I blame the movie Fireproof. Or maybe I blame the book of Job. Maybe Probably Definitely both. No…I’m sorry. It’s neither.
It’s Disney! Definitely Disney, and maybe Oprah or Joel Osteen too.
What am I talking about, you ask? What, you can’t figure it out? It’s the happily ever after mentality. Think about it.
Okay, that’s not quite it either. But isn’t it true that we often just expect life to go “happily ever after” if we simply do the right things? I mean, just go through the Love Dare. It’ll fix your marriage. Just remain faithful. God will give you everything back that you lost. Slay the dragon, destroy the wicked witch. Be good enough. Do good enough. Everything will fall into place – almost magically. Aren’t there plenty of biblical, fictional, and even life examples of this? So what’s the problem? Why doesn’t it work for me!?! Why isn’t it working for my friends, for those I pray for regularly, for my own family??? Why does divorce still happen? Why do bad things happen to good people?
Why isn’t my life easier?
These are just a few of the questions I hurl toward God, sometimes with no small amount of animosity. I see my friends who are hurting, whose lives, marriages, families, careers are just falling apart. I can’t help but wonder...
How can God let this stuff happen?
Did you notice what I said at the beginning, though? I didn’t say I blame God. And I don’t really blame those other things either. Romans 3:23 says “the wages of sin is death.” Okay, is it just me, or does it bug you that the sentence structure of this passage doesn’t jive? Shouldn’t it say the wage (singular) of sin is death? Maybe not. Because I must admit, I’ve seen a lot of death so far in my lifetime. And not just physical death. Relationships die. Dreams die. Everything around me is in a perpetual state of decay and headed toward death. That’s the ripple effect of sin. My sin.
I heard it said recently: “Today’s difficulties are often the result of yesterday’s disobedience.”
And I know. Every mess in my life and every mess I see around me is a result of one thing: sin. But sometimes my difficulties are not a direct result of my disobedience. Sometimes – or maybe often – it’s someone else’s sin that has encroached upon my life. And I have no control over that. And it makes me mad, sad, upset, depressed. Even despondent sometimes. Not often would I ever just “cherry pick” one verse out of scripture, out of context, and then use it for my own purposes. But one verse really grabbed my attention recently. In John 13:7, Jesus makes the statement “What I do you do not realize now, but you will understand hereafter.” I encourage you to read the context of that statement for yourself. I think you’ll decide that my application is appropriate and within the context of what Jesus was really communicating in that moment.
There are just gonna be times when life doesn’t make sense.
Sometimes I think we make life more difficult than it has to be. In fact, another quote (origin unknown) that I’ve latched onto is this one:
“Life wouldn’t be so difficult if we didn’t expect it to be so easy.”
I recently watched a movie about a tough topic – a young child experiencing the effects of her parents’ own selfishness and subsequent divorce. The movie was chaotic, harsh, and troublesome. And then, there was no “happily ever after.” The movie just ended. What? They didn’t package it up all nice with a big red bow? Actually, I was very relieved. I didn’t want it to end well. I didn’t want the writers or producers to make light of this seriously difficult situation! That’s just not reality. The wages of sin IS death! Every conceivable form of death. But as Jesus said, one day we will understand. We will come to the full realization of what Christ’s humble life of servanthood, most shameful death, His burial, and His resurrection were all about!
“What I do you do not realize now, but you will understand hereafter.” ~ Jesus in John 13:7
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