I'm sitting at the airport looking at a list of home repairs we are going to have to fix to sell our house this week. In addition, we are going through some difficult paperwork challenges. Let's call it that. My youngest son has a sprained rotator cuff and had a two year back injury. My oldest has two broken bones and a slipped disc in his back. We are getting ready to lose every cent of equity in our house for the second time in our marriage. And I'm watching two pastor's online communication. One is talking about becoming a millionaire and one is talking about how God has promised to make everything so sweet and "prosperous" for all of his people. My blood pressure has risen, and I'm unattractively sharing my disagreeing feelings with Brian, who is graciously listening and nodding. People must think I'm upset about something. I am! People who walk with God have been historically MARTYRD!!! Just because you have faith in God, your life will not be comfortable and plush. Hello, you may not be a millionaire. And do Christians not know that unbelievers can sniff out bull crap like this? Why? Because we all know good people who are going through really really difficult times. Some of the best people I know have walked faithfully with God for decades and lifetimes and have suffered immense physical, mental, emotionally indescribable pain that cannot be explained with a trite Christian cliche. These times challenge my faith and make me realize that I, having walked faithfully with the Lord for 44 years, understand less than I ever thought I did. If you have not suffered, you are probably not relatable. If your brand of religion is a stage, flashy clothes and retweets, you are so far off that the rest of us feel like you are hurting the cause of Christianity for those lost, smart souls who know that God is not a cosmic genie. Your "prospering" is not because you "spoke it" or "declared it" into existence, because you memorized scripture or followed a list of God's rules. We live in a messed up, imperfect world. So.....what DOES God promise? God's sustaining grace is powerful, tangible and enough. He will never leave us. We can trust him. He loves us unconditionally. Everything we need is IN CHRIST. You may be reading this and no one knows your name. Maybe you are hurt and feel like God has forgotten you. Maybe you are like me, and you trust God, but you are not sure about all the things you have heard and seen that don't add up. Let me tell you this. God is crazy about you! His love for you is FIERCE. He will walk with you every step of your life and never let you down. That is enough.
"For you have been my hope, Sovereign Lord, my confidence since my youth." Psalm 71:5