Sunday, June 1, 2008

And if my God is with me, Whom then shall I fear?

Being the "refined" Baptist that I am, very seldom do I get emotional in church. For the second Sunday in a row, my eyes sprung a leak during the song "You Never Let Go". Coincidence that it was sang at the church I attended last week and at a different church I attended this week? Maybe. But regardless, I obviously needed to hear it. Twice. And since things tend to happen in threes, I'm already preparing myself for next Sunday. Now, I'll be honest. All too often I find myself asking God the same question that Janet Jackson put to music years ago: What have you done for me lately? Shouldn't I have outgrown this stage in life by now? I mean, for the love of Peter, Paul and Mary, I've been a Christian for 16 years. I'm stepping out on a limb here, but I don't really think I'm alone in this. I often catch myself wondering why circumstances are the way that they are. I mean, what I have done in my life that is "so wrong" to warrant the fact that I'm 29 and still unmarried without kiddos when all I want to do is send my husband off to work each morning after eating a good hearty breakfast prepared by me and then pick the kids up after school to take them to soccer practice. (ok, so the hearty breakfast part might happen like once before it got really old) Truth is, we can all apply that question to at least one circumstance in our lives and ask it. And when we hear someone else ask it, we think it sounds really silly because most of the time, that person has done absolutely nothing to warrant the situation. What about this though? What if we responded to our circumstances absolutely believing that God is in them? (Um, no I do not come up with this stuff myself...it's what I learned in church today and it spoke volumes to me so hopefully someone else can benefit as well). Think about Joseph...as in the amazing technicolor dreamcoat one, not the one who took his wife who was great with child to pay taxes in Bethlehem. My life is a cakewalk compared to his. He did nothing to warrant his circumstances: being thrown in a well by his brothers, then sold into slavery, then accused of and imprisoned for the very act that he refused to commit. Yet, throughout the story, it tells of how the Lord was with Joseph always as this all unfolded over a period of years. That's the hard part I think. We are too accustomed to instant gratification. When I pray about something, I think that from the time I lay down to sleep after saying Amen until the sun rises the next morning is plenty of time for God to hear it and answer it, right? (No, I'm not that naive) And then when He doesn't answer our prayers in our time, we think He's doing nothing so we decide it's best to take control of the situation. Or maybe that's just me. But then I had another thought that put it all into perspective. Instant coffee is ok, but it's nowhere near as good as the real stuff that takes a little time to brew. (so I've been told, I'm not a coffee drinker) So if we'll wait for the good stuff in terms of coffee, shouldn't we be content to wait for the good stuff in terms of life?

4 comments:

allison said...

You've gotten really good at the thought provoking/convicting posts. Thanks for sharing your heart and your life. I'm totally with you in the "what has God done for me lately" though in a different stage of life there are still and always will be, circumstances that I will never understand and will have to exercise much patience in waiting for the Lord's goodness to play out. All that to say, I totally relate.

Jenny said...

Oh my dear friend. It appears that God has been teaching us the same things, though in different circumstances. The truth is, I've done everything to warrant a worse life than I have. It is only by God's grace that I can boast anything good. People seem to quote Rom. 8:28 in their efforts to say that life will be just grand. But we are never assured that "all things" will be pleasant. I really hate being patient, but it always turns out much better than I could have ever imagined.

Josh & Donna said...

i'm starting to worry that you've secretly become a female pastor in athens and are just too scared to tell your baptist blog friends. :o) i LOVE the coffee illustration. gonna remember it cause i like coffee and the instant is NASTY!

Heather said...

Bahahahahaha, Donna. Me? A pastor? Bahahaha. That's the funniest thing I've heard all month.