There are a few paradoxes that can be hard to wrap one’s brain around. In faith the most obvious one is the idea of being a sinner, none is righteous, no, not one, and for all have sinned, contrasted against the sheer ecstasy of having been claimed, redeemed, washed, freed, a saint now walking in victory, Christ’s victory. Grace is a thing that just compels you to truly understand what it means to be a wretch like me and yet, conversely now a saint. Humility yes, but also it is nearly impossible not to walk around feeling like the cat that just swallowed the cream. God is not only real, He loves me. Hallelujah!
There’s another paradox, a false one, often inadvertently promoted by prosperity preachers, that suggests come to Christ and and your life will magically become easy, you’ll suddenly become healthy and prosperous, all suffering will cease. Well…yes, it can feel like winning a spiritual lottery sometimes. Your worst day with Christ at you side is better than your best day without Him. Just the same, life happens, sin happens, grief and suffering happen.
I walk this fine line myself, hallelujah God loves me, versus, my whole world is constantly collapsing all around me. There is so much brokenness and heart ache everywhere and I hear a lot of these stories, I live a lot of these stories, people doing everything right who just get hit with tragedy after tragedy, people feeling overwhelmed, people doing the right thing and suffering for it. People doing the wrong thing and benefiting.
Sometimes within faith I think there is this idea that our lives are supposed to be perfect, that we don’t suffer, that you just put on a happy face and all will be well. We can blame this falsehood on Job’s wife and his 3 fabulous friends here, Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar, because they were the ones who promoted the idea that if you just have more faith, maybe if you were a better Christian, obviously there’s some unrecognized sin in your life….
They all missed the part where Job was a righteous man who had the Lord’s favor. That completely flips Western culture on it’s head. In the West we are all about make good choices, reap good benefits, work hard and be rewarded. Long ago when the book of Job was written, perhaps one of the oldest books in the bible, God was already addressing this mindset, this deception.
Today I pray that those who feel overwhelmed, that those who fear that they have been forgotten, come to realize that they are not alone, that their circumstances are not them, and that they are in good company. In times of trouble rather than asking why me, we need to ask, why not me?
That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.-Matthew 5:45