Him to handle it, He can and will do it. The bottom line is if life is treating you badly and you wish you didn’t have to face this or that at this time, know that God is in control and He can handle it. You/we have His permission to let Him carry the load. What a mighty God we serve!

Pray: Lord, you have my permission to handle my life. Remind me daily to let you be in charge. In Your Name, I pray. Amen.

Consider: Where do I need to relinquish control and grant the Lord permission to rule in my life?