Friday, January 27, 2012

God Is On A Mission

Those who follow this blog will note that I've written less of late.  I probably wouldn't write tonight either except that, during one of the many times in the last few days that Toni and/or I have spent with people lately, I was asked to make something clear.  That "something" had to do with the death of his/her mother or father.  This grieving son/daughter had heard some people say that "God must have wanted" their beloved parent and that "God only takes the best."

My heart broke when I heard this grieving person share that story.  The saddest part for me is that of the many people he or she heard saying those things, that is, that God must have wanted their parent and that God "only takes the best"... she or he heard those things said by people from my church.

I wish it wasn't true that Christians would say such things.  And maybe this dear grieving soul just thought he or she heard that.  Or maybe the people from my church were just repeating what they had heard said by others without thinking.  But when I met with this grieving soul I said this: God did not "take" your mother/father, at least not until he or she was already dead, or perhaps when things were just so hard for him or her that death--for a believing Christian--perhaps things were so hard for him or her in life that death was the most loving and caring thing that could happen.

But God did not, and does not, reach down and zap people who are healthy and strong and "take them" to be with him in heaven.  God's mission on this earth is to rescue and redeem and transform and save.  God does not "want" people and then come and grab them away.  What a horrible thought!  It's the devil who steals and kills and destroys.  Don't put the devil in God's place, and don't put God in the place of evil.  God is on a mission for good, to save the earth and its people from the pain and suffering that we have brought upon it.  God is not prowling around seeing who he can devour.  Let's make that clear.

But I have to admit that we Christ followers haven't always been very clear on what's really going on in this world.  We don't have a worldview that fits all that well with the reality that we find in the Bible.  The truth is that God did make this world good--and God put human beings on earth to be God's representative rulers here.  But we human beings did the worst thing possible.  We turned this wonderful creation over to the one who is hell bent to destroy it.  And ever since then we human beings have been the devil's slaves--or we would be--if God had not chosen to keep loving us, to put a plan in place to bring the whole planet back to him--back to good.

The Bible is the story about how God has been going about this mission.  And when we receive Jesus as our Lord and Savior, we are then rescued from the devil's army and are made into his own, his people, his chosen.  And now we are here as God's warriors of love and joy and peace and healing and resurrection.  We are here to bring good news to the broken and to every sinner.  God's love for you does not stop, it does not give up.  And we will not give up on you either.  We won't just say "oh, those terrible things that happen, they must be God's plan."  No.  We will stand with the grieving and say that God has a better plan, a plan for life, and though there be defeats from time to time, God will bring victory in the end.

That's all I have time to write now.  I'm sure this is not written all that well.  But I wanted to get it out there so my friend will know the truth.  God does not "take us out."  God desires life and love for us.  Not death.  Let's call on God to bring healing and resurrection now!  And let's grieve honestly when death does come, and then believe with them until the final victory is won.  What a wonderful resurrection morning that will be!

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