Signature Sentiment

I have received full payment, and more. I am well supplied, having received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent, a fragrant offering, a sacrifice acceptable and pleasing to God. 19 And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. 20 To our God and Father be glory forever and ever. Amen.

21 Greet every saint in Christ Jesus. The brothers who are with me greet you. 22 All the saints greet you, especially those of Caesar’s household.

23 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.

 – Philippians 4:18-23

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Great White Heron | Anahuac NWR | May 2020

Several years ago the president of The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod began including a Bible reference under his signature. His was Jude 24-25. It reads, “Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.” That’s a great signature verse!

I use two different verses, depending on my email account. For my personal emails I use Genesis 1:3-4, “And God said, ‘Let there be light.’ And there was light. And God saw that it was good.” That verse is a cinch for photographers to appreciate. In photography, it’s all about the light. 

For church emails, I use Philippians 4:19: “And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” This is my personal reminder, a deeply held belief, and aspirational conviction. If I were to identify one area where I struggle inwardly it is believing that God will take care of me. 

This is sad. For I have almost 7 decades experience of God providing for my needs and more. I’ve never missed a meal. I’ve never had to skip a car payment. I’ve never lacked for meaningful work (once I finished seminary). I’ve never wondered whether I’d be able to find a place to sleep at night. I am so very well cared for. God has supplied all my needs…and more!

So why do I worry? Why does anyone worry? What is it that works in our souls to bring us to worrisome anxiety about how we’ll make it through the day, or the next week? Why, if we have the promise of God today, and the salvation of God for all eternity, do we ever worry? Why do we wonder about being taken care of?

Most likely it has to do with the belief that we have to take care of ourselves. And then who gets the credit? We do. Who gets the glory? We do. And who is not able to pray, from our heart, “To our God and Father be glory forever and ever. Amen.” So we repent. We abandon the false belief that the weight of our world is on our shoulders. We rely on God, and we hold to his promises. And we sign our emails with some sort of witness to our dependance on him and our desire for his glory. That’s a worthy signature sentiment!

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