Thursday, May 2, 2013

Stuck In the Dark

     Bombings. Plane crashes. Taliban cells. Cancer. Nuclear leak. Divorce. Human trafficking. Shootings. Beatings. Financial meltdowns. Death. These are all in today's headlines. Just today's. It's enough to make you scream and bury your head in the sand. It's way more convenient to hide sometimes than face the darkness or your own  current calamity ......maybe even to pretend it doesn't exist. But the Bible is clear.......God doesn't condone the evils of this life but He uses it FOR OUR GOOD. How? Why? Really God, but this? There are mysteries we won't understand this side of heaven. We won't understand how God can weave redemption out of such difficulty and atrocity. Oh, wait......he already did. His name is Jesus.
     A few years ago I was in a pit of such darkness. I couldn't understand, nor make sense of what God had asked of me. As heavy darkness enveloped me, my very core searched frantically for one nugget of 'something' to cling to as I felt as if I were drowning. I found it. It's called Grace. You see, I had been listening to the wrong voice inside my head and just needed a perspective flip. Grace doesn't mean sunshiny days. It's not a false prosperity gospel. Grace doesn't focus on sin. Let me repeat that. Grace doesn't focus on all the wrong you have done nor the wrong others do. Grace doesn't look back......just forward. Grace empowers you through the dark. Grace is your lithium headlamp guiding you through this sin stained planet until heaven is your home. Depression, anxiety, fear, even terrorism is no match for the GRACE given to you through Christ Jesus so that you don't stay stuck in the dark. This passage by Joni Eareckson Tada shows you how you can flip your perspective in the worst of circumstances to reveal immeasurable grace that is always working 'for our good. God will ALWAYS work out everything to conform to the purposes of his will.

     "Satan intends the rain that ruins a church picnic to cause Christians to grumble against their Lord: God uses the rain to develop their patience. Satan plans to hinder the work of an effective missionary by arranging for him to trip in the jungle and break a leg: God allows the accident so that the missionary's godly response to pain and discomfort will bring glory to Himself. Satan brews a hurricane to kill thousands in a small village in Bangladesh: God uses the storm to display His awesome power, to show people the awful consequences that sin has brought to the world, to drive some to search for Him, to harden others in their sin, and to remind us that He is free to do as He pleases. We will never figure Him out. Satan Schemed that a seventeen-year-old girl named Joni would break her neck, hoping to ruin her life: God sent the broken neck in answer to her prayer for a closer walk with Him......Praise God that when Satan causes calamity, we can answer him with the words that Joseph used when his brothers sold him into slavery, 'You meant evil against me, but God meant it for good.'"

    Friend, do you see how a flip in your perspective turns your problems from being 'me' centered to 'God' centered in which he already has an answer.....for your good and for his glory! Take comfort in the fact that in every tragedy, every hurt, every difficulty there is a God behind the scenes working His plan for you, for me, and the creation He loves. Sometimes it hurts. We need to know, not being surprised by this, and yet fight back with all the energy God gives us through the promises of his word. Yes, sometimes it takes all the energy you can muster to do battle and not give in. But know this, our God can't lose nor be defeated. In your struggling are you allowing yourself to live downcast.....thus giving into the enemy's plan of defeat in your life? Or, are you trusting God to bring good as he has promised out of every single circumstance you face? Walk in Grace knowing because you are a child of the King you can live free with head held high. He is every answer you need.

     For God alone, my soul waits in silence: from him comes my salvation, my fortress: I shall not be greatly shaken.......Psalm 62:1-2

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