?The suffering you sent was good for me, for it taught me to pay attention to your principles.?
How many of you have prayed ? believed ? desired ? hoped and worked for something, and then, in one fell swoop, all your efforts seemingly get crossed up and don?t pay off? And there you sit, gobsmacked, as you watch all your best work and dreams go straight down the crapper. Am I the only one who has stood next to life?s toilet and had this unfortunate point of view?
You see other people?s lives, and everything they touch seemingly turns to gold. No trials. No waiting. No pain for them!
And here?s the kicker. You know they?re no better than you. You know they have the same proclivities toward evil as you do. You know they, too, think most of Religious TV is an absolute ostentatious carnivalesque Elmer-Gantry-meets-Liberace side show. You know they, too, sneak a peak at Springer?s daily televised assault on humanity. You know they surreptitiously enjoy a dose of schadenfreude when something goes south for their nemeses. You know you?re not being singled out for being more evil than your fellow creepy mortals. You?re left thinking ? hey, Yahweh ? what gives? Cut me some slack here, why don?tcha?
To add further insult to festering injury, some seven-figure-a-year guy?s smarmy trophy-wife, who has not a care in the world, tells you, while you?re bleary eyed and disillusioned, to ?Rejoice in all things.?
You know she?s right ? you know you should rejoice even though she really grates your flesh. So ? to acquiesce, you grunt a grin of mock civility ? but inside you feel more lost than Anna Nicole Smith taking the FCAT. Your agitation with your situation is so bad that you?re even not too stoked about picking up your Bible and reading it anymore. Scriptures like ?delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart? have all the appeal of dirty dancing with Janet Reno. Why? Well ? you tried to delight yourself in Him, yet your spiritual vision is still as blurred as Boris Yeltsin?s eyesight on a weekend vodka binge during a Russian blizzard.
And then you start thinking the blasphemous, ?Yeah ? what a friend I have in Jesus! With friends like Him ? who needs enemies? If God loved me ? if He really delighted in me ? if His heart was toward me ? then He wouldn?t treat me like this.?
Here?s where we need to tread lightly.