With all that has been going on in my life over the last couple of weeks I have been compelled to watch Facing Giants again. You know me, I do not normally encourage you to watch films. However, this is a really good movie. If you haven’t seen it, it is about a football coach that is struggling with many obstacles in his life. His team has suffered multiple losing seasons and as a result his job is now in jeopardy. He is struggling financially. This is made clear by the numerous fixer upper issues he has. His car doesn’t run well and his home has several issues. Losing his job would be straw which breaks the camels back in a really bad year. In the middle of this story line we learn that he and his wife are struggling to get pregnant. Along the way, he learns that he is the reason that they can’t get pregnant. It is all overwhelming. It was here that the movie took a turn. Rather than throwing his hands up and quitting he spent the night in prayerful meditation writing up a “plan” for his life. But, it is something his wife said that drew my heart to this movie this week. She was emotionally struggling with the fact that she couldn’t get pregnant. She so desired to be pregnant that after any little sign she had convinced herself that she must be pregnant and rushed off to the doctor’s office. After one of these failed trips to the office, again having her hopes dashed, she was standing next to her car and she broke down and cried out in prayer, I will still love you Lord. That is, even if she can never have children, she will love the Lord anyways. Her love for God was not predicated upon the blessings of this world. She would love God because He is Holy. He is Righteous. And even though she might not get what she so desperately desires, He is everything she will ever need. As I contemplated my own trials this past week, I caught myself saying those same words in prayer. “God, even if my prayers are not answered the way I want. Even if I were to lose my baby. I will still love You.” You see, I don’t love God because of what he has done for me. I don’t love God because I believe He is some magic genie I can rub and get my three wishes. I don’t love him because he has made my life easy. This was the very issue Satan took up with God concerning Job. Job was accused of only loving God because of God’s blessings. And yet, in the course of Job’s trials Job was quoted as saying, “Though He slay me, I will trust in Him (Job 13:15).” Job trusted in God even if he had every reason, according to the world, to not trust in God. As we know the rest of the story goes, Job never sinned with his lips. He never blamed God for his trials. And even when he began to get a little prideful in demanding that God give him an explanation, he quickly repented in sackcloth and ashes. He knew his rightful place. He knew God’s rightful place and was ultimately content with whatever God sent his way… the rain or the sunshine. What a fantastic lesson for us. If we pray for rain and God sends a drought, can we trust Him? If we pray for sunshine and get a blizzard, will we still love Him? That honesty is a tough question to answer. Sure, we like to say that we will serve him. Sure we like to say that we would never be so shallow as to turn our back on God when things don’t happen exactly the way we want. But the reality is, that is exactly what often happens. Trials start mounting up and we get overwhelmed, exasperated and we do quit. We turn our back on God and starting trying to figure out life all on our own. The sad reality is when we do this, we end up making a bigger mess of our lives that it was to begin with. Might I suggest the next time you are feeling overwhelmed you do the same thing as the hero from the Facing Giants movie. Pick up your bible. Read the story of Job. Read through some of the Psalms. Read about the life of Christ. Read the story of Joseph. See how God works in the lives of his servants. Understand how sometimes bad things have to happen in order for your greater good to come about. Jesus had to die in order for good to come. Joseph had to be sold into slavery, falsely accused, thrown into prison, and forgotten in order for the greater good to come. Spend the night in prayer and reflect upon the big picture. As for me, if Dawn is laid up for the next 8 months, if I never get to see my baby, of my prayer are answered to the exact prayer I have offered I will trust in Him. I don’t know what he has in store for me and my house, but I do know that I am ready to follow his plan.
Grinnell church of Christ
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