Fellowship at Cross Creek
God’s Cross-Handed Blessing
Intro… Ever been jealous of someone else’s blessing or good fortune or someone else’s seemingly good or better times? Wish it were you going on that trip, enjoying life’s greater joys and benefits? So why does God allow some to seemingly enjoy life better than others?
Bu then on the other hand, why in Scripture, does God so often choose the lessor to eventually become greater than the great–the younger twin Jacob over his brother Esau or his father-in-law, the wealthy Laban? The younger Joseph over his older brothers? The outcast Moses leading the fledging slave nation Israel out from under the heavy-handed yoke of Egyptian oppression? The young shepherd David over his brothers, as well as, the Philistine Goliath and King Saul? The young prophet Daniel’s influence within the Babylonian empire? Esther within the Persian empire? The baby Jesus over Herod the Great? The one “unusually-born,” Paul, being chosen by God to take the gospel to the Gentiles over the rest of the original apostles? God’s choice of the “foolish” over the “wise” to believe, embrace and receive the rich rewards of the cross’ foolishness (1 Cor. 1-2)? Or an infant church eventually triumphing over the mighty Roman empire?
And if God does choose to bless the lessor over the greater, is that blessing an overnight occurrence and if so, why?
Seemingly, Joseph’s brothers for a time had it much better than Joseph. Then Joseph had it much better than his brothers. Then Joseph saves his brothers, but not without some accountability. Then Joseph is vastly rewarded over his brothers. So even if Joseph’s life is a partial template for us as believers, what then do we learn from viewing others’ seeming good fortune while we apparently are unjustly suffering?
And haven’t you noticed that time has a way of leveling things out or even reversing fortunes, if we will only give things long enough time to be fully played out? Therefore, be thankful for what you have–good or bad, up or down…because odds are–it will change.
DO NOT COMPARE! God is a just, merciful God, even if his justice is delayed—it will never be denied. And yet, on the other hand, who, of any of us, wants true justice? I certainly do not. I want mercy. Perhaps justice compared to someone else… But do I, cloaked within a flawed self-interpretation of my own personal righteousness and evil, want to risk this kind of judicial measurement? Hardly.
Be merciful to me, LORD. Give me grace to handle and endure the difficult, if indeed, by enduring it, I bring you greater glory–but always mercy, Lord. Always, mercy. Your mercy is my only salvation. My only hope. Man’s only hope.
So how does one wait and hope when life doesn’t seem fair? God. God has to be my salvation in the moment. God is the eternal constant that allows men, despite seeming injustice, to wait in peace for many years. Our tendency…man’s tendency is now. God’s… life’s… is much more elongated. God’s children are called to be turtles, not rabbits. Why is this so? Why does the race go to the tortoise and NOT to the hare? 1) Because, despite there being a place for both at times, when one gets the roles mixed up–being the hare when life requires being the tortoise, or being the tortoise when life requires being the hare–one fails, and 2) because life’s complexity demands lots of patient learning along the way, in time, despite the hare’s large initial lead, the race tends to go back in the tortoise’s favor because, as opposed to quick decision-making and often discouraged hare, the tortoise slows down long enough to learn from its mistakes and in the end, does not quit. It is the tortoise’s steadfast Spiritual endurance fed by hope, love, trust, obedience and discipline that wins the day.
God, be my treasure in the moment when I am tempted to covet someone else’s momentary pleasures. Teach me to be the Spiritual turtle. Stretch out my endurance.
Recently, we began a new unit or section or person of, study…the life of Joseph. Essentially, the story of Joseph, is for the most part, our story. Chosen by God for a special purpose, Joseph must first endure much suffering and injustice before arriving at his God-ordained purpose and calling, and what a purpose it will be.
As we read, I want you to continue pondering, your special identity in Christ, and that just because you may be going through difficult days, your suffering…your waiting is NOT in vain. As God’s child…as God’s children, just as with Joseph and his brothers, you…we…all have a purpose in Christ (Romans 8; Eph. 1; 1 Peter 1).