When The Sun Shines

Job 1v21We have been playing in sunshine all day.  For the region we live in, sunshine is a rare delight this time of year and a much-needed break from the gray.

As the kids played and laughed, I thought about my response to God’s blessings.

If I had to choose between prosperity or lack, of course I would choose prosperity.  Or, I like to think I’d choose prosperity.  Well, to be totally honest, I am more comfortable with hard times.  No, I am not more comfortable IN hard times, just with the concept of them.  I see the power of suffering, and of lack, and of situations that show me my need for God.  If I was God (and thank God I am not), I would give a lot of hard times to everyone.  Thank Yahweh He does not!

I have experienced seasons and situations of incredible tangible blessings from God.  Each time I’ve struggled to openly and honestly enjoy the blessings.  I have felt uncomfortable and guilty.  There are so many humans in this world that are starving, displaced, suffering.  How can I possibly enjoy blessings when other people are suffering?

Is my Faith being tweaked by improper doctrine?  Yep, for sure.  And I think many of us struggle with this.

In church culture there seems to be a strong dividing line between “Faith” / prosperity churches, and the we’re-not-like-those-prosperity-churches churches.  Which group is right?  Well, both. And neither.  The Bible clearly teaches us about both Prosperity AND Suffering.  And the problem with the churches who overly emphasize prosperity or suffering is: we weren’t supposed to take up camp at either end of the spectrum.  The Bible is to be embraced and understood in fullness.  When there are two seemingly opposing concepts in the Bible, they are both true.  God is that big.  And we are so small.

_ _ _

Today’s sunshine changed everything.  There was no thinking needed.  We responded automatically.  We raced outside and stayed there for hours.

No need to dress in our typical cold-weather layers.  No need to keep the windows and doors closed.  No need to find something to do inside all day.  We were simply outside. Enjoying every moment.  No questions. No second-thoughts.  No guilt.

That’s the simple, beautiful way I want to respond to blessings, and favor, and prosperity from Yahweh.  Whole-hearted, joyful, grateful enjoyment.  Not shrinking back in guilt.  Not questioning whether I deserve it.  Not abstaining from God’s goodness out of some noble sense of humility.

I fear I have become too complicated in my responses to the work of the Lord in my life.  I’m glad the Holy Spirit exposed my tweaked suffering doctrine today.

You give and take away, Lord.  It’s not the sunshine or rain that I love.  It’s not prosperity or suffering that I want. It’s You. Help me to love only You.  And to respond to the work of your hand simply.

Then Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head, and he fell to the ground and worshiped. He said, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, And naked I shall return there. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away. Blessed be the name of the LORD.” Through all this Job did not sin nor did he blame God.  (Job 1:20-22 NASB)

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