A God Who Works In Really Strange Ways

This afternoon between Becki studying and my working around the place, we made time for a short walk. As we walked and talked, it occurred to us–not for the first time–there was no way anybody could have ever imagined or dreamed the crazy twists and turns our lives have taken.

Certainly, I could not have ever had a nightmare with the reality of the one that jumped on me with both feet.

In steel-toed boots at that.

As I sit here in the swinging rocker by the grill this evening, I keep thinking about the last thing I posted on my old blog, September 8, 2011.

Even though I know they are true, what I once thought were wise words, what I thought was great theological counsel, what I said, seems so different, so difficult, and so, well, out there

But I am going to try.

I can’t promise that I will do it well. Not yet. Maybe not ever.

But I am going to try.

I am trying…

Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him. (James 1:12, NIV)

It’s kind of hard to think about persevering when it involves a trial or a test. We instinctively know that having trials in our lives and facing tests of our faith and character is hard. Not only hard, they are often painful with consequences beyond much of our control.

And yet, James says there is a blessing in standing tall. There is a blessing in finishing the race.

Maybe you are catching something significantly missing in this passage. We are not being urged to be victorious in the sense of us personally winning the fight.

Why is that significant? Because we live in a culture where being “in it to win it” implies our own strength and ability.

But that is not what James is imploring us to do.

Our energy is to be spent in persevering. That means keeping our heads straight, staying focused on God, and remembering the battle belongs to the Lord!

Les, Jr. (Source: Article by Perry Noble, 21 Questions Leaders Must Wrestle With)

September 8, 2011.

15 thoughts on “A God Who Works In Really Strange Ways

  1. In that verse James reminds us that there is an end to this time of trial and suffering that will be far more glorious than we can imagine. Hang in there! – Liz

  2. How fitting that I should read this tonight as my daughter is in chemo for stomach cancer. Her spirits are high as they always are, with tons of visitors to her room and the knowledge that prayers from friends/family located around the world on her behalf are being offered. As a father I’m terrified, yet, filled with peace/calm knowing that God hears the prayers and can, if he so wishes, to step in and bring healing at best and strength at least. I have followed your travail and recovery with close attention long before facing a similar parental test. Thank you, Les, for your example.

  3. Wow! God’s word is so awazing. It was true when you blogged that&its still true. Love&Prayers to you&yours.:)

  4. Well said brother. The victory belongs to Christ. It’s our role to simply stand before Goliath and shout the name of God. Shout it not only to the Philistines on the far hill, but also to the “armies of God” who are encamped inside our church buildings. Brother, I know you have been down in the valley of death facing your Goliath for a long time. God has not forsaken you, and your time of victory will soon be at hand. Keep shouting!!

    • Barry, thanks for reading and commenting. Thank you as well for the encouragement. I appreciate your interaction. I going to try to keep on shouting. I so want the opportunity to shout through writing so others might be helped as well.

  5. Les – I’m keeping up with your posts as I did with your blog before, although I’ve not been commenting too much here. But, I feel like I need to tell you that I read your original post about the time you wrote it and had read it many times more – without you knowing it or telling anyone – before Saturday, because it meant so much to me.

    At the time you wrote it, Tom & I were driving back and forth from Picayune to Abilene, Texas -a 750 mile drive – number times and living there off and on with my (at that time) 89 year old elderly mom, who was rapidly progressing into Alzheimer’s. Within a few weeks, we were hauling many of our clothes out there to move in with her and stay with her because she had so badly deteriorated that we feared death was close at hand by the time we arrived in mid-October.

    There were many more things going on within our family at the same time, as well. In fact, some of them are still ongoing, with several more having been added in just the past three months, with Tom – and especially ME – at the center of what seems like a rapidly swirling tornado.

    My New Testament book of James has many underlines and notes in it from all of times I’ve gone to it during times of duress and trials. Your thoughts on James brought me back to his words written by inspiration concerning God’s great promises to us that we have a “crown of life” waiting if we can – WILL – but hold on and persevere under sometimes overwhelming in every way trials and struggles that amass themselves upon our frail shoulders, causing us to fall under their weight.

    We find our prime example to persevere in Jesus, who fell trying to carry not only his own executioners’ cross upon which he would hang, but even more weighty, the sins of every single ONE of us in this world. In that I am reminded to turn my eyes upon Jesus.

    I found this quote this morning in one of my early morning daily email services and shared it on FB because it, too, made me stop and think of the words of James in all of the rich verses just in chapter 1. I will end my comment with it, after letting you know that even BEFORE that unspeakable day of your life, you were a blessing to so many of us in your writings, and you are still. Shalom, my friend.

    “Being a Christian doesn’t mean that our struggles are necessarily different from those of non-Christians; it’s just that our solution to the struggles is different.”

    Bobby Richardson

  6. Les, I remember hearing similar words from you at difficult times in my life. And I remember thinking, yeah, that’s easy for you to say. My humble apologies. Being chastised or just reminded with passages like James 1:12 is difficult medicine to swallow. But I believe you gave me great counsel then and are giving yourself great counsel now. I don’t know if you even remember what you said to me the evening of Oct. 10th, but as we held each other you said; “remember all those things I said to you when you left OG?” I replied yes, and you said; “I don’t want to hear them.”

    And you were right. It was not the time or place for them. It took me many months to see the wisdom in what you had told me, and my situation was very minor as I look at it now. But whenever you have family ripped away from you, personal or church, it is a difficult pill to swallow. As James said, if we persevere. . . . we will be blessed. My prayers brother. . .

    • Thanks Bill. I am glad you remember that conversation. So much of that day is thankfully a blur. I lost a lot of time as the day wore on. Parts of it I can unfortunately see scroll through my head like a horrific horror movie… Love and appreciate you.

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