Writing this blog thus far has been a very interesting experience. First, because I had no idea so many people would be interested in jumping into the wagon with us and going on a ride. And second, because it has made me more keenly aware of the losses and crosses that people bear in their everyday lives, nearly all people.
For example, I find myself pondering the pain that must have been my friend’s (and his wife’s) to be paralyzed in an automobile accident while in college 25 years ago. I ponder the pain of those who live life in a continual state of pain and discomfort, those who have had children die, or who suffer from debilitating disease. And while I may not be much closer in understanding anyone’s individual heartaches, I think we’re at least in the same country.
And here’s the strange thing. I’m not suffering at all! [apart from the emotional tugs of indecision] I feel perfectly fine. All we’re trying to do is determine what God would have us do with this thing in my brain… whether something or nothing. Something… which could well be a complete success, something which could be less than a complete success on a continuum from mostly successful all the way down to complete failure. Or we could do nothing, which may also be successful… or it could prove to be fatal.
It kind of feels like we’re in a sort of “no-man’s-land” stuck between several possibilities. One of the things that God does for us in these kinds of losses and crosses is to humble us and bring us to our knees. As a follower of Christ it is good to be reminded of Jesus’ words in Luke 9:23-24 “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it.”
Certainly this text pertains to Christians who suffer and die for their faith. In verses 21-22 Jesus is talking about his own impending suffering and death. But for someone to lose his/her life “for Jesus’ sake” also pertains to anyone who has lived for Jesus’ sake.
That’s why the Apostle Paul can write in Philippians 1:2, without batting an eye “For to me to live is Christ and to die is gain.” Also in 1 Corinthians 15:31 he wrote “I die every day.” Paul knew that this life was but the cheap opening act compared to the glory that will one day be revealed to those who love Him.
Whatever decision we end up making we understand and trust that God is completely sovereign over that decision…no matter what happens. Unlike many bogus theologies in this world today teach, it is clearly not God’s sovereign, decretive will to heal all people in this life who are afflicted with problems of all kinds, or to keep us from pains of all sorts. It is God’s sovereign will to be glorified in all things.
Losses and crosses are the lot of us all. How do you see yours? Ultimately, mine leads to everlasting joy.