Links Daily Devotional

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How Great, How Close

Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints. (Psalm 116:15, NIV)

How do you see the golf course spread out before you? As players, our tendency is to see the course widely, from tee to green. Over there are large trees, across the way a bunker fingering into the fairway. There is water skirting this hole, deep rough left of the next green’s 10-foot drop-off, and a redan design to the nine’s closing hole. Big features, that’s what we see. Places we want to play from, and place we don’t.

A golf course superintendent sees all that, too. He must recognize the strategic purpose of the course’s design elements, maintaining the integrity of the architect’s work and the challenges expected by those who play the game.

But the superintendent must also see things far more closely. He knows the makeup of the sand in the bunkers. He is aware of the varieties of trees that line the fairway, and how they must be tended in order for the grass below them to grow properly. And oh, that grass! Say you notice the big features, sure, but then walk onto a green poorly tended and you’ll raise another gripe. Perhaps more than anything, a superintendent must know the grass he is growing, the substructure beneath it, and the effects of water and weather from season to season and day to day.

Our God is like this. He knows the broad sweep of history. This knowledge fits into the category we call “sovereignty,” whereby God orders the flow of his purposes as they fulfill his ongoing plan. We each depend on him to understand the same about the arc of our lives. Before he made us, he saw how we would live from beginning to end—how he would gift us and how we would serve him.

But God sees so much more than the big picture. He looks into the details of our lives, from birth to death. How is it that the psalmist could write that the death of the saints are precious to God? Because God knows each one; his mercy extends to them individually in his love. This is not some broad-brushed “I love you.” It is the love of true recognition, where God sees us each as much as he sees us all.

The superintendent’s care extends to each blade of grass. The Lord’s mercy reaches into the life of every last child of his.

Jeff Hopper

November 23, 2012

Copyright 2012 Links Players International

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