First of all, let me say asÂ a preface that this post is not directed at anyone in particular. SO many of your beautiful notes of encouragement and emails of concern and prayers made my day a couple days ago. But they also sparked something in my heart that I want to write to you about and put into words.
I think we have convinced ourselves over the years that to be a Christian in America means that we will lead a charmed life. Along with that charmed life comes prosperity, health, blessings, nice cars and homes, and THAT in itself is a vehicle by which we are somehow more appealing to others when they think about considering Christianity.
We are often shocked when the same maladies that hit others actually hit us, to the point that we reject it, hush it, hide it, scorn it, and/or do all the above to the poor precious folks who are walking through it.
And in doing so, dear friends, we are totally and completely missing the point.
I do not see anywhere in Scripture where asÂ Christians we are supposed to lead a charmed life.
I don’t see promises that accepting Christ leads to wealth, unless we are talking about spiritual wealth.
I don’t find verses that speak to health being the ONLY way a Christian should be, or an outside mark of a TRUE Christian.
Instead, I see quite the opposite.
I see where God inspired and still used a man to change the fate of millions of others even though he had a speech impediment…and a guilty conscience. Â That man’s name was Moses, and honestly, the guy even tried to argue with God because he wanted out of the job of serving Him and doing his calling. He was a murderer, and he fled from the powers that be, even though he had a privileged childhood as the adopted son of the Pharaoh. He learned that following God was living on the edge, that things could change in an instant, that God could use him in SPITE of the things he was struggling with.
Or how about Job? What, as American Christians, do we do with the story of Job? IÂ mean here is a guy who had it ALL together, wealthy beyond belief, blessed with a large family, healthy as a horse……….and all of that gets taken away from him. Not just that, but then he is surrounded byÂ bunch of guys who blame him, a wife who loses her faith, and is covered with sores that plague him day and night so he can not get any rest. Personally, when it comes to the comment I hear so often about “God will not give you any more than you can handle.” my mind flits right back to that part of Scripture.Â You can not tell me, at all, that God did not give Job more than he could handle. He went from the pinnacle of success to scraping his sores with a broken piece of pottery, allÂ while sitting in the dust listening toÂ a bunch of wise-in-their-own-eyes friends.
Or what about Paul, the man who started SO MANY churches, who was the spiritual father to Timothy, who gave his life as a drink offering through shipwrecks, and imprisonments, illness, and stonings? Did God give him more than he could handle? I am pretty sure when Paul was lying on his death bed he was not lamenting that God had allowed brokenness, and injury, suffering and hunger to cloud his days. I am quite sure he was not wishing for a fine house, or better clothing. Instead he was praying for the people he was blessed to serve, writing letters through someone else to the different churches. He was praying for those he had been blessed to touch in his lifetime and travels, and encouraging them to love and serve the God who walked with him through it all, step by step.
God DID give them more than they could handle, and it was for one reason alone. He was teaching them, as He teaches us, that there is a point and time in everyone’s life where you NEED HIM. Where you can not do it alone. Where the bottom is a gross, stinky, muddy, sucking-your-life-awayÂ pit, and there is no light at the top, and in that darkness you realize you are totally, completely , absolutely beyond any place you can do anything for yourself.
He uses those times to show us how much He truly loves us…how much He cares for us, and carries us, how we can draw closer to Him if we are just willing to let go of what WE THINK SHOULD HAPPEN and start living in a supernatural way of trusting Him when all else is falling apart around us.
I know this from experience, and I am humbled at the thoughts of the many, many times I stood in judgment onÂ another broken human being, sitting in the counsel of the pompous friends, shushing their fear and anger and misery because it did not fit MY IDEA of what God did in the lives of others.
I need to read the Word and see who He REALLY is. And in those broken times….in this broken time….to realize that the GodÂ I serve is more than big enough to handle the moments I go through. He is more than strong enough to carry me and teach me. He is more than what I can handle, and stretches me further than I thought was possible.
So don’t let yourself think that God does not care, that He does not insert Himself into our lives when we have reached the end of our ropes.
All he is doing is waiting for the moment when we turn to Him and say:
“I can’t do it alone.”.
“Let go. I can take the rest.”
Blessings to all of you,