26 April 2009

Concession

I spent a portion of church today trying to not be offended. I think I had to give it back to the Lord at least 4 or 5 times. We continued in our series, "Leap of Doubt" which you can listen to by clicking HERE. Today's lesson was "If Suffering exists, God cannot." Directly before the sermon began, we sang my song, "Bring the Rain" by Mercy Me (which I wrote out the lyrics of last week). Then the speaker, who was not our regular pastor, but a leader who really reminds me alot of my brother, began to speak by saying something along the lines of "Yikes, what a hard song to sing. Bring the rain. Whatever." He meant, and I knew he meant, Like I'm really going to ask for Jesus to bring trials. I had been basking in the end of the song still and then it was like, crash! 'Whatever!' Then I had to start forgiving him for the perceived insult- making light of my suffering by my perception that he discarded "my" theme song.

Then I was home, still mulling, and polishing my piano. I was loving my piano. I learned from my mom to polish furniture to take care of it, to enjoy it, to show that I valued it. James got me a $50 piano last fall and this was the first time I got some furniture oil and really wiped it down, got my hands all greasy-- and a splinter, and wiped away all the grime and (food) and dust from years. I was polishing it, and wondering if I was doing a good job here at this blog polishing the monuments to God. I don't want to seem like a complainer, looking for someone to say 'oh what a hard life you lead, what an example you are.' I want to create shiny, bold, beautiful, huge monuments to tell the world what I'm learning on this road.

And that's when I had my revelation about the song... its not an invitation for God to please send some trials and tribulations [rain], but it's a concession to the Lord, that if the trials are going to come, IF THAT'S WHAT IT TAKES TO PRAISE HIM, then bring it on. No one wants any of it- sickness, death, divorce, child gone astray, addiction, foreclosure, starvation, genocide--- none of it is something we'd welcome. BUT IF THAT'S WHAT IT TAKES FOR US TO LEARN TO GLORIFY HIM, then we should count it as His mercy and kindness (John Piper, Don't Waste Your Life). Better divorce and death here on earth than eternal separation from Him. If this is what it takes for me to praise Him, if when its all sunny and happy I ignore Him and his blessings, if suffering brings me to the Lord, then Jesus, bring the rain!

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