In one of my previous blog posts, I spoke about our “buckets” and how we are to use out buckets to help other in need. My post today is about challenges.
Some days it feeds like the hits just keep coming. They don’t seem to stop. And when you think you have hit your limit, another one comes out of literally nowhere, and you are left gobsmacked (got this from my friend who lives in England).
I witnessed something on a highway recently in which a gentleman passed away. I was a wreck. My kids came to where I was, and I was a basket case. I blamed myself – I was in the city that day, and I stopped to pick up a cookbook at the bookstore. Had I not done that, or not picked up a Starbucks for the drive home. I should have taken the “big road” (four lane highway) home, instead of a two lane highway. And I kept piling up the guilt and blame that I finally had to call our Employee Assistant Plan company and taking with a counsellor there to help me get some perspective. At one point in my journey through misplaced guilt, I even emailed a friend of mine and said is it possible that God has decided to punish me? So much has happened in the past while that the only thing I COULD think was that somehow God was mad at me, and that I was being punished. I had no clue what I was being punished for, but I was certain punishment was coming and it was swift.
I am so thankful for the all the people that God brought to my life. The friend that I asked about punishment shared the following “I believe in our heavenly Father’s chastisement, but I don’t believe that this qualifies. Reason being? If you disciplined your child, wouldn’t you make absolutely sure he understood what he was being disciplined about? Would you keep him guessing? Wondering? Concocting scenarios? Mind games? No. We make the connection. I believe God is the same. A person who is punished by God is more in the know. Having a car break down because of an error in judgement would be too random and no connection. It could even be argued that their car not starting (or whatever) SPARED them from some tragedy. The scenarios just keep rolling if there’s no connection. Then this same person shared something from Luke 13. That is about when the Tower of Siloam fell killing 18 people. Were they all killed because they were worse sinners than anyone else? No.
I also listened to the lyrics of a new song I have saved on Spotify by Matthew Parker. The lyrics says “there is a battle raging like a war of the ages, but there is a fire within you waiting for the chance to be brave… What if all this could make you braver, stronger…There is a wildfire within you. Riley Clemons in her song reminds us to Count it all joy as we are better for it.
So where does this leave me – thankful for the people God puts into my life. Without the love and support of my friends I have no clue where I’d be. They are my “Jesus with skin on”. Where does this leave you? Hopefully taking you off the same hook I took myself off of. Not everything that happens is because you have done something wrong. Sometimes stuff happens to help us get experience for service that God has planned for us. God is not a big ogre ready to knock us over the head. He is a loving perfect Father that is ready to meet you where you are and raise you up to where he wants you to be.