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Day 65: Living Daily in Reality: The Work of Filling the world

by Ernest O'Neill

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When you look out on a hillside filled with daffodils in the spring or a river with salmon leaping upstream or a sky full of flocks of birds, you're filled with a sense of plenty and generous provision. It's easy to think that someone or something has spilled gifts of life and beauty everywhere - this is what we've been saying - that our maker has built into the universe feelings of generosity and giving that is part of his plan for your life. You are here so that the creator's son can give things through you that he has planned to give through no one else. You yourself don't have that life, but you have exactly the right personality and abilities for your maker's son to give them through you - that's why you're here!

Like so many of us, you find that hard to believe; so you try to get things rather than give things. As you try to accumulate a little money and a few possessions to "keep the wolf from the door", you struggle into a kind of frustrated self-preservation until some financial or physical disaster occurs and your whole house-of-cards collapses. Sometimes help seems to come from nowhere unexpectedly - or - especially when you lose someone in death - you tap a source of strength that you cannot explain. Often our creator's son shows his hand in times of deprivation when we are at our wit's end - and we begin to realize that there are powers and ways that we've never known before.

In experiences like this when the world's resources seem insufficient we are driven beyond ourselves and our own resourcefulness; we reach out in desperation and touch a life that comes direct from the divine person in whom we were created. So our maker has carefully planned our lives so that we stumble into situations that seem to have no answers or insufficient provisions; only thus can we be driven to see that we are inadequate in ourselves. Many of us are so dependent on ourselves or the world of things that we have to be driven beyond our own abilities: only then do we reach out in desperation for the life that Paul mentioned "I live - yet not I - but Christ lives within me".

It's then - at times when everything seems hopeless - that our Creator's Son makes us aware of Himself and fills us with his own sense of adequacy and life. This is the moment when we get up off the ground, dust ourselves off and rise into the new life that surrounds us all every moment - or we pretend it's our own: then we have to go through it all again. This is why we've seen so many businesses and nations rise from apparent disaster and loss when there seemed no practical means of deliverance. Out of this kind of human extremity arises God's opportunity to express the power of his Son within us. So you yourself see that the maker's son "existed before all things and in him all things hold together". The simple fact that we ourselves are tiny specks on a huge sphere spinning and orbiting through huge spaces all maintained by no visible power induces us to relax in full confidence of our maker supplying all our needs. So we begin to trust and depend on his giving us what we need while we pass on to the world all that it needs.

Gradually we settle into the reality that the creator's son within us produces all the energy and strength and wisdom that we need for him to do the works that he has done already and that he does indeed "work in us both to do and to will of his good pleasure" so that "he works and we work also". This fills us with the confidence that enables us to understand his ways and to do his works that continue to fill the world and complete his creation in his way.

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