Saturday, February 7, 2009

Café Chat Feb 7th

This week has been...difficult. Work, home, life demands - it seems everywhere I turn I'm in a battle. Nothing has come easy. Many times my best course was to say nothing. Sometimes, however, I've had to be very, very vocal. By the time my week was wrapping up I just wanted to curl up into a ball (fetal position) and be left in peace. Not alone, for I am never alone, but separated from the world that challenges me.

During Bible-study on Wednesday I was blown away by this quote from Esther: "Who knows if you were put in this position for just such a time as this?" (slight paraphrase of Esther 4:14) This resonates in my soul.

"Why me, O LORD?"

"Because you are the best person for the job. You are the one I chose. I need you and I have prepared you for this hardship. You will lead others, others who would be lost without you."

So, I soldiered on.

And now it is Saturday morning and I'm at my computer catching up on blogs (reading, commenting, writing). I meandered over to a site that offers a weekly topic for blogging discourse. If you click the image in this post you will go directly to today's post. I recommend you read it in its entirety.

In a nut shell, the lead-in is a story of a British missionary in the Congo in the 60's. She stayed in a dangerous environment when better judgment might have forced her to leave. Her faith compelled her to stay. Then one day she was brutally beaten and raped by a truckload of soldiers. During her recovery she found herself even closer to God than before.

“There was no bitterness within her, though Helen had experienced terrible, mindless evil. It would have been so easy to demand of God why He allowed these atrocities, when she had been so faithful to His service. But in her heart of hearts, she felt that God’s question would be, “Can you thank Me for trusting you with this experience, even if I never tell you why?” (David Jeremiah's Captured by Grace)

That question stopped me in my tracks, and for today’s Chat I would like to hear your thoughts about this question...Of course this is the question that Helen felt like God was asking her, but I think it is a good question for all of us to ponder.

I was covered in goosebumps, touched by the poignant tale. I'm not implying my work/life tribulations are anything close to what happened to this woman, but the question she raised is one I've heard asked by the Spirit that lives in me.

There are certain truths in this world which we have to accept:
- Bad things happen.
- God is good.
- God wants to save everyone and to draw the lost souls back into His fold.
- When bad things happen to good people, those people are often the shining example of God's grace that can motivate and inspire others and bring lost souls back.
- God doesn't owe us an explanation.

From my own experience I know that I am a better person for every trial I have endured. We are blessed during times of trial. Perseverance brings us closer to God. If we lose faith when we are tested, it is our loss (but hopefully only a temporary set-back). If our faith grows stronger it is a win-win for us and for God. God is not looking for His followers to be a collection of wimpy, lazy, spoiled children. He needs us to be His soldiers, strong in our faith, fighting the forces of evil and temptation that separate Him from those who don't know or understand Him.

God, we praise You for the times of difficulty that force us to be deliberate in our faith. May we respond with grace and glorify Your name.

Amen.

5 comments:

Toknowhim said...

Thank you so much for participating in today's chat... I really liked what you had to say..you made some very good points.

Blessings and please come back to participate again.

Kim

therextras said...

Well done, ygw. Esther's story is extremely powerful. Have you ever seen the movie of her story "One Night With the King"? Excellent representation of her struggle and God's oversight of her life.

Putting the question to myself: “Can you thank Me for trusting you with this experience, even if I never tell you why?”

I want to say yes. I might even think I may have let a little gratitude cross my lips after a difficult period reaps new understanding. Hope I'm not being prideful.

I am less likely to ask 'why' than others, I think. Still, this question is a good one for me to ponder. Can I get back to you? hehe.

More seriously, I have never had anything as bad as the woman in Africa. I cannot predict my response to such an experience.

Thanks for bringing more to my prayer-life. I want to go read Esther again, too. BFF

you gotta wonder said...

Thank you both. I woke up this morning and was finally able to say (with respect to my work situation) "Thank you God, for giving me this opportunity to do your will and to demonstrate your grace."

I will put "One Night with the King" on my list of movies to watch. Esther's story is relatively new to me.

Jeanette said...

I have the book "One Night with a King" and I HIGHLY recommend reading it before seeing it! The movie only touches on the powerful acts of Esther. This was a book that really touched me!!

Sharlyn Guthrie said...

I liked your reference to Esther for this question. I'm also participating in Internet cafe chat for the first time this week. Guess we're the new kids on the block. :)