3/17/2020 – Pastor Brian’s Blog –
I think we could all agree that life can get messy at times. Judy and I have been to the Philippines on numerous occasions to teach at a small Bible College. I remember one year when we arrived on the campus, there was no power for two weeks. The library, which was on the lower floor of the classroom building, was filled with mud, delivered by the overflowing river nearby. Roads had been washed out, many people were killed and more were injured, buildings were destroyed, agricultural damages reached millions of dollars. All of which was caused by a typhoon.
In 2020 the Philippines had over 20 typhoons hit. At one point they had experienced five typhoons in three weeks! Yet can’t our lives feel like that at times too? Trial after trial comes into our lives and just rocks our world, zaps our reserves and at times wants to shatter our faith.
Judy and I have had those times in our lives. My father lost his home and the family business that his dad started. Unbeknownst to us, an employee embezzled money, and we did not realize it until it was too late. Judy and I were kicked out of a church, but not before the preacher said from the pulpit that if we did not change, our 1st unborn baby would be born dead. A board member tried to sabotage a ministry that I directed, because he wanted to turn the property into a hunting camp. An elder took 80 people and walked away from the church where I was the pastor.
And Judy and I are not the only ones that have messy lives. We recently had a friend who was #3 on a lung transplant list, suddenly removed for no apparent reason. Another friend’s spouse is dealing with the onset of dementia. We have two couples in our life that are fighting for their lives with cancer. We know of people that are living in constant fear because of covid-19. And there is a very good possibility that you could add to this list many stories of your own personal “messes.”
So I think each of us understand what it means to have our lives rocked, to have our lives become messy when the typhoons of life hit. So what should we do? Do we sit there to pout & complain? Do we live in denial? Do we allow our anxiety to control us? Do we get mad at God or lash out at people? What are we to do?
Consider doing what Habakkuk did, when his life became messy… Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will be joyful in God my Savior. (Habakkuk 3:17-18)
When the trials of life come, we must not forget who God is. God does not allow difficulties into our lives for His enjoyment, or because He wants to get even with us for something we may have done. Remember, this is God our Savior we are talking about! This is the very God who died for you so that you could be with Him for all eternity!
Why would God die for me or for you? I cannot explain it. Just like I cannot always explain why we must walk the path of pain that God set before us. Why are people treated unfairly at work, or why do people have financial setbacks? Why must my friends fight with cancer, be taken off a lung transparent list or have a spouse with dementia?
Although I do not have all the answers to life’s problems, I do know this: No matter how messy our life might look, if we allow God to have His way, if we choose to respond like Habakkuk and rejoice in the Lord and not fight Him, it will be worth it… In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith–of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire–may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. (1 Peter 1:6-7)
When the typhoons of life hit, and they will, remember these have come so that “your faith of greater worth than gold,” “may result in praise, glory and honor.” When we finally meet Jesus face to face, isn’t temporal discomfort worth eternal praise!?!
If your life feels messy, like a typhoon is about to blow you over, come to Jesus…