Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Choosing God Daily in the Midst of Difficulty


15 But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, … But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.”  Joshua 24:15

Monday, we met with Edmond’s geneticist to discuss his blood results in further depth and to be able to ask questions about his diagnosis. We left discouraged and heavy after discussing the science of his condition.

In times like these… it’s easy to feel like it’s actually “undesirable” to know and serve the LORD. I know some may be shocked by what I just said, but then I wonder how great of a test have you had to face in your life, really. Adonis and I actually had a conversation about this, wondering if life would be so hard for us, had we not given our lives to Christ, had we not been put on a “spiritual radar”, embarked on this Pilgrims Progress.

During this time I wonder if being an atheist would be easier on my mind, at least I could blame science and not take offense at the “luck of the draw” that has been dealt out to my son. But I do take a kind of offense. If my Father God, knows my name, knows my steps, orders my steps and orders my son’s steps… then I find that in my heart of hearts, I want to tell God that my feelings are hurt that He has allowed this to happen to my family, and to my son.

God keeps bringing this passage to my mind…

14 “Now fear the LORD and serve him with all faithfulness….15 But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, … But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.” 16 Then the people answered, “Far be it from us to forsake the LORD to serve other gods! 17 It was the LORD our God himself who brought us and our parents up out of Egypt, from that land of slavery, and performed those great signs before our eyes. He protected us on our entire journey and among all the nations through which we traveled. 18 And the LORD drove out before us all the nations, including the Amorites, who lived in the land. We too will serve the LORD, because he is our God.” Joshua 24:14-18

I can relate to this passage of scripture in a couple of ways. Joshua is taking a stand here. He is drawing a line in the sand. I’m sure he rightly suspects that there are those among him who are grumbling and complaining and looking for other things to worship, rather than God. Maybe they’ve had questions and doubts, pain and trials… and even though they find themselves in the “promised land”, it’s not how or what they expected it to be.

I kinda thought marriage and kids would be a type of “promised land” to me. And here I am feeling like, ‘man, this serving the Lord thing is harder than ever.’ And I can hear Joshua saying, “if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourself this day whom you will serve.” He goes on to remind them that God himself had brought their parents out of Egypt from slavery. I can relate to that verse too, how God himself, made himself known to my parents and delivered them from sin, how he changed our lives “for good.” And I can also relate to the verse, “and performed those great signs before our eyes.”

When you grow up as a preacher’s kid, a street preacher’s kid at that, there’s plenty of room for God to do what he wants to do. Without a regular congregation supporting our family, we really had to live by faith, ofcourse at the time, it was my dad’s faith we were all living on… but nevertheless, time and time again, we saw God’s hand move “right before our eyes.” Rent dropped into our lap, cars driven up to our house and dropped off, Christmas money of specific amounts we had asked for come in… health insurance paid for… college tuitions taken care of. Not to mention the years dad should have already been dead of liver disease and they could only detect trace amounts of Hepatitis C in his liver, where the doctors were telling him it was miraculous. And ofcourse the scores of people who came to Jesus, who dad “bumped” into, at the store, on the freeway (literal accidents), at Red Robin, in the hospital, on the phone…. People delivered from drug addiction, healed from disease, all of this was “before my very eyes.”  

I suppose that’s the power of our testimony, the power that helps us to overcome, that builds our faith, the story God writes around us and in us. Right now I have to rely on my backstory… the grace that got me to this point. Edmond’s story is just beginning, our promised land, as it was for Joshua, is just beginning. And so here I stand in the midst of difficulty and say, 

"Lord, I am taking a stand for my family. Serving You IS desireable to me, despite how I feel, others may choose other gods, but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord!" 
Once you know, that you know, that you know, God himself has stepped into your life and in your corner… there’s just no other way to live, but I find that it’s still a battle of my faith to choose to do so, every day of this life. Today, I will choose again to serve the LORD. 

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