Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The Nest, part 2

"And we know that all things work together for good, to them that love God, to them who are the called according to HIS (emphasis mine) purpose." -Romans 8:28

"They that sow in tears shall reap in joy." - Psalms 126:5

A few weeks ago, I wrote about a little Robin's seemingly futile attempts at building a nest. Given the location (the window sill above our front door), the very small frame it was attempting to build on, and the wind that seemed to blow the nest apart, it seemed a lost cause. However, today I must report to you that "Mildred" (my wife's name for the mother robin) was not only successful in her attempts, but she now has a small brood of baby robins to care for.

This got me to thinking, again. Life is not easy. Our lives seem to be filled with troubles that follow us from the cradle to the grave. Yet, the prosperity preachers continually shout how wonderful and blessed our God wants our lives to be. The usually unspoken flip side of this false doctrine is that if a person is struggling, then somehow they had a lack of faith- or didn't have enough faith with which to hold onto their miracle.

Mildred kept working at her appointed, and impossible, task in spite of her circumstances. She dealt with the wind. She avoided the predators. She stayed watchful and vigilant as she worked. Finally, the nest was done and she began the even more consuming task of caring for the eggs. After the chicks were born (can you call a baby robin a chick? I don't know.), she set out to find food and keep herself and the little ones both fed and safe from harm.

I believe that we humans tend to constantly look for easy street. We are continually trying to avoid the hard things in life. Worse, we've twisted our theology so badly that we- contrary to 1 Timothy 6:5 - suppose that gain IS godliness. When we find ourselves struggling we somehow believe, much like the disciples in the storm while Jesus slept, that God has abandoned us. Not so.

Every test and trial that we go through will be turned for our good IF:

a) we continue our love for the Lord, and
b) we walk in our calling, or if you'd prefer another term, his purpose for our lives.

When we find ourselves struggling in the storms of life, we need to keep loving Jesus. When everything in our lives that we try to do - like Mildred's nest- is continually falling apart in the winds of life, we need to keep loving Jesus AND keep trying to accomplish that which God has given us to do.

If we will - again, just like Mildred- we will see the dream take shape and life spring forth from a hopeless situation! We cannot give up and stop trying. No matter how bad the situation, God WILL make it work for good in both our lives, and his kingdom. How many people that point a finger at our lives and watch us struggle, may become that new born saint? How, you ask? As a result of them witnessing the Red sea parting in our lives. How many of our children will remember that we never gave up on God in our struggles and find the strength to keep living for God in theirs.

No. The struggle isn't easy, but it will be worth it- no matter the situation- to see others enter the kingdom through the "word of (our) testimony." Life's hard, but God specializes in making something beautiful out of our messes, if we let him. If you're struggling today, hold on to Jesus and keep working at your mission. One day, it'll be worth itl. God is truly good- and he makes our circumstances work out for good- all the time. And all the time, God is good.