Everything in life is not black and white.
I know sometimes folks really want things to be clean and clear and under control and all that good stuff, but life is not always like that. In fact, I am coming to accept and embrace that some parts of my life will be especially challenging and particularly confusing just because God has ordained it so.
I think God has providentially ordained parts of our lives to be complicated and difficult in order for us to experience and relate to Him better. I think He also does it so that others will benefit. Somehow, God manages to turn actual bad into actual good.
Oftentimes though, the process of the bad to good doesn’t feel good at all. It actually feels like crap. And that’s me being extremely modest.
And there’s no way around it.
I accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior as a child, and I definitely had created these concepts of life with Him where I was happy, having things good and easy because I was with Him. As an adult, I gave up some of those easy notions, realizing that life with God meant a lot of those good things along with some suffering and sacrifice.
And again, there’s no way around it.
I tried ignoring it, resisting it, avoiding it, casting it down, praying it away, all of the above. I did whatever I could to not engage those places that would hurt the most. I knew that sacrifice would be incredibly painful, and I just did not want to suffer so much.
Keep in mind that the Christ I told you I follow suffered and died for people, people that comprise the imperfect church I mentioned. Also, don’t forget that I explained how great it is to love people, especially when it’s not so easy. And I am certain that loving imperfect people to the point of literal death was not easy. I am certain that it was absolute suffering and that if felt like absolute suffering.
Taken together, I know it feels great to receive the love that Jesus offers through His ultimate sacrifice. In doing so, I have also had to come to terms with the reality that it was a sacrifice, something that was painful and torturous, something that was way more complicated and difficult than would have been preferred.
And here’s the kicker. If I am really following Christ like I say I am, then I definitely ought to have my own sacrifice. I need to suffer if I am to identify completely with all of who Jesus is. And that means there are some things I cannot ignore or avoid or pray away.
I believe that God literally and providentially allowed Jesus to die for me. And I also believe that God is literally and providentially allowing me to suffer for the sake of righteousness, for a collective good and an ultimate glory far beyond my own comprehension of the easily understood, black and white life.
Here’s to living a life like He intended in the black, white, and gray in between. Lord have Your way.
Love Love Love,