It’s probably hard to tell on-line, but I am actually at heart a peace keeper, as in let’s just smooth things over, let’s just agree to disagree, let’s just let go of this conflict. All is well with my soul, all should be well with your soul too. We can now all break out into a round of “Let it Be,” and “Let’s get together and love one another right now…”
I am the oldest child in a very dysfunctional family, that is what we often do to survive, try to become the glue that holds it all together, the peace keepers that keep a lid on things, that steer off disaster. I used to be rather comfortable there and saw no reason to change.
I can give you dozens of scriptural words that actually speak to this, words about turning the other cheek, about forgiving, about walking in peace with others. What is so much harder however, is trying to explain the intervention God once launched against me. Psalm 94:12 says, “Blessed is the man whom You chasten, O LORD, And whom You teach out of Your law.” Oh yes, there is truth in those words.
I am chuckling here, because how can one even begin to explain what it is like to have God declare rather firmly, Listen to me! Those are not your words, they are not meant for you at this moment in time. You do not know what you think you know. Forget everything you know and just follow Me…
Also, I always like to point out that it is totally insane to attempt to launch a legalistic, scriptural argument, against God Himself. That is actually what the serpent did in the garden long ago, took God’s words and used them to challenge what God Himself had said. My challenges are far less defiant, more motivated by genuine confusion and a desire to understand, but challenge I do, His very word. That’s a good thing actually, seek and you shall find, ask it shall be given to you. Some people think God is a dictator whose pride will be mortally offended of we ask questions, if we challenge what He says. I’ve never found that to be true, although perhaps collapsing in hysterics at His feet helps to smooth things over.
So one day I was simply minding my own business, happily singing away, “blessed be the peace keepers,” when God suddenly scared the heck out of me by simply saying, Listen to Me! Those are not your words anymore. You have missed the whole part about the little foxes. You have missed the story of the ten virgins with their lamps. You have been lukewarm. You have tucked your cross under your sweater to avoid causing offense. You have stood by silently when you knew you should have spoken up. You have allowed people to say things about Me that were untrue…
Harsh words really, but spoken so gently and so truthfully. I could write volumes about the kindness of God, about how gentle He is. Knowing me, I probably will, but that is for another day. The point is, I was so convicted, guilty as charged, but also so forgiven and understood at the same time.
Everything changed in an instant, just like that. It probably sounds very melodramatic, but all I really did was pull my cross back out and say rather meekly, “well, that is not the God I know.” And all hell broke loose. I could literally hear it happening, like the sound of glass shattering all around, and once again, my life just fell apart. People don’t speak of that very often, but many times when we do the right thing it is like setting off an implosion. My implosion was very small in the grand scheme of things, but I lost friends, I lost a job I liked, my car broke down, even my dog died.
In psychology we will tell you that is often what happens when someone steps out of their designated role, all hell breaks lose. In faith for some reason, we often deny that. Obey God and he will bless you with a private jet and crystal palace! How quickly we forget about Job and his boils, “There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil.” Come to Jesus Christ we say, and all will be well. While that is true, while your worst day with Him will indeed be better than you best day without Him, being obedient does not always lead to an instant bed of roses.
In my case there were far too many supernatural things going on to try to pin it on simple psychology, but I have learned that even someone as meek as me, can stir up a great deal of trouble. And trouble, if it is God’s trouble, can be a very good thing indeed.