I’ve been blessed by how many people have expressed concern for me after yesterday’s accident. Thank you!
Most everyone says, “God was really protecting you” or “Thank God your kids weren’t with you.”
But one guy said, “His Boss sure wasn’t watching over him.”
And that’s got me thinking about how we present Christianity and how we think about God.
I think many of us expect God to be a Celestial Santa Claus, some benevolent old grandfather. He’s probably senile since he keeps telling the same old stories. But he’s supposed to give us whatever we want. After all, we’re giving him our allegiance! We deserve his protection, abundant provision, and favor in all areas of life.
In my 20 years as a Christian, I’ve heard that more-or-less expressed by believers and even preached by well meaning pastors.
But I don’t recall ever reading that in the Bible.
Here’s the story I keep telling VCW.
This is the story of war.
The “history” line is lower to represent that this reality we live in is less than what God planned for us. As Christians, we believe that the first people took their God-given authority and handed to God’s arch-enemy, Satan (which is Hebrew for “the accuser.”) Now he has dominion over this earth. Not all of the cosmos, but definitely over life as we know it.
The enemy only knows how to steal, kill, and destroy (Jn 10:10). Sounds like life here, doesn’t it? Life seems determined to steal our dreams, kill our desires, and destroy our hearts. So why does it surprise us when crap happens in life?
That explains the conflict here. The human trafficking. The domestic abuse. The broken hearts. The sickness and disease. Even the car accidents.
The great news is that God didn’t throw up his hands in exasperation and say, “To hell with you all.” He came after us. He sought us out. He called out to Adam, “where are you” (Gen 3:9).
And he’s asking each of us today, “My beloved, where are you?”
Better still, he wasn’t satisfied with simply calling. He became one of us. Jesus lived in this occupied territory. That’s the first dashed arrow. He knows what it’s like to live in space dominated by the enemy. (Just watch Passion of the Christ if you don’t believe he knows how hard life here is.)
And even better, there’s a second dashed arrow: Pentecost. God gave us the Holy Spirit so each of us could have the intimate, conversational relationship with him and be agents of spreading his kingdom here on earth. Reclaiming the order and life that was lost in the Garden. In this, we get to experience the life of the future in the present.
If that’s not conflict, I don’t know what is!
And best of all, he’s gonna came at the end and finally restore everything. He just loves us too much to want to end it before as many captives can be freed as possible.
So where was God yesterday morning?
- He was the one that urged my to juice the gas just a little seconds before the truck rammed into me. Had that not happened, I would’ve taken the brunt of the impact-me and the driver’s door, window, steering column, etc.
- He was the one that kept me from playfully inviting one of the kids to come to the Chamber breakfast with me. They wouldn’t have faired too well back there.
- He’s the one that is providing for me, and teaching me to be a godly steward, so that I am able to have great car insurance that kicked in immediately.
- He was at Enterprise Rent-a-Car giving me favor so that my little rental was upgraded to a better car at no charge.
- He’s the one that surrounded this stubborn Mainer with enough caring people saying, “You should really have yourself checked out” that I did go to the ED and then to a terrific OMT session to undo some of the shock that was done. Healing comes in many forms. All true healing is from God.
That’s where God was. He was right there with me, looking out for me and my family.
I’m increasingly convinced that we who follow Jesus would be better served by reminding each other that following Him isn’t a Victorian tea party. Following Jesus is really like turning a traitor to the occupying power of this present age. We’re in a war and we’re behind enemy lines. We’re in occupied France, fighting the Nazis on every side.
And I wouldn’t choose to be any where else!