Wednesday, September 2, 2015

When is it my turn, God?

"When's it my turn, God? When is it my turn for the "Good Stuff" in life to come my way?" My neighbor just purchased a new truck with his new raise. I can't even find a job! My girlfriend just had a baby to add to their growing family of six. I can't even have one of my own! A couple at church just shared their 50th wedding anniversary. My parents are both suffering from Alzheimers and can't even remember what year it is. Have you been there? You see all the excitement around you and your wondering, "Well, God, is it my turn today?"

The barn door flies open and the chickens run wild and you're home all alone to do what now?  The kids run through the door screaming at one another and your wondering, "What in the world happened on that bus ride home?" It's time for dinner, but the fridge is just about empty. No money left to do any shopping this week after payment after payment has stretched your checkbook as far as it will go. Katie needs a new pair of shoes and Josh needs braces. Where is that money going to come from? The sky?

We do see it all the time. Good things happening to others. But when it comes to us, it's like we were left out of the gift aisle and left stranded in the next time pile. Only, next time isn't coming so quickly. We can feel depressed and lonely when there are tons of people around us. Our hearts can be heavy even when we smile and pretend all is fine. I mean, after all, aren't we suppose to smile? Aren't we suppose to wait with patience and just get over it? 

We have all been there when the next girl walks in the party and wins the door prize. We see family after family living happy lives, while all we want is to have one dinner with our children. We would just like to gather together once in a while and here we see families gathering every Sunday for dinner and every Friday night to watch the game.

Ever ask yourself, "What did I do wrong, God?" We are left wondering and searching through our messy lives just trying to figure it all out. Why did Sam have that car accident? He went to church every Sunday. He served. He gave. He did everything right! Why are the Smiths getting a divorce? I thought they were happy. Who knew he was having an affair for five years right under Betty's nose? Betty is such a lovely woman!

Does it ever make you mad? Even just a little? Life can seem so unfair especially if we are looking at life through a tainted vision of entitlement. We just expect good things to happen to us. Nothing bad is suppose to happen. It's not good if it happens to someone else, but at least it's not me, right? You know when you see a teenager who has been in a terrible accident you think, "Praise the Lord it wasn't my Sally." I do it too!

In reality, shouldn't we be asking ourselves, "Why not me?" Look at the life of Job. He lost everything. It wasn't over a long period of time. It was one thing right after another. At some point, you know he just fell to his knees. Nothing was left. Nothing...or was it?

Satan and God are battling it out. Satan is almost laughing. He thinks the only reason Job is so faithful is the fact that his life is so full. Could he have a point there? Is that true for you? God is all knowing. He knew the heart of Job. He knew because he told Satan he could take everything, but his life. Have you been there on one of Job's days? Have you felt as if everything was gone and there was nothing left? I have. I have been there on that dark day when all you want to do is just stop breathing. No breath, no pain. Can you see, Job, on this day when everything starts to take hold of him? One messenger after another is coming with nothing but bad news. Soon, all Job has left is his faith.

That's right. Faith. Sometimes we don't know what we really have until all we have left is faith. God restored Job. He brought joy into his life again. Even after those around him were trying to get him to give up. Talk about needing some encouragement! God was Job's encouragement. He was all he needed.

We tend to think we just deserve great things. We are special. We are entitled to have everything we dream of, right? We are just suppose to wake up and everything before us is to be perfect. Really? Think about that for a minute. If life was so perfect would we even need faith? Would we seek out God? It's those very things we think are so difficult that bring us into deeper faith. Those days that take us to our knees bring us to the throne room of God. We call upon Him not because everything is great around us, but because it's all falling apart! Why do we wait? Why not celebrate all the good with Him? Who am I to have a better life than another person? Why is it okay for Kelly to have breast cancer and not me?

We must stop looking at life as if it isn't perfect we must have done something bad. We have it in our heads that good things happen to good people. Bad things happen to good people all the time. It doesn't mean one is more special or better than the next. If life was perfect I don't think we would be longing for heaven. We might just have the attitude that sounds a little like a spoiled child. Ouch! Have we really changed all that much from the Israelites? They were a people of want. God gave and gave and it wasn't enough. Even when they found themselves full, they wanted more. They never did learn to be content.

Our very worst day is a good day for someone else. Remember that always. Whether we look at Job or any other person in the bible who lived a life of struggle. We are now able to see beyond that struggle into triumph! With God they moved beyond the valley of tears to topping that mountain of hope. They actually made it past their worst day! It can be done, my friends. God has no desire to leave you in despair. He wants you to succeed in ALL He has for you. He wants to use your worst day and turn in into beauty. All those no answers you hear are yes answers for what God has for you. He sees way past your imagination of the perfect day.

Trust Him in every situation. Know that the Son is going to shine. It isn't going to rain on your parade every day. There is going to come a day when you race toward that finish line and you cross it hearing the words, "Well done!!" We have hope! We can be confident that God is going to bless us. Everything in His perfect will and His perfect timing. Hang in there. Reach for the heavens with your prayers. Strive to make each day count. Live in His promises. That is enough for us today.

"We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed. Through suffering, our bodies continue to share in the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies." 
1 Corinthians 4:5-10

"We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, and because He has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with His love." Romans 5:3-5

"For examples of patience in suffering dear brothers and sisters, look at the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. We give great honor to those who endure under suffering. For instance, you know about Job, a man of great endurance. You can see how the Lord was kind to him at the end, for the Lord is full of tenderness and mercy." 
James 5:10-11


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