(Every once in awhile I’m going to take a different direction and do something serious. A moment to really take something outside of humor. I hope you enjoy it.)
Recently as I was driving back home to Texas I was thinking about the coming months and the amazing things that God might be sending my way. Then I thought of those prayers we say as Christians that go something like this: ” God if you so choose to bless me in (fill in the blank), You are so amazing, but Lord if You choose not too then all the more I will praise because You know what is best and I will trust you.” It’s a good prayer and should be what we pray, but is it a sincere prayer? I think so many times in our lives as Christians we do or say something not because we completely trust God but because we know that it is what the “good” Christian is suppose to say or do. I’ll be honest, I will be pretty sad if the things I’m praying and hoping to happen, and asking God to do, do not come to fruition. But is our love for Christ so conditional upon our “happiness”? Think about it. I will be over joyed at what God does in my life, but if its not what I want will I still have that abounding love and joy in Christ? In my disappointments? All Christians would like to say that about themselves, that even when things don’t go our way we still have the same zeal, passion, and love for Christ as we would if we got exactly what we hoped for. I know that I can say my passion and love waivers. Maybe its just me but there are definitely times when I feel I am not as passionate towards Christ, or have that same love towards Christ that I once had. Is the love we have for Christ dependent upon our happiness and what we get? Are we like the spoiled child who ask for more and more and when we don’t get EXACTLY what we want we pout and tell God we hate him? I can only think that so many times we can not even fathom what God has up His sleeve.
My mind is drawn back to Luke 23:34 “Jesus said ‘Father forgive them for they do not know what they are doing.’ And they divided up His clothes by casting lots.” How could those soldiers even have guessed the man who hung on that cross, the one who’s very clothes they were fighting over, because thats what they wanted, would be their only hope, their Savior, the one who loves and knows them more then anyone in all creation? Or in Job 38:1-2 “Then the Lord answered Job out of the storm. He said: ‘Who is this that darkens my counsel with words without knowledge?’ ” How can we even know what God has planned? How can we know His forbearance and foreknowledge?
Yes, we can take comfort and solace in the knowledge and wisdom of God. But what really is the clincher for us? The reason we should truly and sincerely love God in times when we don’t get what we want, or what we think we want, or when we don’t understand? It is when He says “I love you”. He declared it at the Cross, in Gethsemane, and through Creation. This was manifested in front of me this past week. I had a good friend die. My first thought as always when I find out I have to were my suit and tie is, why? In Philippians 1:21-23 Paul says “…but to die is gain…” and that “…I desire to be with Christ, which is far better;”. You want to know why Paul says that? Do you know what makes those statements true? It is because He says so proudly that He loves us (I’m typing slower and hitting the keys harder hoping that the emphasis will transfer into the words). This is enough. The reason I should still rejoice and love God even when I don’t get what I want or even when I don’t understand the loss of a close brother in Christ, I know this: He loves us. More so on the individual He loves me unconditionally and for that I can love Him always. I saw that kind of trust in the family. Knowing that in their moment of pain they can trust God. That was a testimony to me.
So lets bring it back, we can pray that pray in all sincerity that even when things hit the fan we can still rejoice in God because in those moments of pain and anguish and anger and disappointment, we know that He loves and DIED for us. I can not stress that enough in my life. So we, I, praise Him all the more. Not because that is what I should do or have to do, but what I am compelled to by the love of Christ. Because He loves me I can rejoice in everything. Even in the pain of the death of my friend. Through my tears and my pain of loss I can rejoice because He loves me and he loves Chuck. He loves my friend Chuck and that is why he now stands next to Christ.