In the world but not of it

November 20, 2009

Continuing to be overlooked…

Filed under: Uncategorized — In the world but not of it @ 5:00 am

After two years went by in this way, Felix was succeeded by
Porcius Festus. And because Felix wanted to gain favor with the Jewish people,
he left Paul in prison. Acts 24:27

Joseph was seemingly forgotten in prison for nearly ten
years. Here in this story Paul was forgotten for two years by Felix. The
seasons of life can be extremely illogical and difficult to understand when our
perspectives are too narrow or shortsighted.

We know from the story that God was with Joseph. We know
from Paul’s story that just prior to his arrest, trial and imprisonment God had
appeared to him and told him to be encouraged.

Neither of these outcomes for Joseph and Paul would make one
believe that God was with them or that encouragement was really happening.

Yet, as we read their stories we see how God is ultimately
glorified through their lives. Our safety and comfort is not really the primary
issue. For many, modern Christianity has been boiled down to how well we’re
doing rather than how God desires to use us.

My limited knowledge of human nature tells me that although
Joseph and Paul had close relationships with God I tend to believe that they
must have had moments of feeling passed by or overlooked, wondering why the
Lord would even allow such a thing especially during a season of good work and

Do you wonder about this in your life? Have you ever felt
overlooked for that promotion or opportunity that you just knew you were called

We can become cynical about “all things working together for
good”. After one too many opportunities go by we can feel crushed and defeated
believing that it was a complete waste of time to have had the desire to begin

The issue is many of us hold our disappointments and defeats
too closely. We like to nurture them and feed them like some infant that can’t
go an hour without constant attention. It’s been said that if you take a small
coin and hold it close enough to your eye you can block out the sun. That is
what we often do with our challenges and difficulties. We see them all as a
negative thing and look too closely at them.

The result is that we block out the “Son” in our life and He
then has no way to intervene since we completely shut down our willingness to
hear His voice or even obey His word.

God knows the desires of our heart. If we are close to Him
then those desires are shaped by Him also. His delays are divine opportunities.

Others will forget us but God never will…


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