Here’s a thing. In Jr High, if we lost, I believed God was punishing me.
Why Is That?
- I prayed to win, so if we lost…?
- God would reward my “sinless” behavior.
- It was my faith’s DNA.
I lacked a mature understanding of God. I imagined him sentencing sinners for their sins. If I avoided sinning, I would be rewarded. A victory was as good a reward as I could think of. I was thirteen.
Someone told him that Pilate, Governor of Judea, offered sacrifices mixed with the blood of Galileans.
In response, Jesus said:
“Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans because they suffered this way? I tell you, no.”
“Or those eighteen who died when the tower in Siloam fell on them—do you think they were more guilty than all the others living in Jerusalem? I tell you, no.”
- God gets the guilty!
- Like Job, I must have sinned, badly.
- I guess bad things happen to good people.
- My lack of success is proportional to my lack of faith.
- God likes to keep me humble, broken, and down.
We know the verses:
- “In this world, you will have tribulation.”
- “Do not be surprised at the painful trial you are experiencing.”
- “God disciplines those he loves.”
- “Count it all joy, when you have trials of many kinds.”
Or Romans 8:35
“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword?”
To not think life should be one long boulevard of green lights. I have the sense that life should be easier, simpler, if for no other reason than its more comfortable and convenient.
Life isn’t that. Life is up and down, in and out, and backwards and forwards. It’s winning and losing. It’s living in a broken and fallen world. Accidents happen. Bad things happen. But, so do good things, and they are usually the majority.
The goal shouldn’t be to outfox and outdistance the bad stuff. The goal should be to live each day for his glory. Come what may.
I guess the boulevard can have a few red lights.