Tuesday, February 22, 2005

In This World...

As I was reading a Keep A Quiet Heart by Elisabeth Elliot, this section really hit me like a lighting bolt, and I am still reeling from the electric current of it’s impact:

“Our goal is not to be comfortable and have everything turn out fine, but to be godly and make an impact on our dying world and its values…May God continue to refine your life message as ‘he keeps you from willful sins as His servant; may they not rule over you’ (Psalm 19:13)

In our modern-day lifestyle, we have come to find that being comfortable is a given. It’s our way. Everything seems to be designed and improved upon to reach this end goal: comfort and ease. Smaller cell phones and digital cameras. DVD rentals from your mailbox. Ergonomic this and that. Split sleep-level mattresses. Efficiency reigns supreme.

How are we to respond to the pattern of the days in which we live? Do we diverge from the norm and boldly blaze a new trail, not giving into the complacency of ease and trouble-free living, rather relying on the dangerous and unpredictable whim of a God who is not always safe, but we know to be 100% good? How will this dying world recognize sons and daughters of Jesus Christ unless we look a little different than the next person they pass on the street? Will they see the reality of His power at work, not just through the prophets and priests of old, but through the suffering co-worker who has no idea where this illness will go but is trusting Someone higher….or the young barista who hands them their morning java with a joy-filled smile even though her life at home is tearing her apart-because her foundation is built not on shifting sand.

More than that, as a follower of Christ, are we inwardly hoping that things will stay comfortable? That everything will turn out fine? Because that’s not what we were promised. ”In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” When you look deep inside… when you pray, do you expect things to turn out ‘right’…or are you okay with however God may desire them to turn out?

Elliot goes on to say,
“Man has a claim on God, a divine claim for any pain, want, disappointment, or misery that will help to make him what he ought to be. He has a claim to be punished, and to be spared not one pang that may urge him toward repentance; yea, he has a claim to be compelled to repent’ to be hedged in on every side, to have one after an other of the strong, sharp-toothed sheep dogs of the Great Shepherd sent after him, to thwart him in any desire, foil him in any plan, frustrate him of any hope, until he comes to see at length that nothing will ease his pain, nothing make life a thing worth having, but the presence of the living God within him. That nothing is good but the will of God. Nothing noble enough for the desire of the heart of man but oneness with the eternal. For this God must make him yield his very being, that He himself may enter in and dwell with him.”

Sure, take another second or two and re-read that paragraph…there is a lot there. So, where do we stand in this life of leisure, efficiency? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

1 whatevers:

Stacie said...

I LOVE that book! Thanks for pulling out that very convicting passage. Wow. That's a lot to chew on.