Life Breaks Through: Joy Will Find a Way
Preserve me, O God, for in You I take refuge. I say to the Lord, “You are my Lord; I have no good apart from You.” As for the saints in the land, they are the excellent ones, in whom is all My delight.The sorrows of those who run after another god shall multiply; their drink offerings of blood I will not pour out or take their names on my lips. The Lord is My chosen portion and My cup; You hold My lot. The lines have fallen for Me in pleasant places; indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance. I bless the Lord who gives Me counsel; in the night also My heart instructs Me. I have set the Lord always before Me; because He is at My right hand, I shall not be shaken. Therefore My heart is glad, and My whole being rejoices; My flesh also dwells secure. For You will not abandon My soul to Sheol, or let Your Holy One see corruption. You make known to Me the path of life; in Your presence there is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore. ~ David, an oracle of Jesus, in Psalm 16
Oh beloved, it is true. The life of this world will hammer you and strike you down. There is, within this sphere, a near-lethal dose of pain for each of us. And just as we get up, it tries to strike us down again.
Pain upon pain
Failure upon failure
Loss upon loss
Ache upon ache
Wish upon wish
We lay there, awash in the detritus of the fallen world, made worse by our adding to its waste. Nothing seems to work. We thrash and moan and try to get up out of the muck, but we gain no traction in our attempts. Nothing works.
The pain of life hammers in upon us. And nothing we do makes it any better. The only motivation we now have it seems is to make the pain go away. There seems no hope in any other approach. Yet, as we now work to numb the pain through whatever, a dull cynicism overtakes us, and any hope we had just bleeds away into the mire.
Something in us just finally breaks, and we fall over fully into the pit. We give up, and simply wish we could die. “Please G_d,” we say. “Please let me die. I can’t take this anymore. Are you even there?” And, while we don’t know it yet, this is the very best moment of our life to this point.
For, in coming to this place of despair, we are finally able to accept what G_d has intended for us all along. He does not want to soothe us while we lay in despair. No, rather He intends to slay us outright with Him and take us down through His same death He partook of – on our behalf.
In this moment, we do indeed die. But the most unexpected thing happens. The seed shell-husk of our old man cracks open and begins to pull away from the new center. One moment we were dying, and then we were dead. However, in some infinitesimal moment we have become more alive than we ever thought possible.
At first, we still sense all the hammer blows of the world around us (and in fact the blows never really end). Except now, the blows do not strike us down into some sort of dirty muck of our own making. Now, the blows drive us further into the Loving Hands of the One who has just set us free from the muck and our willingness to live in it.
Can we see it? In being driven towards G_d, we do not lose hope as before. No, now, the closer we are driven to Him, the more joyful strength He imparts onto us, and into us, to stand against the blows. He even fits us with an integrated full-armour protection system that is so effective we begin to nearly laugh at the attempts of the world to beat us down.
So, are you feeling the hope draining away? Perhaps your wish to die really does need to come true. Don’t take this into your own hands though, let Him do it. Don’t be surprised, though, if you do not fade out of existence. Instead, be assured that in allowing G_d to take you down through the death He has for you – you will indeed find a joyful and powerful life beyond measure. Tonight is your night beloved. Time to die. – Makala Doulos is a graduate of the Colony of Mercy and is currently serving as pastor/teacher in Jakarta, Indonesia
Think About This: One proof of the inspiration of the Bible is that it has withstood so much poor preaching. —A.T. Robertson
This Week’s Verse to Memorize: The Lord judges the peoples; Vindicate me, O Lord, according to my righteousness and my integrity that is in me. Psalm 7:8