From Pastor Jermin:
This is not for the immature Christian folk…
In January of 2001, we (my wife and I) experienced the almost unimaginable grief: The death of our son, Cyril IV.
In the hospital, I found myself asking God, ‘Why Me?’ What I heard in reply, (and I know that folk like to say, ‘I heard God say’, as though it is a regular occurrence for them. Not so with me. ) In any case, what I distinctly heard was, ‘Why NOT you?’ Shocked, I said aloud, ‘But that is my son!’
What I distinctly heard was. ‘How do you think that I felt when it was my SON?’
(It is a no-win situation when the God and Creator of EVERYTHING pulls rank on you…)
There were a barrage of feelings in that moment of such profound grief, including (but not limited to) shame & gratitude (ponder those two for a moment or two, and they shouldn’t require explanation, again as I said this is not for the immature folk) . I matured a lot in that moment, and it was a pivotal moment in my life…
You see, up to that point, I had swallowed all of the pop-Christian pablum so prevalent in most of today’s mega-centers, and wannabe mega-centers… You know, you’ve heard it: ’God wants you to have ‘x thing’, ‘it’s your heritage to get ‘x’, you need only claim it’. ‘You have not because you ask not’, ‘Speak ‘y’ into existence’, ‘God wants you to have whatsoever you desire’, (all eisegeted from scripture) and especially this version of Romans 8:28: ‘all things are working for your good’ (We’re gonna come back to that one)
I felt, even as I was peripherally aware of the suffering of others, that I was somehow entitled to things, and exempt from trouble, based on my position in the ministry I attended, the perception that others had of me (and I of myself) the things that I knew/ understood about God (or thought I did). I was arrogantly deceived, haughtily ignorant, and terribly mistaken.
As I read these words by Charles Spurgeon today, his preaching on James 1:2, that event/time came back to me, and I had a realization which I would like to share, but first:
“Because the trial of your faith brings honour to the Lord, therefore the Lord Himself is sure to try it, that out of its trial praise may come to his grace by which faith is sustained. Our chief end is to glorify God, and if our trials enable us more fully to answer the end of our being it is well that they should happen unto us. So early in our discourse we see reason to count it all joy when we fall into manifold trials.” – Charles Spurgeon
Let me say first that I agree with Every Word that he spoke here, and that leads me to pose these questions for you to ponder, brother/sister:
1) When we quote Romans 8:28 to ourselves and one another, declaring that ‘all things work together for your good’, do we realize that all, really does mean ALL? All things… ALL THINGS.
2) And, (this is a multi-part question) How do we define what is ‘Good’? On whose scale do we weigh what is Good? What criteria are in place? Do we consider what we perceive as immediately beneficial based on our limited perception and depth of field, as good, but anything beyond our scope, not so much?
Let’s begin the conversation there…
More to come