Well-meaning evangelists tell us
that "coming to Christ" will lift us out of our
predicaments, improve our circumstances, and raise us
above the risks of life. "God has a great plan for your
life, to prosper you."
And our spiritual cataracts keep us
from seeing the truth.
life of the kingdom is not found in mystical euphoria or
heightened prosperity. To become like Christ does not
mean absconding from the pain and suffering of the
world, but entering fully into it. We want exultation
without humiliation and resurrection without death. We
pray for angelic choirs not demonic tormentors. Our
hearts want to "fly away" not remain shackled to the
oppression and violence of this world.
the sons and daughters of God - those who understand
their Father's heart - continue to sink into humanity;
not to be overcome by it but to minister to
times we're tempted to become God's rival, critical that
He doesn't impose the equivalent of spiritual "martial
law" on a world gone mad. We're confident that we know
what's best, if He'd just listen to us and put some of
that omnipotence to work. We assume, for just a moment,
that He doesn't see or doesn't
strangely, He calls us not to fix humanity but to sink
did not sprinkle fairy-dust from a crop-duster to
magically cure the nameless masses. Instead, He became
like us, walked among us, suffered with us, and pointed
the way for us. When we face heartache and hardship, we
have opportunity to bear witness to our ultimate
confidence in the Father.
share in the fellowship of Christ's suffering
(Philippians 3:10). We fix our eyes on the One who
endured the cross and its hostility (Hebrews 12:2-3). We
embrace our suffering as steps towards eternal glory (1
of this comes naturally or easily. In the flesh we want
to escape the corruption of humanity; the pain and
sorrow, the bumps and bruises. But as we look to Jesus,
He invites us not to flee but to follow. And the path
leads into the tasteless darkness where we might become
salt and light.
children of God do not abandon the brokenness of the
world but reach into it, to share the suffering and
impart amazing grace.