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04 July, 2014

When You Are Hemmed In On Every Sides By Life Circumstances!

You know, my life seems to be an endless invitation for hardships to come and surround me. For some reasons I am constantly facing hopeless circumstances. Often I feel like I am hemmed in by God on all sides.  I guarantee you that I do not go out of my ways to get in trouble with God. If I want to be honest with all of you, I would have to confess that sometimes I ask myself if Christianity is all in my imagination because my heart, common sense, and wisdom cannot comprehend how is it, a God that is called a “God of love” would allow so much to come into one’s life and for so long. So, the only logical conclusion is “the whole Christianity thing is a hoax”

But, I thank my God that those moments when my strength fails to carry me through, I can find refuge and comfort in knowing:

1)                 He will carry me through
2)                 My common sense and finite understanding will never take me to the heights He has in mind for me.
3)                 Christianity is truly a sacrificial life to the highest degree.
4)                Because I am not privy to God’s higher purpose, my part in all this is to endure my lot with my mouth shut and my heart opened wide to take it in, according to His will.
5)                 Christ never misled His true followers and never promised a bed of roses down here on earth.
6)                 For all I know, my endurance of it all could be something between God and Satan, like in Job’s situation. So, not trusting Him all the way, no matter how painful and lengthy of a process I am in, could be causing God to lose face vis a vis Satan.
7)                 Through watching my painful life unfolding, I can see God’s hand on me, taking me back to the God that I know, the invisible God that I have seen with my heart and soul. He does that to reassure my soul and alleviate the pain. So, today, the Spirit told me “have you noticed how life got more difficult for Jesus?  Think about His pain to leave heaven behind! The pain of being dependent on earthly parents to care for Him as in infant! The humiliation of being obedient as a child and earthly parents! Think about what it must have been like for Him living over thirty years in obscurity amongst his brothers and sisters in His households!”

Then, the Spirit continued by saying “think about how bad and painful things got for Him when He reached the culminating point of His ministry, did things get easier? No, because every day was a test, a trial, opportunity for more shame, more persecution, less acceptance of Him and who He was in me? ‘WHY SHOULD YOUR LIFE BE DIFFERENT?’”

I also learned something else. Often times when we are going through hardships and life is tossing us like a ping pong ball, it is hard to put our hands on who to grab onto through the Bible’s heroes. If you are like me, you try to find whether Paul life would do better or Abraham, or David, or Joseph etc. But, the Spirit said to me the closer you get to me and the deeper this life in me, the more you need to let go of your role models and grab onto Christ.

Perhaps you are not like me and this is my own weakness that God has to deal with. But I knew He had put His fingers on one of my weaknesses that needed to change. This weakness of mine is that I am constantly seeking to model myself after one of those heroes of the Bible like Abraham, David, the Apostles etc. I am always trying to find out how one of them would handle the situation that I am in, so that I can walk with God. Understand that I aim to please Him. But, secretly in my heart, I am hoping that He would apply their timeline to my hardship so that I could see an end to it. I also try to convince myself why my timeline should be much less, because I am not in their league. Cultivating this kind of frame of mind causes me to always expect to be free as soon as possible, because I put in my time.

God made it clear to me that it was not up to me to hang onto those heroes and expect the outcome to turn good for me, like He did for them. i.e, everything was restored to Job, David received his crown, Joseph got his days in the sun, etc. He basically told me that it was not my business how and when He decide this awful life I have been living most of my Christian life with Him.

He taught me, as you and I grow spiritually, we reach a time where it is not enough to model after Paul or Joseph, or Abraham. The only source of hope, faith, trust and the only one who can write the ending of our circumstances, is Him and that should be sufficient for me. “LOOK ONTO ME”

This lesson happened early this morning as I woke up kind of nostalgic and with such a mood to meditate on Him before I do anything else. So, I started reading my devotion books and I was surprised to see Oswald Chamber’s devotion. I could not help smiling because I realized once again His sense of humor and His way of making provision for the hour, will always get me.

The lesson I learned today, even though my situation seems desperate and painful, and even though I need God to come to my rescue today, right now and even though He remains silent. I cannot fret.