Why not me?

I am almost done a most amazing book Suffering and the Sovereignty of God. It is amazing, and life forming. There are more aspects to it than I can draw out in a blog… and much of it simply cannot be summarized briefly at all; at least not by me and my poor handling of such weighty doctrines as the complexity of God being fully sovereign in His ordaining things to be, and man’s being fully responsible at the same time…
But, a similar theme rings out to me, one that I have thought on often this year…. I am reading, time and again, the oft-times necessity of pain and suffering that our Lord uses as a wakeup call. And I wonder, why, why has He chosen in the midst of His goodness, to draw my heart to Him?
I think that I left the ball in His court so to speak. For a long time. Much of 2006 was consummed with myself, and my thinking that if it were really bad, God would do something about it. The Lord does not leave us in our lukewarm state, does He? Sin! I thought I could justify my self-absorbtion by saying; “well, God doesn’t seem too upset… there’s no lightning…. no disease…. He is sovereign after all…..” Abuse! Abuse of His goodness, of His doctrines. Abuse of my understanding of Him.
I think it is grasping this that freed me in much of my thinking. I really wanted to place all of my deeds at His feet, along with the responsibility of my decisions. Mind you, my understanding of this is all very hindsight, but such is the case. If God had gone ahead, and allowed me some deep pain, I most likely would have attributed it to His displeasure in my weak Christian living. The results may have been similar, but He has chosen to show that revival of the heart, and a thirsting for Him need not be precipitated by a famine.
Piper writes: “The suffering of the servants of God, borne with faith and even praise, is a shattering experience to apathetic saints whose lives are empty in the midst of countless comforts.” I wait for it… anticipating it…. Not in an apprensive way, more curious really. I want to be broken. I want to continue to cry at church, as my soul sings “When Christ shall come, with shouts of acclamation, and take me home, what joy shall fill my heart. Then I shall bow, in humble adoration, and there proclaim MY GOD HOW GREAT THOU ART!!!!!!!!!” Don’t you see it too? When you close your eyes? Are you in the largest, grandest hall ever? Kneeling before the throne? Is He not sitting there, with scarred hands? And your heart wants to SCREAM “How great You are!” but, it is barely a whisper…. do you choke it out, with tears that fall faster? Are you as awestuck as I? You kiss His feet, there are nail marks there yet… but aren’t they beautiful?
And do you wonder with me too, at the cushiness of life? At the apathy? For His provision – the money, the health, the home, heat, food in abundance… nothing compared to Him. Our sufferings cannot compare to the weight of glory we are on the verge of partaking in. And it is on the verge – for whether it be another 60 years, or merely 60 days it is but a breath in the depths of eternity. Let our blessings not compare either friends. I am apathetic. But, my heart is melting… tears are starting to flow… vulnerability is following… May God continue to use the goodness of life to change me, and may I be ready to glorify Him when it is the dark days He chooses to sanctify me with. May my heart’s cry not vary from one moment to the next – in plenty or in want – may He be my all in all.

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