I wake up to some very loud and annoying music each morning from the school that is right outside of my window. (Most of the people in this community don’t have or use clocks/watches, so the music indicates that it is time to get the kids ready for school.)
One of the many songs is the ABC song. At first I did not recognize it with their accent, but then I knew what they were singing, yet something seemed off….they were not singing the letter ‘X”. I asked some of the people in the community, and they say it is too hard to say, so they do not say it.I try to tell the importance of having all of the letters, but they just were not following me….
Then I began to think about other areas in life where we can oftentimes choose some parts but not all. Like….
- Only having the weekends/days off. That would be fun, who wants to choose ‘work’?
- Choosing dessert before dinner.
- Enjoying the harvest without having to prepare the soil, plant the seeds and water it daily.
- Being fluent in a language without studying.
- The list goes on and on….
This really reminded me of the prosperity gospel some preach. “If you become a Christian, and accept Jesus in your heart…you will be healed of all diseases, you will not face hardships, you will be financially blessed and you will live happily with your spouse and have many children….”
Some see God as a vending machine. You put faith in and out comes what you select/want (money, obedient kids, new houses and cars, nice co-workers, etc…)
Yet when we look at the bible we do not see this.
Abraham waited (a LONG TIME) for his promised son and later was prepared to sacrifice him out of obedience to the Lord.
Joseph was sold into slavery by his own family.
Moses‘ call to free the captive Israel led to years of adversity and testing.
Israel only crossed the Jordan River after 40 years in the desert.
David was the example of the Messiah-King, yet suffered years of waiting and many family struggles.
Daniel was later referred to as the “pattern of righteousness” (Ez 14:14, 20), but was held captive for years, was tested and even thrown into a den of lions.
Don’t forget about Job, Paul, Jesus and countless others.
Were their lives easy? They were not promised an easy life. Instead, He promised that He would be with us. He is there to help us through our hardships, but does rarely ever just removes them entirely. It is in the hardships that we learn to depend on Him, His strength & wisdom and not on ourselves. And it is through these times that our character is being formed into something far greater than we could have imagined.