Monday, April 29, 2019

I Didn't Sign Up

I Didn't Sign Up
April 29, 2019
John 21:18  "'Very truly I tell you, when you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.'"

I found myself discouraged by my situation this past week and having a conversation with the Lord about it.  The conversation went like this.  "Lord, I didn't sign up for this when I agreed to be a Christian."  He let me speak the foolish sentence, to which he replied, "Yes, you did."  That was pretty much the whole conversation.  He spoke to me in a somewhat sarcastic tone, as if to tell me I should know better than to suggest such a silly thought.  (If the Lord never speaks to you with sarcasm in His voice, you're probably a better listener than me.)  He wasn't trying to insult me, but reminding me of what I already know in my heart to be true, reminding me of all I have learned in life and through Scripture.  He was telling me that my life, once I handed it over to Him so long ago, was and is not my own.  He was reminding me of who was truly in control over my situations, especially the situation I thought should be different.

Scripture is rife with stories and scenarios where the protagonist undergoes a heavy burden, only to find the Lord was still involved, possibly even causing the situation for an intended benefit.  If you don't think the Lord causes difficult situations in life, then you don't know the Lord.  He causes OR allows anything and everything that happens to you and it is always for a good reason.  The Lord isn't into pointless suffering; it is for your personal benefit or His.  Either way, you can rest assured there WILL be a point, possibly only revealed to you in Heaven.  Your job, is to accept what happens to you in life with the understanding you will allow it to shape you for good or use it for His glory.  I will admit, as with my conversation with the Lord this past week, we will seldom, if ever, understand the situation DURING the situation.

What happens to you in your life is never beyond His reach or His ability to redeem.  Haman tried to frame Mordecai, but Mordecai was lifted to honor.  King Saul tried to kill David, but David was given the throne.  Satan tried to destroy Job, but Job was blessed.  The Lord allowed a man to be born blind, but the Lord restored his sight so the world could see the Lord's authority.  Jesus was tortured and murdered, but Jesus ended up with the keys to eternal life.  The apostle John was put on prisoner island, but it was there the Lord wrote the book of Revelation.  I cannot find anywhere in Scripture where the Lord simply abandoned an individual to their situation.  There is resolution or an end result to each story, suggesting the Lord is a God who works through to completion.  Even if the story ended in an untimely death, the death brought more people to the Lord, a cause certainly worth dying for in the big picture of things.

If you find yourself on a course in life, one in which you didn't pick or necessarily deserve, then you can rejoice in knowing there is a Higher Authority at work for an intended benefit.  If you feel the situation, the one you didn't sign up for, could only be reversed by a miraculous move of the Lord, then sit back and be patient for Him to work.  If you could get yourself out of the situation on your own efforts, then it wouldn't benefit you OR the Lord.  The situations I find beneficial for myself or the Lord, are like the ones I read about in the Bible, the ones where only the Lord could resolve in a delightful manner.

Don't take my word for it; look it up:  1 Sam 19, Es 6:6-12, Is 44:6, Is 48:17, John 9:9-12, John 21:15-23, James 1:2-4

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