Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Not My Ways...

Once upon a time, humanity had no pain, had no fear and had no shame.  But that all changed with a simple exchange that took place in a beautiful garden with flowing rivers, "You will not surely die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened and you will be like God, knowing good and evil." Genesis 3:4-5; and the woman decided to try to become like God.  Humanity lost it's innocence when the desire to play God was acted upon, and suddenly we knew pain, fear and shame.

Evie with her White Cane
 The curse of that first defiant act of sin was death.  The sin that was acted upon became the sin of generation, upon generation, upon generation.  We are born into sinful flesh and have a sin nature.  Each one of us comes into this world ready to go our own way, to play God.  Consider the selfishness of babies, for example.  People want to say that babies are innocent because, let's face it, they are adorable.  However, they aren't looking for ways to help their parents get a good night sleep.  They want to be changed, fed, and kept warm.  This demonstrates the selfish, sinful nature of humanity.  We come out of the womb and are thinking only of ourselves.  

I'm just wondering how many people realize that even the greatest leaders in the Bible are also flawed and sinful characters.  It's so common today for us to not want to recognize the sin in ourselves and in others.  But in order for us to understand our NEED for salvation, we must understand that "all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." Romans 3:23.  This includes Abraham, Noah, Moses, Aaron, David, and on, and on, and on.  So, when people get uncomfortable because they want to say we (as Christians) are being judgmental or over-critical by acknowledging sin; those people need to realize that the TRUE Christian must recognize that everyone is a sinner.

That being said, if the "wages of sin is death" Romans 6:23, then the most important thing we need in our lives is salvation from our sins.  The apostle Paul writes, "Sin killed me" (Romans 7:11), "I do what I hate" (Romans 7:15) and "Nothing good dwells in me" (7:18).  Paul, especially, is testimony to the redeeming nature of Christ's sacrifice on the cross for us.  Paul, prior to converting to Christianity, was one of the most feared persecutors of Christians!  He murdered the people who believed in Jesus.  I don't know if there's a more dramatic example of a transformation from an old, sinful self into a newly redeemed, passionate soul on a mission to help others find the same redemption.  

Paul says that Christ's death and triumph over the grave has cleared all of the charges against our souls brought on by our sins.  He says that there is "no condemnation" for those who believe in Christ and profess it with our mouths.  (Romans 8:1)

Where am I going with this?  What does this have to do with the fact that Evie
Cancer diagnosis
is blind, that she's suffered through cancer, that we have to always be on guard and monitoring her blood pressure and kidney functions?  


Yesterday I wrote about the splendor of God's creation, the vastness of the Universe, and that fact that he shows his power and wonder in all that he spoke into existence.  And then I posed the question:  if God can do that, then why can't he heal Evie?  

Fact:  He can.
Fact:  He will.

But not.just.yet.

How else will people learn about God if it's not through seeing his ability to bring beauty from pain?  How else with we get softer souls if we don't fall flat on our faces and realize that we can't play God, because we are NOT God?  How else will we be able to praise the Creator if not by praising Him when we are in the midst of a storm?

Anyone can rejoice when things are going well, but it takes true faith to rejoice in the midst of suffering.  Anyone can do something nice for a friend, but it takes true faith to love someone simply because God loves him.  Anyone can learn to be a doctor or scientist and work to cure cancer, heal the blind, or save a kidney from a donor and transplant it to another patient, but only God can rescue their soul from the grip of Hell.  

"God shows his love for us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."  Romans 5:8

While we were yet sinners.  So Christ died for me even before I chose Him.  I don't deserve salvation, I haven't earned eternal life in Heaven, but God is going to give it to me anyway, because I've accepted the gift of life through Jesus.

If I had it my way, we wouldn't have to see Evie struggle with so many challenges.  It's painful; it's terribly painful.  But sin has continued to curse the human race since the fall of man back in that beautiful garden with flowing rivers.  If I had it my way, I could read a newspaper and my stomach wouldn't turn because I read about someone burning a body in a fire pit in his yard.  If I had it my way, those who murder would be murdered; those who tease would get teased; and those who steal would be stolen from.  But, thankfully, God's way are not my ways.  I can't get inside the brain of God because he is so huge that he holds the Universe in the palm of his hand.  What can my little, teeny tiny brain understand of him and his ways?

Nothing.

And that's where faith steps in... 

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