I walked down to the Barnes and Noble and bought a copy in the English Standard Version. I read First John during lunch and then again before I went to bed. In fact, I read it every night over the course of the next week.
In the coming weeks and months I would come to an important realization about the nature of God. It is simply arrogant to presume to know everything about who God is. But it is entirely possible to know something about who God isn’t. God simply is not an old man who sits upon a cloud and dangles a carrot on a string at the feet of his children. He does not, for pleasure, pull things from the grasp of His children every time those things appear to be within reach.
God doesn’t like to see his children fall upon their knees. But he enjoys very much seeing them rise up after they have been knocked upon the ground.
About a year later, a man, coincidentally named John, heard me telling my story. John had been through a terrible divorce involving children and a nasty custody battle. It was something I hope I never have to go through.
When a man loses everything he only has two choices: He can turn towards God or he can turn towards the world. There is no third option.
John bought a BMW and joined an internet dating service. Every time I speak to him he says his life is a mess. He asks how I can be so happy and how I can be so strong. The answer could not be more obvious for those who are willing to listen. And I thank God I listened to Mike instead of those voices telling me it really wasn’t that bad back in Egypt. For those who did not catch the metaphor, it is worth reading the entire Book of Exodus.
These are hard times for so many people. And many are wandering in the desert and wondering where to turn next. Those who believe they have lost everything in recent months will be joined by many others in the coming months and years. For many, the things that took a lifetime to gain may be lost in an instant.
What does it take to stand tall after one has been knocked to the floor? It’s not much different than asking “how much faith does it take to be saved?” The answer to both questions is the same.
It only takes enough faith to take the next step. And it takes the wisdom to be facing in the right direction.
To Be Continued…