Have you been praying something along those lines lately. Are you afflicted, bereaved, or just plain scared out of your mind. Did someone tell you your faith isn't "good enough" or somesuch? Did you think God is mad at you and He has turned His face against you? Or did you think God has been plain unfair? Or do you simply don't know what to think... Yea, I know all about that... Gets really dark out there doesn't it? Enough to make the strongest among us wonder whats going on here at times, yea, I know all about that. And the stuff I saw online watching Hulu last night was enough to make me really wonder why anyone even keeps TV service these days!! Reality is bad enough without Hollywood's suggestions about whats just around the bend!!
Yet I've also been at this long enough to know that the Lord our God takes His people very seriously. And I've been at this long enough to know that if He just wanted to either make our lives easy in this life or just get us outta here and sweep one of us or all of us into His Heaven He's God enough to do that too. And finally, I am convinced that what He's asking of us in this life must really matter in some way I don't fully comprehend, or He wouldn't ask. I am sure He doesn't ask lightly, but He does ask.
I have walked in deep darkness without Jesus Christ and I have walked in deep darkness with Him. I have seen what He can do and does do in the midst of this darkness, and I very deeply respect these things, even though I do not understand why these things must sometimes, even all to often, be done the hard way. I don't understand why some folks seem to get all the easy breaks, while on the other end of the scale we have brethren like Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani, who has been in Evan prison in Iran for over 2 years now. I recently read an account of what thats like, and it gave me chills... Yet his testimony out there matters so much that the Lord has chosen to ask him to live this life in the face of unspeakable suffering, rather than just get him outta here. It matters that much...
So I respect these words from the Apostle Paul, a man all too familiar with suffering, pain and deprivation...
2 Corinthians 4:8-9
2 Corinthians 4:168 We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; 9 persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.
I would really like to just hang onto what I have. I am getting old here, on bad days its very painful to walk, on good days it is at least possible to walk, but forget running or moving with the quickness I once took for granted. I am not ready to face severe challenges IMO... Yet for all that, I might have to anyway before all this is over...16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.
2 Corinthians 4:18
Yes, so I fix my eyes on what is unseen, because I trust what is being asked of me is important enough to God that He would ask at all. Nobody does anything truly difficult, genuinely painful, just because they can. Maybe the young test themselves against the mountainside because they can, but us older folks are slogging along for more serious reasons long past the point where we know we're too tired to keep going, yet we aren't given that way out quite yet. It matters, matters a lot, or God wouldn't ask. That is a big part of the faith thats keeping me going sometimes.18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
If some unbelievers think God isn't being fair, just keep this in mind: "zombies" wandering the streets, kids fighting to the death for a bite to eat (ie The Hunger Games) wasn't God's idea. Just keep that in mind...