Sunday, February 13, 2011

Surgeon ... or Assassin?

I heard a sermon today that was probably the best one I've heard in a long while. Whether it was actually the best one I've heard, or whether it was the one I've needed to hear the most in a long time, is debatable. But, it was excellent. The sermon was all about suffering ... and how we choose to go through that suffering. At the very beginning of the sermon, the pastor mentioned that it all comes down to gaining God's perspective through that suffering ... and my heart practically stopped because that has been my very prayer for the last several months -- to see things through God's eyes, to have His perspective, to look first through the filter of Scripture rather than my emotions. I knew this sermon was meant specifically for me from God. What a wonderful Valentine's present... I think!!

I KNOW that I don't see things from God's perspective, but I also recognize that I need to. I really WANT to. I want to have the type of mature faith that doesn't question, just accepts ... doesn't rebel, just submits ... doesn't need to understand, just trusts.

When I'm going through a trial, I have to admit that I don't suffer well. I beg to be rescued. I wallow in the pity potty of my life. I get angry. I question. I tend to hold God at arm's length. I look for things to make me feel "happy". It all boils down to the fact that even though I say I trust God, I don't. Even though I say I believe He's working for the good, I don't really believe it. But the God I serve is incredibly gracious. He lets me go this way for a bit, but He winds up gently reminding me that He's still there ... that He's still working ... that He IS a good God. There will be times when I don't understand, times that are painful, times that I want to give up or run away. These are the very times when He's developing my faith and conforming me more to the image of Christ. By seeing things from His perspective, He gives me the strength and joy to deal with these trials.

But God's working with me. His faithfulness is amazing! He doesn't give up on me when I don't get it right. And He continues teaching me the same things over and over again that I fail to learn right the first (or second or fiftieth or thousandth) time. And the lesson of seeing things from His perspective is one of them.

I'm going to finish my post with a short paragraph from Walt Henrichsen's devotional, "Thoughts From the Diary of a Desperate Man". He says so eloquently what I cannot, but my heart completely identifies with:

"Seemingly senseless pain and trauma engulfs much of life. If you seek to follow Him, you must be content to trust His character rather than your ability to understand. The difference between a knife in the hand of an assassin and a knife in the hand of a surgeon is intent: both inflict severe pain. you must decide whether God is an assassin or a surgeon. But remember, your choice does not change God, only your opinion. All the risk of making the wrong choice is on you."


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