Thursday, October 06, 2005

Supposed normalcy and conforming to the image of Jesus Christ

Sometimes I wonder what how much less stress life would contain if we really took to heart what Paul says about all things working together for the good of them that love God and are called according to His purpose. I’m sure we would still feel pain—even the writer of Hebrews acknowledges that no discipline is joyful in the present. This is because God’s purpose in our lives is to conform us to the image of Jesus Christ. God seems to delight in giving every one of His children a different path to that end.

I wonder sometimes why I was given the specific past that I was. Wouldn’t it have been easier to have a Christian family—one that valued church and really considered the savior Jesus Christ? Then at least I could have learned the fear of God from my father. What a great heritage for those who actually experience that! To be able to look back and say “You know, Dad wasn’t perfect, but he loved my mom and he loved Jesus Christ.” It would be so awesome to have many generations of Christians in the family—as far back as one could see even!

I quoted in a pervious post about white fences and normalcy: "Ever wonder why people are so determined to reach for white picket fences, supposed normalcy, a nuclear family? Well, try growing up without one." Broken families are not joyful. I’m sure the statistics will show that kids that come from broken families are more likely to be delinquent, and have broken families themselves. Perhaps such things can work out in the other way too. Kids that grew up without a nuclear family can be all the more determined to make sure that doesn’t happen to their kids—Lord willing I guess.

One of my best friend’s grandfathers died recently. I’d met him a few times, but I didn’t know him well. It was said of him, though, that he was a dependable person; this ought to be the characteristic of the people of God. Consider what Psalm 1 says:

1 Blessed is the man
Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly,
Nor stands in the path of sinners,
Nor sits in the seat of the scornful;
2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD,
And in His law he meditates day and night.
3 He shall be like a tree
Planted by the rivers of water,
That brings forth its fruit in its season,
Whose leaf also shall not wither;
And whatever he does shall prosper.

4 The ungodly are not so,
But are like the chaff which the wind drives away.

5 Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment,
Nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.

6 For the LORD knows the way of the righteous,
But the way of the ungodly shall perish. (NKJV) (emphasis mine)

Notice the stark contrast: the wicked are blown around like chaff, but the righteous are like a solid tree! It reminds me of the tumble weeds out in eastern Colorado. They are never quite settled in; maybe they get stuck on a fence every once in a while, but normally they are blowing all over the road providing nice obstacles for drivers to dodge. The big trees downtown aren’t like that. They’ve been in the same place for a hundred years; people know where they are and they don’t present an obstacle.

A dependable parent is a great blessing to a child. I think part of conforming us to the image of Jesus Christ is making us more dependable. After all, isn’t a fruit of the Spirit to be longsuffering—to be enduring and steadfast? Perhaps this is some of what we learn in adversity: to be patient in tribulation. I suppose that is hard to learn if one never experiences tribulations.

1 Comments:

At 8:52 AM, Blogger Bud said...

Josh, my father was not a Christian and did not glorify God in his life. I can thank God for him because I carry his genes and can use the things I inheritied from him for the glory of God. What he did not do consciously, I can do consciously. I know that God made me through my mother and father to be just the kind of person that He intended for what he wanted me to do. To God be the glory.

 

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