February 03, 2009

The Valleys

I don't think that the mainstream evangelical church does a very good job preparing Christians -- especially new ones -- for going through life's valleys, more specifically, the valleys in your relationship with Christ.

Let's be honest. NO ONE is "on fire" 100% of their life for Christ. "On fire" meaning that passionate "honeymoon" period of emotions and excitement that is such a huge deal to the church. Life is just so hard sometimes. If we had nothing else to do but sit around and think about Christ, read the Bible/books about Him, and listen to good classical or Christian music, maybe we would have a chance at not ever "cooling" off. But that's not realistic.

Our relationship with Christ is like a marriage. There are going to be times when you absolutely do not want to do what is best for the other person in the marriage. (Speaking not from experience, but hoping I'm correct.) But you love that person so you do it anyway. Or you know that it is best for the relationship and will help make loving them easier in the future (by laying more foundations), so you do it anyway.

That is how it is with Christ. Sometimes, the things He commands us to do are downright breathtaking. And not breathtaking like, "Wow! Look at that sunrise!" Breathtaking like you just found out one of the people you love most in the world has cancer. (Speaking from experience.) Breathtaking like someone is chasing you, with intent to kill, and the only way to escape is to jump over the cliff and hope you land in the water, not the rocks below. (Speaking not from experience.)

Those are the valleys. Well, forget valleys. Those are the Mariana Trenches in life. And most people don't usually tell you how very real those will be when you are a new Christian.

So I'll tell you .

YOU ABSOLUTELY WILL COME ACROSS TIMES IN YOUR LIFE WHEN YOU WANT TO STOP FOLLOWING CHRIST.

And that is normal. What is not normal and is not okay, is following through with that desire and actually forsaking Christ for any length of time.

The good thing about valleys is that, just like they have a down-slope, they always have an up-slope. They always end.

I was reading in one of my favorite books, The Christian's Secret of a Happy Life, that everything in life (everything) is either eternal or temporary.

Satan wants us to swallow the lie that the only way out is to sell out. Jesus is there saying, "Hold My hand. Hold on. Wait. I'll carry you through. The rewards will be good. The end justifies the means."

God always has a greater purpose than we can sometimes see for any suffering He allows His saints to go through. But we won't get to see the purpose if we don't hang on and trust till the end.

Making the choice to have faith in His plan and to hold on through every up and down is what Chrisitanity is all about. Forsaking ourselves, picking up our crosses and following Him.

And that is where life can be found. Without Christ, life is just one big valley with occasional happy spots. Trust me. I'm speaking from experience.

“But I will sing of your strength, in the morning I will sing of your love; for you are my fortress, my refuge in times of trouble.”
--Psalm 59:16--

2 comments:

RunTX said...

I agree with your opening statement for this reason we are starting a bible study next week and I'm hoping to baptize some folks in the upcoming months in my neighbor's swimming pool. I see that most sermons now a days are more motivational than Christ centered.

AFamousStatue said...

That's awesome. I'll definitely keep you in my prayers as you strive to reach other people for Christ. : )

You know -- strive isn't even the right word. Let's say endeavor? Still not exactly right. You're pretty much in the right place at the right time letting God say exactly the right words through you. There's no pressure if we're in God's will!!! : )