As I was walking through Lutheran Senior Services two mornings ago to my first of three visits, I was glancing through the “Ministering to the Elderly” section of my Pastoral Care Companion, and my eyes stopped at the hymn Praise to the Lord, the Almighty (LSB 790). Stanza 2 particularly caught my attention:
Praise to the Lord, who o’er all things is wondrously reigning.
And, as on wings of an eagle, uplifting, sustaining.
Have you not seen
All that is needful has been
Sent by His gracious ordaining?
I was hoping to share this and the rest of the hymn with one of the three today, but I never got the chance. So, perhaps the Lord meant it for me that day.
O, how often all of us young and old forget God is reigning over this world! The moment evil happens, we think God has lost control. Even worse, we think He is indifferent. No. He uplifts and sustains. All our needs—both small and large—come by His gracious command. We see suffering, but we also see others serve the suffering, which is God’s doing.
Earlier that morning in chapel at Concordia Seminary, President Dale Meyer gave a homily describing functional atheism, which is to believe everything in this world is left up to us. This functional atheism is in all of us, he said. We all think we are responsible for everything. Conversely, all good works belong to God, even those performed by an unbeliever. God uplifts and sustains in the order of His creation. These works do not justify us, but they are the means by which God sends our needs. God indeed deserves our praise.