“Even though the fig trees have no blossoms,
and there are no grapes on the vines;
even though the olive crop fails,
and the fields lie empty and barren;
even though the flocks die in the fields,
and the cattle barns are empty,
yet I will rejoice in the Lord!
I will be joyful in the God of my salvation!
The Sovereign Lord is my strength!
He makes me as surefooted as a deer,
able to tread upon the heights.”
Who have I been kidding? Myself most likely. If I convince myself that I am doing all I can do, I am off the hook. Right?
Wrong. While God is not in heaven, holding a club and waiting for me to veer slightly off track, He has sent His Holy Spirit to dwell within us, to be in our hearts. He is the Helper, the Comforter, the One whom Jesus sent to be with us until the time when our mansions are ready. Or as I like to look at it: until He is done decorating my new room down the hall from His. Heirs together and all…
This world sucks. We all know that. It is cursed by sin. It is under the rule of darkness. How could we expect utter perfection and flawless beauty in the here and now? On this planet we can’t, but He is perfect. He is beauty. He is love.
If I have nothing else in this world, I have this: that God sent His Son to live a sinless life and die a gruesome death at the hands of those who claimed to love God. He did this to restore me to fellowship with Him. In fellowship with Him, there is a beacon of light in this world ruled by the dark side. In fact, there should be many beacons of light if we are all in this sweet fellowship. We are performing espionage for the winning side of this battle. Why would we expect ease in traversing this life? We are on enemy territory.
And yet we do. We forget who we belong to. Yes, belong. We are not our own. We have trouble with Stockholm’s Syndrome, if you will. Being here with often only intangible reminders of with Whom our loyalty lies, we begin to adopt the worldview, the life-outlook of the enemy. Life begins to look hopeless. Even eternity looses its luster for us. We engage each day as if it were all we have in this world or the next.
We are not right. Jesus did not just die. The power that woke Jesus from the grave is the One who is with us till Jesus, Himself will ring the Dinner Bell. Stop wearing fruit baskets on your heads. Those are for picking peaches. Not for hiding candles. When we hide our light, Jesus, we are hiding Him from ourselves. When we forget who we are living and fighting and dying for, we forget ourselves. We forget our purpose. We were not put here to suffer. True, we may suffer. But if all I can see is the suffering, I have got my head in a bushel basket. I am no better than an ostrich. We were put here to bring glory to our Creator.
How? I do not know that. I may not know how He was glorified through my life until I am Home. That is God’s business. That is too big for my head and shoulders. For my back and knees. I am told to walk with Him. His burden is light. His yoke is easy. It’s still work. It’s still heavy. But not so that I cannot still walk beside Him as He calls me to everyday.
Because He is calling everyday. Even when I can’t hear over the roar of the dark corner in which I am hiding. When my head is likely to spin off my shoulders due to my own burden and yoke. Mine is too heavy. Mine is not easy. Mine involves making me happy and comfortable and understanding it all.
And so, He calls. Calls for us to pick up our cross. His cross. His yoke.
His requires death, but it is the death of the things that are killing me.
“He will take delight in you with gladness.
With His love, He will calm all your fears.
He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.”
That sounds better than what I had in mind. My dark here under the basket involves no singing or gladness. My dark is saturated with fear. It’s 2011, people. Lets take down the fruit baskets and see some fruit of the Spirit.