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Pushing Us Back To Him –

April 22, 2013

What happens when you stray or lose the focus on the One that deserves our constant attention? I can tell you from my perspective it’s not a lot of fun. I have felt empty and a little lost. The journey back can be a difficult one if we do not understand exactly where we are.

During the past several weeks my best friend has been going through some amazing trials. They are ones that are extremely difficult to bear up under. I started re-reading Job again this morning for that very reason. This isn’t to say that anyone of us have the piety of Job. I know that I certainly do not, but we do have the opportunities on a regular basis to experience situations that test and evaluate our courage and our faith.

My friend ended up going to jail for a short period of time because he failed to understand the rules under which his probation was being administered. He has faithfully been doing what he believed to be the right thing for the past five years and when he finally discovered that he was not compliant he brought the situation to the proper authorities. The end result was a disciplinary incarceration that lasted eight days.

Eight days doesn’t sound like much does it? Eight minutes in that environment is too much time. I have first hand knowledge and do not recommend it to anyone. Eight days was one day longer than it took to create the universe. (Oh, come on, you don’t really believe that do you?) Think about the loss of his wife while this was going on, she was consumed with concern for her husband. Think about the end result when his employer decided that he no longer needed him as an employee after five years of dedicated service.

Are there consequences for our actions? Yes, there are most definitely. This morning while you were running late for work and were speeding down the highway – did you get the ticket you probably deserved for exceeding the speed limit? Did you thank God that you did not? For that matter should we thank God under those circumstances because any grace that we receive has its foundation within Him, I believe?

My friend should have been given a chance to correct his behavior, but there was no guaranty that it should go that way. There were many other avenues that could have been taken. This was the almost the most harsh. It got his attention and now he is without a job and feeling that he has been royally “screwed” by the system. Did I mention the fact that he did not curse God for this turn of events? Instead he has been attempting to see the lesson that God is teaching. It is a multifaceted lesson with different values and results for all that are touched by it.

I have to be careful that I do not become Eliphaz, Bildad, or Zophar, Job’s friends that came to console him, but also to point to how God’s actions are always for one reason to punish an offender. Punishment does exist and can be very harsh, but our God is a loving one and His corrections are for the purpose of bringing us into line with His design.

When we seek Him and all of His righteousness I have found that I begin to see some of those things that God may be teaching. I say may be since I can not be sure, I am not Him, nor do I pretend to understand Him except on a very cursory level- just scratching the surface and bringing into focus the complex face of our God.

My friend came to the conclusion that he had been drifting. His focus was not on the God of his salvation. “Show me you way Lord teach me you paths; lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation and on you I do wait all the day.” (Psalm 25:4-7)

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