Really? Why God? Oh yeah…..

Devotional/Discussion Thought of the Day.

14  But even if you should suffer for doing what is right, how happy you are! Do not be afraid of anyone, and do not worry. 15  But have reverence for Christ in your hearts, and honor him as Lord. Be ready at all times to answer anyone who asks you to explain the hope you have in you, 16  but do it with gentleness and respect. Keep your conscience clear, so that when you are insulted, those who speak evil of your good conduct as followers of Christ will become ashamed of what they say. 1 Peter 3:14-16 (TEV) 

“No one can keep the treasure of the faith or the treasure of a vocation for himself alone!” (1)

I am sitting here – thousands of miles away from my family.  My wife of nearly 25 years is resting at home, pregnant with our second child, being cared for by our 7 year old.  She is a little older than most ladies who are pregnant – and at 49 there are few chances we would take.  One was my coming here.  One that has been more challenging than any moment I can remember in my faith.

Personally, I’ve been in a lot of pain – not only is my back pretty tweaked from the turbelence of the flight – but I had the blessing of passing a kidney stone yesterday.
My wife is struggling – there was some bleeding, and her hormones were low – and we are scared.  More advice coming in has relieved that some…yet – the dark moments have come.
I’ve seen others on line – people I care about – struggling with life – and doing so quite openly, and possibly destructively.

So why I am sitting in Manilla, waiting for a ride to go preach at a church located at the university?

I’ve wondered.  Somewhat bitterly in the last 48 hours.  God what are you doing?  Why the pain?  Why the things that You know will cause massive anxiety?  Why not just let this trip go smoothly, let the minsitry excel, or let someone healthier, a better speaker, a more gifted theologian come – rather than me.  Why take me from my family in this moment?

The questioning becomes easier – as I look at the sermon – one posted later today.  You should read it – for re-reading it put everything into perspective for me.  If I have the perfect life – I don’t need Jesus.  If everything works as it should – I don’t need to depend on Him, and if don’t depend on Him, my life is….lost.

I can’t explain it more than to say I know God is here – and as well with my wife.  HIs promises are ours – and our son’s and the baby in my wife’s womb.  That message – the reason we can expect (better word than hope) God to keep His promises go beyond human logic, they overwhelm the pain, they bring calm to the anxious.  To know the God who has claimed us as His, marked us as His with the water of baptism, that is the God who is here… walking with us, never abandoning us – the God whom David describes in Psalm 139.

Such is our God.

Such is the God everyone needs to know – whether it is our children, or the college students of the Phillipines, or the pastor who is feeling homesick and overwhelmed.

We desperately need such a God in our lives – and because He loves us, we do.

So why am I here?

Last night on television, as I sat here trying not to take pain meds… I was watching the second version of Zorrow with Antonio Banderas and Catherine Zeta-Jones.  At the end – as they are renewing their vows, the town church bells ring out for Zorro…His wife urges the Padre to move along the vows quickly – as she says, “this is who we are”.

Not sure what God will do here – or at home.  Whether there will be joy or comfort, but I know this…. He opened these doors – He walks through them with us – and that is who we are.

So it’s time to preach…. may the people here in Manilla – and may you hear as well – that this faith in Jesus – this treasure of trusting in Him alone, that is too good not to share.  And neither is the joy of sharing the Answer to why you have hope.  Please share that with someone who needs it today!

God’s Peace…

(1)  Urbano, Pilar (2011-05-10). The Man of Villa Tevere (Kindle Locations 5914-5915). Scepter Publishers. Kindle Edition.

About justifiedandsinner

I am a pastor of a Concordia Lutheran Church in Cerritos, California, where we rejoice in God's saving us from our sin, and the unrighteousness of the world. It is all about His work, the gift of salvation given to all who trust in Jesus Christ, and what He has done that is revealed in Scripture. God deserves all the glory, honor and praise, for He has rescued and redeemed His people.

Posted on February 15, 2014, in Devotions, Theology in Practice and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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