Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Perception and Reality

This has been long in coming. I have guarded this in my heart, but today I feel compelled to type.

In my life and my young family we have recently had a seriese of trials one after another. Many hopes and dreams crushed or buried as the weight of reality comes lumbering through, leaving broken bits and debries in it's wake. Still My wife and I plow on through, picking up the pieces and little bits and putting them back in to order. Our life is always like this. From one event to another.

This pattern continues to repeat and although we are getting better at adjusting our family and life, it still leaves a wide trail through our lives. The first few times it happened I questioned God. From a brain surgury to a fire we are left with many reminders that we are not in control, we do not have the answers. Yet through all these clamities we are left better, stronger, more prepared. Just when I think my world is crashing down and despair begins to raise it's head, God allows an opportunity for ministry.

This week it was a person hurting at the loss of their unborn child. A child that they hadn't even realized was on the way. My wife and I went through those emotions and we were better prepared to listen and to minister because of it.

This leads me to the story of Job. No my barns are not all destroyed and my children's lives have been spared. Still a spiritual reminder from an old story. Job was sitting on the ruins of his life. His three friends gathered around him and sought to fix whatever Job had done to wrong God.

In my time of despair, in my time of forced reflection, I am sitting on my heap, looking at my friends trying to understand their minds what is coming from their mouths. For days Jobs friends sat and said nothing then when Job broke down and vented to his friends, the people he should have been able to trust and let down his guard .... his friends responded.

Jobs friends and I am finding many other "friends" have a flawed human logic when it comes to God. Humanism. Secular thought applied to the scriptures and to God. Job's friends and it seems many of my "friends" think that man must do things to earn God's favor and therefore suffering is a sign of His displeasure.

I ran into this quote in my hurting this last few weeks
I learned from this encounter not to ever again ask my friends for their
opinions, but to join me in asking God for His. Only God's opinion is free
of human distortion and therefore void of any gap between perception and
reality.

Perhapse the lesson is not for my friends but for me when I am in same situation. How do you react to a friend in a crisis? Are you quick to judge and start gathering stones?

If you figure it out let me know.

1 comment:

Beth said...

J.P.
We still live in a world just like Job-with foolish people! I am sorry for your hurting, but it is not for nothing. You guys do seem to get hit alot! It makes you wonder what it is God is shaping you for? Just know that this friend is rooting for you.:-) Have a great day!
In Christ's love,
Beth