October 1, 2014 by holy rollin hooker
Today’s post is a true testament to the power of perseverance for me. Thursday I had something pretty…not cool happen. It wasn’t anything permanently life altering or anything, but it was just one more slap in the face, one more gigantic slammed door in a long, long string of persistent failures that has been the pattern of my life for far too long. I have been chained to the ground unable to move for a long time and it’s beginning to wear on me. In the face of such unexplained adversity your spiritual progress (and I must admit that I have made a lot lately) starts to feel wholly unimportant. After all, there is only so much worldly rejection that even your heavenly spirit can take.
In times like these I can’t help but wonder where that oft touted and shouted favor of God is. I have to tell you honestly that I cannot always see or feel it and certainly not now. It is also in times like these that I find it extremely difficult to “seek ye first the kingdom of God.” Our modern Church has brainwashed us into thinking that we come to God so that he can do stuff for us. So what happens to our commitment when he (pardon my bad English here) don’t do nothin’?
Back when my life didn’t suck quite so bad and I had all the promise of the world ahead of me, it was easy for me to say that I would follow Christ no matter what. But now that more than a few years have passed and my life has continued on a rather steady downward plunge, I find myself tempted to add some addendums to that once wholehearted statement of faith. After all, God couldn’t possibly expect me to maintain blind faith in the middle of all this…nothingness, can he?
Umm…yes…yes he can, and he does. God doesn’t expect us to be mindless automatons who, once we receive Christ, are programmed to behave and react in a certain way despite the circumstances. He knows that we are human beings with human flaws and human emotions and that on the whole, we are fickle creatures whose natural instincts are to react negatively to negative circumstances. However, he also doesn’t expect us to be feeble-minded hypocrites who are so weak that we can’t be counted on to endure the hard things in life. And, let me tell you friends, nothing is harder than trying to stay strong, focused, positive, and committed amid a sea of constant rejection, failure, and soul deep heartache.
The easy road for me is to fall into a state of depression and eventually apathy where I give up caring about anything or anyone including myself and God. That is a place I know well and there is always a table open for me there. It will welcome me back like an old friend. I think, though, that I shant do that. Oh, fully believe in taking some time to allow myself to fully feel that sting and injustice of it all. On Thursday, I got good and mad.
I tossed some stuff around, I cussed like a sailor, and I cried—which is notoriously hard for me to do. Anyone who knows me knows that I…do not… cry. On Friday, I shut myself away completely. I spent the day doing and thinking nothing of any consequence. When Saturday rolled around I felt the Lord telling me, “Ok. That’s long enough now.” You see, if I shut down for too long, it takes a very long time for me to get back on track. Apparently, he can’t afford for me to take that long.
So, what have I learned from this latest dramatic episode?
That I have a lot more perseverance than I think and that though the world may seem to be falling apart one day, you wake up the next morning to find everything quite (annoyingly) intact.
Useful scriptures: 2 Corinthians 6:4-10.