Right or Left?

21 Mar

After church yesterday, my 10 year-old son told me about his class that morning.  The text came from Esther, and they’d role played a portion of the book. My son chuckled as he said, “I was the king’s right hand man, but I stood on the left!”

 

I wondered, how often do we chuckle when things are done in a way we think peculiar, backward, or even unpleasing?

God often works in a way we don’t expect, nor one we’d choose. Accepting his authority beyond our understanding, or without feeling we deserve better isn’t our natural tendency.

Look at Jonah, he got mad when after leaving the belly of a fish and obeying God to preach in Nineveh, then God decided to spare Nineveh. He was put out! (Read Chapters 3 & 4 of Jonah.)

Consider John the Baptist. He preached truth, proclaimed the Messiah was coming, and pointed to Jesus as the Promised One. John said he must become less and Christ must become greater. John was right on the money!

 Yet, John was imprisoned (and later beheaded). In the meantime, Jesus started his public ministry. It wasn’t what John nor his helpers expected. While still in prison, John sent his messengers to ask Jesus if he was indeed The Promised One.

Confusion. Things appeared backward. (See Matt. Ch 3 and 11)

Jesus told John’s disciples, “Blessed is he who is not offended by me.”

God has given prolonged patience, mercy, and grace to all people. He works in his way and his authority.

Guard your heart against being offended by him.

John Bunyon, a preacher imprisoned in 1660, wrote that he’d never been so enlightened or encouraged by God’s word as during his time in jail. All he had to do was promise not to preach, then he’d have been released.  He remained in prison for 12 years.

Martin Luther expressed that his struggles and temptations prompted him to seek and love God’s Word more deeply, more fervently. And the apostle Paul was inspired to write much scripture while in prison.

These are our choices. To be offended, or to cling to his word– beyond our offense and understanding. To find that our sweetest growth in him may come, more times than not, under intense discomfort. 

If things don’t feel right, it doesn’t mean God has left you. 

Remember the footprints poem? You can find it here.  http://www.footprints-inthe-sand.com/index.php?page=Poem/Poem.php 

Cling to his word. His word never fails.

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One Response to “Right or Left?”

  1. Glenda Mills May 7, 2012 at 10:42 pm #

    Jeanette, I love this post. Praise God for the Grace he gives when life hurts and things don’t feel or seem right. Those times keep me clinging to the promises and trusting He is still in control.

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