There are few things in life about which I consider myself an expert. In fact, when I think about it, I can’t think of one thing I feel comfortable applying the label of expert for myself.
This leads me to the thought of being the best or greatest at something. I’m a good dad, but hardly the best dad ever. I like to think I’m a talented writer, but by no means am I a great writer. Wherever I am in life, I know there is so much further I need to go – light years if you will – before I attain greatness or being the best.
I can, however, sit here and proclaim I am the luckiest man in the world. In a world of pain and suffering, I feel I’ve avoided that in most of my 41 years on earth. Where I’ve had friends pass on from Cancer, I’ve never faced a diagnosis of terminal illness. Where I’ve had friends bury their children, I have two beautiful and healthy kids. Where I see pain and suffering in the lives of others, I acknowledge that God has spared me so much of that.
Luckiest man in the world.
That being said, I know I still – hopefully – have a lot of life yet to live. And I know that my luck is not indefinite. I know bad things may/can/will happen in the future.
I’m reminded of the time my brother went through an arduous eighteen month period. It was a time in which he lost his job, saw both his in-laws pass away, one very unexpectedly, and had his son born ten weeks premature. It was a whirlwind inside a vortex trapped in a hurricane. Yet through it all, his faith never wavered. He never lashed out at God, and he continued to lay it all at God’s feet. I was amazed at the spiritual composure by brother displayed. Years later, in one of the first fellowship groups in which I’d participate through my church, I’d tell that story about my brother and say, “I wish I had that kind of faith.”
Be mindful of what you wish for.
Now, I’m not saying I have rock-solid faith. I fail every day as a Christ follower, and I live with doubts and questions and a desire for better understanding of God’s plan for me. Still, I’ve grown so much in the last five years, and I can say I see now how it is my brother was able to trust God in his time of turmoil. I haven’t had that turmoil in my life. Yet if and when something horrible should happen, I know I am prepared to face it. That’s not to say it won’t be painful or devastating. But it is a season through which we must endure to get to where He wants us to be.
The truth is, we’re all incredibly lucky. Lucky we have a God who loves us unconditionally. Lucky that through his grace and forgiveness, we’re restored after we’ve wandered away from Him. Lucky that regardless of the storms that come and go in our lives, His radiance shines eternal.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” –Matthew 11:28-30