Hey friends — sorry I haven’t announced the giveaway winner yet! I got a little swamped with some exciting work I’ll be telling you about soon — but I’ll be back to announce the winner — and another giveaway…hopefully tomorrow! xoxo

We are trusting God for a lot of reasons right now. We’re starting a new business and praying it gets off the ground and provides us with the income we need. A third child will be joining our family in November, and we are trusting we will have what we need to welcome her — both in the physical sense, and in the sense of needing the expanded capacity to parent and love and teach and train three children. We’ll need a bigger car, too.

I’ve been reading the description of how the Temple was built by Solomon, as the Bible tells the story of his beginnings as the king of Israel in 2 Chronicles. I’ve been reading the New Living Translation this time ’round, and it has brought fresh life to the words and helped me better picture things in my mind — the wings of the cherubim in the Most Holy Place that were each 7 1/2 feet wide stood out to me this time. I could somehow visualize with new clarity these other-worldly and remarkable figures presiding over the Ark of the Covenant, each with a wingspan of 15 feet — touching at the center, stretching toward the walls of this sacred room, and with a combined wingspan of 30 feet, they must’ve brought such a glorious weight to the space, as they touched the Temple walls on either side.

That’s some serious interior design.

At the end of 2 Chronicles 3, there’s also this brief mention of two pillars at the Temple entrance:

Then he [Solomon] set up the two pillars at the entrance of the Temple, one to the south of the entrance and the other to the north. He named the one on the south Jakin, and the one on the north Boaz. {2 Chron. 3:17}

Taking a moment to find out what these names mean and why Solomon — who had already asked for and received wisdom from God — had chosen them, I discovered that Jakin probably means “he establishes” and Boaz, “in him is strength.”

And the glorious picture of our humble efforts, interacting with the glorious presence that once sat between those magnificent wings, became just a little bit clearer.

We have the privilege of having a part to play in the efforts to see God’s kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven, for somehow in His infinite wisdom, God saw it fit to create the world this way. And our lives will naturally be full of times when we have work to do in order to achieve any goal — for an Olympic victory or the successful launch of a business, effective parenting or a flourishing kitchen.

But still it is God who establishes these efforts. The God of heaven and earth is intimately acquainted with the companies that will make the Fortune 500 next year, and it is by His hand that all things rise and fall. The way Colossians 1:17 explains it, He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. 

Psalm 90:17 says May the favor of the Lord rest upon us; establish the work of our hands for us — yes, establish the work of our hands.

And the strength that we need to carry out our work on the earth? That comes from Him too.

Isaiah 40:29 : He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.

Isaiah 26:4 :Trust in the Lord forever, for in YAH, the Lord, is everlasting strength.

So these pillars, standing at the entrance to the Temple, the place where the presence of the Lord would dwell and men would come and make great efforts, give many sacrifices and hope to be pleasing to God, these pillars were reminders that really it is all for Him and to Him and by Him and through Him — we will make our efforts, but it is God who establishes. We will try to work, but it’s God who gives us strength.

And I needed that reminder this morning, thinking about all the things we are hoping to do, hoping to achieve, hoping to decide about, hoping to accomplish — the strength for whatever is ahead of us will come from Him, and if He wills for our work to be established, then so it shall be.

From beginning to end, it’s all in His hands. And that’s an encouraging thought.