You’re warm and cozy in your bed getting the best sleep of your life, when a trickle of sunlight pierces through your window and touches your eye. Grudgingly you open your eyes to the painful bright light of morning, look at your calendar, and let out a big sigh. It’s Monday morning and we all know what that means, it’s time to go to work with that horrible boss you work for! She nags you and picks apart every little thing that you do without even so much as a thank you for the good you have done. She talks about you with the others behind your back. She demeans and humiliates you in front of others to make it seem as though you’re not smart enough to do your own job, which actually makes her look dumb, in your eyes, since she hired you! You could leave the job, but you find rewarding things about other aspects of your work or you just need the money. Either way, the Sunday sermon certainly didn’t help by reinforcing the concept that you have to submit to that witch!
—>Having regrets about following God?<—
It’s worth following God. No, really, it is. However, when preachers and evangelists tell others these things some forget to tell the full reality of following God. The truth is: it won’t always be pretty, sometimes you’ll be confused as to why God is allowing you to suffer through certain things, and sometimes—even most times–everything won’t be peaches and roses. See, with following God, there comes a cost. Jesus and the disciples were NOT afraid to tell these things to others. In fact, if you recount the fact that they often told people about the cost of following Jesus, especially before people began to follow, you cannot help but to admit the drawing power of God!
–>Dealing with Injustice and Persecution<–
You’re sitting in church; twisting in turning in your seat. The message is uncomfortable–painful even–and it’s not because of the conviction of the Holy Spirit. You want to run and leave. You want to scream out in agony. The shame is unbearable. Everyone in the congregation seems to be enjoying the teaching or sermon and which each comment they make on what has been said you feel the knife that has been planted in your heart twisting and turning for good measure. They don’t know what they’re doing or saying, really. How could they? They have never experienced what the person from the bible retelling experienced. They’ve never experienced depression or mental illness.
Have you ever just talked with someone for years and years and suddenly your relationship with them just blows up in your face? Questions come out about whether this person was ever really for you or if they ever really knew who you were. See, what I’m learning is we can have conversations with people for days, or years even, and find out that they don’t really know and understand who we are and what we are about. The truth is that this person probably never really wanted or tried to understand who you were from the beginning because they might be clinging to whatever preconceived notion they had about you from the beginning. When I see this happen so easily in human relationships, it makes me wonder about our relationship with God. Do we really know Him? Do we really try to learn and understand who He is? Or do we just believe what others have said about Him or our own initial judgments we had about Him?