Friday, May 14, 2010

When God Borrows Your Life

If you have lived long enough you have certainly had a time when you looked at a wrecked situation around you and said, "Why is this happening to me?" I've been there. It can be the result of a thousand small problems at one time or one big life changing painful event. Sometimes these situations are the result of our own doing but many times they fall upon us without warning and without our being able to do anything about them. "Why?" comes out involuntarily.

As a christian I believe these times are known by God. He may even be the author of them. That's harsh. God is supposed to love you right? Why would He bring something painful into your life that you can't do anything about? Why would He have someone to lose their job, get transferred away from their family, allow the loss of a loved one, allow a businessman to go bankrupt, allow a serious illness? Why would He allow someone who loves and follows Him to experience such a painful loss or failure?

I am sure that many times it is to correct a wrong motive or attitude. That's a given, but I am persuaded that He has much more in mind. When things are changing in your life beyond your control God is taking the wheel. You may have come to a level of maturity or devotion that God can work with. It could be that your training has been completed and your are being transferred to the front lines.

The life of Joseph in the Bible is so rich with instruction for this kind of life experience. Joseph found himself in the bottom of a pit at the hands of his brothers one day. I'm sure he could hear them debating about killing him. (It could be said he was there because of an attitude of arrogance toward his brothers that was fed by his father's favoritism -Gen 33:2.) I bet Joseph had a "why me" moment. We have the benefit of looking back on the whole of his life to see that God was just beginning Joseph's life work. It was harsh to be sure but great deeds require equally great sacrifices. Joseph got the nod in Heaven for the job. From the pit, into slavery, into prison Joseph got a crash course in training he would not have gotten at home under his father's favoritism. God was borrowing Joseph's life.

What Joseph's achieved on loan to God was far beyond what he could have achieved on his own in his own wisdom. His own wisdom would have left him wondering aimlessly through life with an elevated opinion of himself (Gen. 37:14-15.) God had a much bigger picture in mind. Eventually Joseph himself came to see God's purpose. He states it in Genesis 50:20.

"As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today." ESV

He didn't white wash his brother's intent but he didn't miss God's sovereignty in the situation either. He saw how God used him to save hundreds of thousands of peoples lives from starvation. God had a bigger plan. He took Joseph's life on a wild ride through rough circumstances to use him in a great way to save many lives.

Is it possible that's what is happening to you? Maybe you are just in the rough circumstances that take you to His purpose for you in His kingdom, "to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today." Don't disqualify yourself. Don't quit. Don't refuse it. Don't doubt God has a plan to bless and use you.

Jer 29:11-13 For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for wholeness and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me. When you seek me with all your heart,"

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