We often come to life expecting all of the pieces of the puzzle to nicely fit together.
We want and expect harmony, order, and fairness, the achievement of rewards for good behavior, good health, and happiness. We can more easily accept death when it comes naturally after a good long life, but have a real difficulty comprehending the meaning of it all when it is cut short. Willing to put in a good measure of effort, we desire positive results. When things go wrong and life gets hurtful, unjust, and downright ugly, we become unsettled and can quickly fall into despair. This is especially true if we are people of faith who believe in a God who sees things on our terms and works in favor of our life agenda. What happens to our faith when we find ourselves sitting in a mess?
Does it help to know that God understands and that hardship, failure, disappointment, injustice, confusion, and all of life’s ugliness do not make faith irrelevant or irrational? God is wonderfully and surprising creative! He turns the tables on not only our understanding of life, but of what it means to be a king. God sends us a king who is not exempt from life’s ills but embraces them. The king that God gives to us knows what it means to be poor, suffer insults, be ridiculed, face rejection, endure suffering, be betrayed, and face a most unjust and horrific death. This is our king. Jesus is not a king of prestige or grandeur but a king who brings light to darkness, hope to despair, sinners to mercy, and new life out of death. Christ dances before us pleading with us to hold on, cling to love, avoid being negative, stop feeling cheated, and be strong in faith! There may be hardship and disappointment now but there are more surprises to come.
Once we understand this truth, we will also understand that we are on a most incredible and awesome universal journey to Christ and becoming one in Christ. We all carry within us the image of God, the image of our suffering king. The One who lives in us also lives in all of our brothers and sisters. Failing to see this universal Divine Presence in all is one of the greatest mistakes we can make, for we also fail to see God, our king, as well. There are many things that can bring hardship to life. If we keep our head about us and do not lose hope, we can persevere and strive for the greatest degree of justice possible. Even though there are ample things that can challenge our faith, we also know that our deepest joy comes from union with God and our brothers and sisters. One day, the fullness of that joy will be ours to have when we are all eternally one with Christ our King forever.
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We are always looking to share testimonies of people who have experienced God’s presence in their lives: a challenge that they were able to overcome, a prayer answered, a moment of conversion, a steadfastness in faith, a response to a call. Contact Tina Gregory at 925-667-4051 or email at Story@StMichaelLivermore.com