Kiss the wave

“I have learned to kiss the wave that throws me against the Rock of Ages.”

Charles Spurgeon

Just when you think things couldn’t get any worse – January 6, 2021. We are left wondering who are the good guys? And where are they? For followers of Christ we know not to look horizontally, but to look vertically, yet the horizontal pushes against us.

Mark Batterson wrote a devotional last week based on the Spurgeon quote above. He also quoted John Piper who said, “Don’t waste your cancer.” God will work all things together for good — but there is a requirement on our part. We have to let him in to do the work. I can plan, schedule, even pay for the repair work on my home to be done, but the only way the work will happen is if I let the repairmen in. I have to participate. Suffering finds us all, it’s how we let that suffering mold us and shape us that truly produces fruit.

When my kids were in the phase where the battles were mostly verbal, we had a discussion about tornadoes. When I hurl an insult and you retaliate with another insult, the insults grow stronger and stronger and swirl into a tornado. Once the tornado gets started the destruction is devastating and far reaching, not to mention clean up is overwhelming. But these tornadoes are preventable, I don’t have to perpetuate the cycle by trying to one up you. I can let the repairman in. I choose a better path, stop the tornado, avoid the destruction. What I think Charles Spurgeon is telling us is that the waves will come, but I get to decide what will the waves push me up against.

Brian Loritts, in his book Insider Outsider, talks about our need to move from orthodoxy to orthopraxy. As I’m not a seminarian, I had to look that up! Orthodoxy refers to correct belief while orthopraxy leads us to correct conduct. So often I’ve believed orthodoxy is enough and not had the fortitude to apply it consistently to my conduct. I’ve rather lived by the mantra, “Do what I say, not what I do.” My head knows what’s real and right, but I stumble truly living it out. It’s what I do that really makes an impact. The weakest argument ever is “I know, but…”

The most effective way for the enemy to stop the work of God on earth is to have us devour each other instead of celebrate and work together.

Jennie Allen

In this current climate of political ugliness I’m left wondering where are the good guys? But I can’t look around for the good guys, I have to look to our perfect example of Christ and then BE the good guys! We aren’t defined by our beliefs we are defined by our behavior. Paul told the Colossians, “Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free; but Christ is all, and in all.” (Colossians 3:10) I cannot define myself as Republican or Democrat, conservative or liberal, white or black, male or female, good or bad, right or wrong, just simply a flawed child of God. I can only endeavor to be a follower of Christ and allow him in to do the work in me so that his purpose can be fulfilled, even especially amongst the chaos. I have a choice to perpetuate the chaos or behave in a manner worthy of the cross. Let’s don’t waste the chaos to point to Christ.

And we know for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.

Romans 8:28