When You Fall...
Greetings Narrow Gate,
It's funny when you fall. No, let me rephrase that. It's funny when you fall and everyone realizes that you're not hurt seriously. I've been catching quite a ribbing from my friends at OH. My wife, in the ER, after the CAT scan and x-ray came back negative, looked at me and asked, "since nothing's broken can I laugh now?" I had had 2 and a half doses of morphine in me so I was ready to laugh, which we did. I guarantee you that we were the only folks laughing in the ER except for our nurses and the doctor. They thought we were funny.
My favorite TV show, That 70s Show, has one of the stars, playing the character named Kelso saying "It's funny when friends get hurt!"
It is funny when people aren't hurt seriously. Funniest Home Videos made a successful TV show out of this for a couple decades.
As I was falling, I realized something important, something that I already knew, but it's always important to remember. I am not in control. As the pain in my head receded and the pain in my back increased I forgot all about this control issue. I just thought about the pain and what it might mean.
I wonder, does this mean when we get on the other side of this covid thing we might be able to laugh about it? I don't know. We've lost a lot of people, jobs, businesses, money and time, to name just a few things. I hope this doesn't scar us as a population the way the depression scared a whole generation of people. I like to think that we can shake this covid-19 thing off.
I pray it reminds us all that we are not in control, no matter how much we think we are. I also hope and pray that it reminds us that God is in control and that that is even better than us being in control. I can guarantee it's better than Thad Brown being in control.
So many of us picture God as the God laughing when we fall. Others of us picture God as the God with the hammer, tormenting mankind the way my cousin Marcia used to torment ants in her Ant Hospital. God's not like either of these . I used to think this way myself. But I know better now and not because I'm a genius or holier than thou. I know this because of the blessings and work that God has allowed me to witness over my years in ministry. I also know this because no where in his word do I see that God thinks our troubles or pain are funny, or that he desires either for any of us, ever.
We are his children, and he desires the best, the very best, for each one of us. We are his creation.There is no point for him to plan ill for our lives. He loves us too much to laugh at us. He loves us too much for this to be the truth.
The fact that this is the case, in each of our lives, comes from Romans 5:8-10, Phillips' Translation,
"Yet the proof of God's amazing love is this: that it was while we were sinners that Christ died for us. Moreover if he did that for us while we were sinners, now that we are people justified by the shedding of his blood, what reason have we to fear the wrath of God? If, while we were his enemies, Christ reconciled us to God by dying for us, surely now that we are reconciled we may be perfectly certain of our salvation through his living in us."
This concept from Romans always blows me away. Jesus did not die for me when I was at my best, which right now is OK. No, Jesus died for Thad Brown when I was at my worst, which was nowhere near OK, pretty much awful. Maybe worse than awful.
How about you? At your worst as a human being, Jesus died for you. Does this not move you emotionally? Spiritually it motivates me.
Paul is telling us here that this is the proof of God's love, for all of us. Because some of us now can say "hey, I'm not that bad, pretty good even". But see that doesn't even matter, because it was when we individually were at our worst, that's the person Jesus died for. This way none of us can claim that we deserved this sacrifice of Jesus. It is pure love, mercy and grace.
This is not to shame us or to make us feel ashamed either. God loves us as we are. That call to discipleship that we spoke of last week, discipleship is the process that God grows us spiritually. We can't wait to come to God when we're good enough, because on our own, without the blood of Christ we are never good enough.
Each of us must come to God in the worst smelling, worst looking, worst behaving way that we have ever been. Because that's the person in us that Jesus died for. We cannot hide from this fact. We can hide our worst from those around us if we're clever enough. But we can't hide our worst from God. See, it's part of the price that Jesus paid for all of mankind. And God knows that price down to the penny.
So when you fall, please realize God's not laughing at you. He's catching you.
Do no harm, do good, and stay in love with God.
and Harmony UMC