Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Adversity! Who's to Blame? Part 2 of 3

Speaking from experience I know that adversity is never easy. The word itself makes us cringe. The circumstances may be similar but the experiences are very different. One person loses a pet, another loses a job. Someone experiences a broken appliance, another a broken relationship. A man buries a dream while a woman buries a child. Adversity comes in many fabrics but the familiar thread is pain.

It can make you think and say some pretty crazy things. More than once I wished I was never born. Sometimes in the pits I think if I just stay on top of the garbage, I'll be able to climb out. I have been tempted to give up, give in and get out. After all, what's not to like about that place called Heaven? There will always be wind beneath my wings. Harping on something will have a whole new meaning. Those Golden Arches will be totally fat free. When we shout or sigh "Oh my God", we will unmistakably hear Him say, "Yes?". And we will finally get the answer to the question "Why?".

Why is this happening? Who is responsible for bringing this travesty upon me?

Joseph, you must have blamed your brothers for your troubles. They plotted to kill you.

No, I didn't blame them. It was God that sent me into Egypt.

Are you saying that God is responsible for your adversity, Joe?

Yes, it's just as I told my brothers. God was behind it.

But Joseph, how can you blame God?

He sent me ahead of my brothers to pave the way so that their lives would be saved. It was God who brought me through everything so that I would be in charge; a ruler of Egypt when the famine came. I gave my family a place to live and plenty of food to eat. God meant it all for good.

Joe, I can see the ending to your adversity and that makes it easier for me to understand what God was doing. But what about the person who feels like the pain in their life has no purpose?

I felt that way too, that life was pointless.

Yes Job, your suffering certainly was undeserved. Wasn't Satan to blame for your adversity?

No, it was God's idea to test me. He gave me everything I had and then took it all away. But, I did not curse His name. I asked God questions from my heart and He blessed me for being honest. At the end of my testing He gave me back everything I had and more. It was His right and good that He tested me.

To Be Continued...

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Adversity! Who's to Blame? Part 1 of 3

-->All of us have had some experience with adversity in one way or another. The question is, who is responsible for the adversity in life? Should we blame ourselves, say the devil did it, or can we justly say God has brought it upon us? We have with us today a number of distinguished male guests and I would like to begin by introducing them to you.

On my left is Paul. Paul, tell us briefly about yourself.

I was an advocate of adversity. I persecuted Christians. One day on a journey to do just that I saw the light...literally. Now, I find myself at the center of adversity. Let me boast a little. I have worked harder, been imprisoned more, beaten severely to within an inch of my life, stoned, shipwrecked, and on the run from friends and foe. I have been cold, naked, hungry, thirsty, and gone without sleep. Along with all of that I have the daily pressures of my job.

Thank you, Paul. Seated next to Paul is Joseph. Joseph is a bit of a dreamer, isn't that right Joseph?

Yes, I am a dreamer and a few of them got me into trouble. I was seventeen when adversity hit me in a big way. My brothers tricked me. They stole my very colorful coat, a gift from my dad, and threw me into a pit. Then, they sold me to some Midianite merchants who in turn sold me to Potipher, one of the Pharaoh's officials. I was doing well working in Potipher's house until his wife came on to me. I turned and ran for all I was worth, but Potipher had me thrown in prison.

Thank you, Joseph. Next at the table is Job. Job, you have a notable reputation for being an upright and blameless man. How did you come to be here with us today?

I can't say that I understand it all myself. One day I was a rich, healthy man with a family and the next I was staring adversity in the face. My children and servants were killed and my livestock carried off. I, myself broke out in open, painful sores all over my body and I had to use broken pottery to scrape them off. My wife got mad at me and my friends turned against me. I have to admit it, I wished I was never born and I wanted to die.

That must have been very painful for you Job. Thank you for sharing that with us.

David, the slayer of bears and giants. What's your story Dave?

In short, after killing Goliath I became successful and famous, but soon Saul became jealous of me and wanted me dead. For a time I ran for my life and hid wherever I could. But I must humbly confess, I brought most of the adversity on myself when I had an affair with Bathsheba and had her husband killed in battle.

Thank you for your honesty David. Now, nearing the end of our guest list is Elijah. Welcome, Elijah. I am told that you were fed by ravens. Is that true?

Yes, that is a true account. The ravens brought me food and I drank water from a brook until it dried up in a severe famine. That's when all the trouble started with Jezebel. I ran for my life and was so afraid I prayed I would die. I slept under a broom tree, then traveled forty days and forty nights to sleep in a cave.

Thank you Elijah. We are extremely honored to have our final guest with us. Jesus, your story has been repeated over the centuries and I must say there are those of us who never tire of it. You left heaven for earth, were stripped of your clothing, mocked, flogged until the skin hung from your body, beaten beyond recognition, crowned with a crown of thorns, nailed to a cross, bled to death and buried in a borrowed grave. You were innocent of any wrong doings, and yet you suffered this horrendous adversity.

The statements you have made about me are true. "You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free". That is why I preserved everything that has been written about me. I hope we can discover some truth about adversity. That is why I am here.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

What I Learned About Life, I Learned From A Motorized Wheelchair

My Daughter, Sharon
When life tries to run you over simply step aside.

Just because you are in the driver's seat doesn't mean you know where you are going.

If you are looking for adventure ask for an all terrain adapter kit.

If you are out for a joy ride watch for potholes.
Life would be much easier if it was a constant 1 to 12 pitch.

No matter what life tells you, you cannot go where you want, when you want, independently.

You can demand the best but life is still what you make of it.

Life comes with a joystick but you still need to learn how to use it.

It is crucial to recharge your battery.

Freedom has restrictions.

Transitions are a reality.

Life leaves tread marks.

Sometimes you need a lift.

The design and development of our lives is comprised by Someone committed to our disabilities.
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