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Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Life's Tough, and Then You Die

Remember the phrase so popular in the 80's? (Cleaned up a little, but still recognizable.) I liked it so much I translated it into French in high school. Around the same time, I used to wear a button that said "There is no gravity. The earth sucks."

And just what is wrong with life being tough? Rather than being a cynical statement of hopelessness, maybe the Gen-X motto ought to stand up as a beacon of hope. Life is tough; and not because God isn't watching. Rather, He allows us our challenges so that when we meet Him we have an offering for Him. Lord, you deemed me worthy to try. You chose me for this challenge, and I accepted it. Thank you, Lord.

Not so easy to say that now, when we are suffering and carrying the weight of our crosses. We are tired, and wish for nothing more than a Simon to come and help us carry them. Maybe to take them up for us for a while, even. But that help doesn't always come just because we want it; God saves it for when we need it.

No matter how much we wish now things were easier (and I'm not saying we have to stop praying for relief!) there will come a time when we account to Jesus for the life we led here. And at that time, we really will bask in the praise of our Lord who gave us a challenge because He knew and trusted that we could meet it.

Who knows why He chose our particular challenges for us? Maybe it was because He could rejoice that we kept our faith through it. Maybe it was because He wanted us to see His glory through the answers He sends (like the Israelites saw His glory after the Pharaoh made them suffer). Maybe it is to make us grow, or maybe it is because He has better plans for us that we do not know of yet. We cannot know; that's what faith is about. If we always knew His plan, it wouldn't take much faith to follow Him.

Jesus never told us to stop praying for our daily bread. But He never told us to tell God exactly how to provide it, either.

Lord, I believe. Help Thou my unbelief.