A minister in the local paper had the following in his weekly commentary:
A small town pastor called on one of his older men to pray in a worship service.
“Lord, I don’t like buttermilk,” the old man began. “Lord, I don’t like lard; Lord I don’t like plain flour. But when they’re mixed together and baked in a hot oven, they sure do make tasty biscuits, and I just love biscuits. Please, Lord, help us to realize that, when we face things we don’t like in life, we need to wait and see what You’re making. After You get finished mixing and baking, it’ll probably be something even better than biscuits. Amen.”
Is this not how life is for the Christian? With all the ups and downs of life, we so often fail to see what God is doing with us and for us. We want the biscuits … right now. We want there to always be biscuits, but in the kitchen, the ingredients have to be mixed together first, and then heated in the oven.
As a Christian, we struggle with the curve balls life throws at us. Most certainly when struggles come upon us and the heat of the hot oven saps our strength, we cry out in despair. We want everything “fixed” post-haste. We want biscuits now.
None of us are exempt from trials. The Bible says, “… He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.” (Matthew 5:45)
It is just as true that evil comes upon us all, the just and the unjust. There is so much suffering in the world, and Christians, as I have already stated, are not exempt. Whether it is medical problems, financial problems, addictions, bullying, censorship, divorce, death, persecutions, ridicule, and on and on and on, life has a whole volley of not so nice surprises to throw at us.
If we are not having problems, I’m sure we know of several among our own circle of family and friends who are, and there are many of whom we are not aware. Sooner or later, we will join others in having a lousy day.
Jesus said to us all when He left this earth that He would send the Comforter. Every Christian has the Comforter, the Holy Spirit, living within them. I am of the opinion that the Holy Spirit is truly a Comforter, in the truest sense of the word. He guides our eyes to look upon Jesus and to glorify Him in our lives. He leads us to the Father in prayer, which by the way, has been made possible by Jesus. We, as a child of God, can be comforted in our trials if we allow the Comforter to do in us what He was sent to do. What was He sent to do? He was sent to glorify Jesus Christ through us.
When I was in grade school (we called it “grade” school back then) the nurses would come to the schools occasionally to give all the students shots. I never did mind receiving a shot, but I recall a few others that were terrified. There was one girl in particular the nurses had to chase down the hall in order to give her the shot she needed. I quickly discovered that when the nurse gave me my shot, I hardly felt it if I looked at something in the room and concentrated on that object.
That same principle holds true for the Christian. There are times in life we are going to get a shot, but if we keep our eyes and our minds fixated upon Jesus, He will help us get through the hard times.
I have watched some Christians who seemed to always have a good day, and yet I knew they were suffering. Sadly, I’ve seen other Christians who were always having a bad day. What is the difference between the two? One kept their eyes on Jesus. The other was watching the needle penetrate their skin.
Believe me, I am not making light of anyone’s suffering. No sane person desires to suffer from anything. I know I don’t like the battering rams of life, but we all must eventually face it. How we face it, will determine how we progress through it. I am convinced by God’s Word, the smart ones will be fixated upon Jesus and not the problem. That doesn’t mean we ignore it. It doesn’t mean it won’t hurt. It simply means, “Hey, I’ve got to get through this hard time, and I need help. How do I get through this?”
“My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth. He will not let your foot slip— he who watches over you will not slumber;” (Psalms 121:2-3)
Maybe we should consider the old man’s prayer at the beginning of this article. Maybe God wants to take the buttermilk, plain flour and lard of our life and make biscuits. If that is true, they need to be mixed and put in the oven first. Now that oven can get pretty hot, but when those biscuits are finished, “Yummmm, where’s the gravy?!”
I leave you with a very familiar Scripture, but what comfort it brings to the aching soul.
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.
And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.
What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?
He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?
Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies.
Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us.
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?
As it is written: “For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.
For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:28-39)
Pre-Rapture Commentary: http://grant-phillips.blogspot.com
Rapture Ready: http://www.raptureready.com/featured/phillips/phillips.html