the Lord is the one who sustains me.
Times are hard, and sometimes, for a Christian, times seem even harder. Am I complaining? I guess so. As I have said in the past, I’m not a happy, happy, joy, joy Christian. I live in the real world. I have friends in similar circumstances and the will ask me, “Why can’t I get a break? Where is God when I need Him? He knows I believe, but why does it seem that all I do is suffer?”
I put on my Pastor Hat and say, “I honestly don’t know.” You can only tell someone that God loves them so much, before the words lose their meaning. I have sat in silence listening to stories that will break the strongest heart, and wonder what can I say or do? I truly believe that God doesn’t want us to suffer, but we do. God doesn’t want us to feel pain, but we do. God doesn’t want us to lose faith, but we do.
Why don’t we understand God’s plan for our life? Wouldn’t be great if He came to us at some point in our lives, ideally just after graduating high school, and said, “This is My plan for you and this is exactly what you need to do.” Maybe He does, and we just don’t listen. I can count the times I was supposed to get into the ministry, but didn’t.” Me? A Pastor? Yeah, right God, You’re crazy! There’s no way I can do that now. Look at my situation. Here, let me do this for you.”
Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.
My life makes Jonah’s three days in the whale seem like a picnic. How does yours look? Thought so. Faith is more than saying we have it; we have to believe it, just let go and let God drive. Remember when you were teaching your kids to drive, and you had to sit in the passenger seat and trust your kid wouldn’t total the car and kill you? Yeah, it’s a lot like that.
Perhaps this will help you when things aren’t going well during the week, and you can’t get to your iTunes to listen to some Albert Collins, “Cold, Cold, Feeling.” I look at things in this way; I imagine I’m standing on a huge brown spot. I can’t figure out what it is. There is nothing else around me. No matter where I move, there is still brown under my feet. I live my whole life with nothing but brown under my feet. I pray and ask God, “Why there is always brown under my feet?” Perhaps He tells me, chances are He has, but I just don’t listen because I’m so absorbed in my little, selfish brown world.
Then one day, hopefully a long time from now, and I’m in Heaven. Jesus strolls up to me and says, “Greg, I’m so glad you made it. It’s great to see you here. Come walk with me.” We walk a little, and finally I ask the one question that I need to know the answer to, or it will drive me crazy. (If that would be possible in Heaven.)
“Lord, why was there always brown under my feet?”
Jesus smiles, spreads His arms, and says, “Look.”
Below me I see the most magnificent painting. I can’t describe it, but believe me when you do, you’ll understand. The brown that was under my feet was just a small piece of God’s plan and I was just a small part in a much, much bigger picture. I could see how from my place in the masterpiece I affected people, and what He had done for me.
We may not understand what God is doing in our lives, but we must understand, and believe, that He is in control. Let loose the wheel, and trust in the Divine Artist as He paints His masterpiece.
He who forms the mountains,
who creates the wind,
and who reveals his thoughts to mankind,
who turns dawn to darkness,
and treads on the heights of the earth-
the Lord God Almighty is his name.