I love the authenticity of Jesus.
I love the way he cuts through pretense and goes straight to the heart of any issue. What amazes me—is how effortlessly He does it! Man I wish I could do that; see right through all the hype and get right to the real. I have learned that knowing the real from the fake saves time and lots of disappointing heartache in the long run.
So, “How come God lets us run headlong into the brick walls of ‘disappointment’ causing detours, delays, and even dead-ends?”
Meeting the REAL Messiah.
My journey has taken me down many dead-ends with disillusioning outcomes. I have also trusted far too many folks that frankly were very untrustworthy. I guess because I am a trusting optimist at heart, I try to ignore the bad, and look for the good in everyone. Perhaps it is my temperament or because it goes hand in hand with the spiritual gift of encouragement, but whatever the reason, I am now certain of one thing: That somewhere there is a thread of redemption running through any situation or calamity.
You may have to look hard to find it but it’s in there because…
It’s His mission to always redeem us.
And not just at salvation—but all our lives through.
Wherever we are or whatever has happened to us, God’s ultimate goal is to redeem our present difficulty, while making us more and more like Jesus.
The Jesus of spit and polish!
Sometimes Jesus just grosses me out—like when He spit on the ground and made mud to put on the blind man’s eyes.
I’m sorry but, “Eeeew—ick!”
As Jesus was walking along, he saw a man who had been born blind. His followers asked him, “Teacher, whose sin caused this man to be born blind—his own sin or his parents’ sin?” Jesus answered, “It is not this man’s sin or his parents’ sin that made him blind. This man was born blind so that God’s power could be shown in him. While it is daytime, we must continue doing the work of the One who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work. While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” After Jesus said this, he spit on the ground and made some mud with it and put the mud on the man’s eyes. Then he told the man, “Go and wash in the Pool of Siloam.” (Siloam means Sent.) So the man went, washed, and came back seeing. John 9: 1-7 NCV
We use the expression, “I’ll spit in your eye!” like an insult, but Jesus uses spit to heal a blind man—and I guess that’s my point.
He will use whatever He wants, to accomplish whatever He’s determined to accomplish, in us and for us. If it takes a little spit to make some mud, or if it takes a bit of sandpaper to bring out a little more of His shine in us, trust me, He’ll do it!
The sandpaper of DISAPPOINTMENT.
Dead-ends and brick walls used to really frustrate me. (Ever get mad at God?) Boy, I have.
After all, if I am trying to be obedient and surrendered and I pray and pray and ask God to show me the way, shouldn’t I be able to expect a favorable outcome?
Not necessarily so, or so my life has taught me.
This road we are on? The road to our destined purpose? It has lots of ruts with potholes and detours! We may actually run into a few brick walls along the way; or meet up with sandpaper people and places; or experience some very disappointing outcomes.
Will the REAL JESUS please stand up?
When this prodigal girl first “returned” to walk with God I had all kinds of un-real expectations. I thought this discipleship road I was embarking on was supposed to go a certain way.
I had some serious erroneous ideas of how Jesus was supposed to behave.
It took some time but I had to learn that Jesus is not our personal genie. We don’t say some perfect prayer and get what we want every single time. Jesus is not “for sale” for a little (or BIG) cash donation to our church or favorite cause. He is not our own personal Santa Claus, dressed in linen robe and sandals, with lots and lots of goodies for us just waiting for our asking.
Destiny is not about getting at all.
Destiny is first about surrendering all, then about becoming all that God has planned, and finally about serving others, whenever or wherever our Messiah chooses.
Even if our “outcomes” are so much LESS than what we hoped?
Destiny is still about His mission—and that has not changed in two thousand years!
Today, instead of getting upset over another delay or detour now I just say,
“Okay, Jesus, so You’re getting out the sandpaper again. Uh-huh, I get it. Tell me what You’re trying to teach me this time?”
It’s ALL intended for our GOOD.
I am currently reading Suzanne Eller’s book, Come With Me.
In her chapter When You Feel Like the Chair Guy, she tells about watching the guys who work behind the scenes, setting up and taking down the chairs, at her speaking events. From watching them serve faithfully (yet unnoticed) she has drawn the conclusion, “This is not about me.”
In her final remarks about her own disappointments she shares the following:
I’m not going to lie. Disappointment doesn’t feel any less painful on the seventh book than it does on the first. There wasn’t one thing I could do about it—except trust.
(Her current book launch had not gone as expected.)
I worked hard. I prayed over that book. There were months of tears and study and joy poured into it. Sixteen years ago Jesus said the words, “Come with me, Suzie,” and that led to writing words about him. He didn’t promise me fame or an easy path. He just asked me to bring people to him, in the best way I knew how… If I had found “success” without my disappointments, I’m not certain that I would have experienced the joy of working for the One… It might have sat squarely on me.
What is success?
It’s setting up the chairs. No matter what that looks like. Front row. Limelight. Out of sight. We’re bringing people to Jesus, and that’s worth dancing over!
When you’re walking a road called Emmaus.
In Hebrews it says,
While Jesus lived on earth, he prayed to God and asked God for help. He prayed with loud cries and tears to the One who could save him from death, and his prayer was heard because he trusted God. Even though Jesus was the Son of God, he learned obedience by what he suffered. [Heb. 5:7, 8 NCV]
Jesus knows what it’s like to ask, hope, and trust—and still the worst happens.
Sometimes we do everything right and things still go all wrong.
When it does? The real Jesus will show up to walk beside you just like He did for those guys dealing with disappointment on the road to Emmaus. And yeah, He may bring “the sandpaper” to knock off a few more of your rough edges. But if He does? Just know that “disappointments” are a normal part of any journey toward destiny.
They are actually some of His favorite, “teachable moments” where we learn and become all that He wants us to be—and isn’t that worth dancing over?
“Thou waitest for deliverance!
O soul, thou waitest long!
Believe that now deliverance
Doth wait for thee in song!
“Sigh not until deliverance
Thy fettered feet doth free:
With songs of glad deliverance
God now doth compass thee.”
—Streams In The Desert, May 26
Let’s SING our way out…
‘Til were dancing in the deep!