Rough Year

I get the prayer requests. I hear the stories. I read the blogs. It’s a rough year for some people. Actually, rough for a lot of people. And sometimes it’s rough to explain that God is in control when it seems like everything that could have gone wrong just did. And it keeps getting weirder and stranger and tougher for lots of folks.

Reading through the Bible, we see that God’s people have never gotten a pass through the rough and tough experiences of life. Let’s look at some of the lives of those that had some crud to work through
– Moses stuck in the wilderness 40 years with the tedious tribe – crud
– Joseph stuck in jail for what must have seemed like an eternity for something he didn’t do – crud
– David pursued by Saul even though David did him no harm – crud
– Abraham was asked to sacrifice his son, but at the last second God told him not too – crud
– Paul was beaten, stoned, run out of towns and ultimately martyrd – crud
– So many of the first century Christians were persecuted and martyrd – crud
– Jacob had to work two 7 year shifts to get his wife – crud

So what does it have to do with us? We just don’t always know what God is doing. And we just don’t always know what everyone else is doing. Sin abounds. Bad choices abound. People, and us, do stupid things that affect people adversely. We are in a giant blender of decisions that is amazingly complex.

So what do we do? Put our eyes on Christ. Pray radical and transparent and honest prayers. Love extravagently. Live gregariously. Never ever ever ever let what is happening around you to adversely shape you. Rise above it. Use it. Lean into it if necessary. If you are in it, then God knows about it. And maybe, just maybe, He is wanting to take that experience, that trial, that challenge, and build into you something wonderful and beautiful. Remember the verse He is the potter and we are the clay? And remember sometimes the potter determines something needs to be broken to be made better? Brokenness is really appealing to God because it allows Him to get in, reshape, remold, repair, and rebuild. Sin may have created a nasty mess. But God is in the business of transformation. Look at the cross of Christ. God chose to break Someone that wasn’t broken or in need of repair. And it is still the potter’s wheel of transformation.

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