I listened in awe as the police officer described the incident. “I thought he didn’t have a gun, I was running after him with my tazer, and all of a sudden he just bends over and pulls out a pistol and fires at me from about 4 feet. I thought, ‘Lord, no!’ and then realized I hadn’t been shot, so I tazed him, and put him in cuffs. It was as though the Lord had picked me up, or moved me or something.”
She’s one of many remarkable individuals that make up our country’s servants. Getting out of bed, leaving your kids and spouse to go risk your very life protecting people you don’t even know just blows me away as a concept. And I’m sure I’ll never have to deal with any of the hardships she has to face on any given day. Her behavior reminds me of Christ – He knowingly walked into suffering and death for us.
A friend of mine having a tough time in her marriage recently asked how God could allow suffering, and I said, “There are a number of reasons, but mainly because few things accomplish growth in an individual like pain, and few things bring glory to God like someone else toughing out a situtation and hanging onto their faith in an admirable way during suffering.”
The man, Job, in the Bible, refused to denounce God. The guy lost all his property, his servants, even all 10 of his children, all on the same day. He wasn’t aware that the enemy had made a wager with God that he could make him fall, but even without the knowledge of that to spur him on, he still refused to denounce his Lord. “Shall we accept good from God but not trouble?” he asked. Tremendous wisdom in that statement – do we cling to God because He is our “santa” and we want only His blessings? Do we follow Him only for the prize at the end?
We need to evaluate our faith continuously to keep growing in it. I could have said to my dad, “I’ll be your daughter and hang out with you because I’m interested in the inheritance at the end of your life,” which is kind of like saying, “I’ll become a Christian because I want to go to heaven. My dad would have wanted more than that. Our God wants authentic relationship with us, too. Sometimes we only learn to trust Him by weathering a storm with Him at our side.
The saddest thing I see is Christians who walk away from their faith when it gets tested. We endure some sort of pain and we bail, thinking God has abandoned us, when in fact, He’s helping us learn: 1) the consequences of our own stupid choices that we could have avoided if we’d just listened to Him in the first place; 2) how to cling to Him and trust Him to take care of the situation; 3) that He is in control and we’re not; or 4) how to be an example to others.
Few things bring glory to God more than Christian people finding God’s goodness in a rotten situation and focusing on that. Few things bring glory to God more than Christian people walking through hardships relying on God, trusting Him to prevail.
Bottom Line: When the going gets tough, get on your knees. Your faith will grow!