Bryan’s Gems – The Promise

Another beautiful post from Bryan. You can find this post along with the his others at his blog site:  http://readthegreek.blogspot.com/

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The Promise

Crushed under the weight of my circumstances, I cried out, “I NEVER ASKED TO BE BORN!!!”

Is there a time in your life when you could relate to that?  Either you couldn’t measure up to life or life couldn’t measure up to you.  All that was left to do was find blame somewhere, anywhere, other than your own hands. 

I sometimes find it odd that my first real connection, my first honest words with God, were angry questions that He never seemed to want to answer.  I didn’t remember a time before birth where I tossed up my hand during some great assembly in heaven and asked, “Here I am, God!  Send me!!”  So why was I put on the earth?  In times of great turmoil I would almost instinctively turn to God even if I wasn’t sure He existed.  Maybe I believed He did.  Maybe we all do.  But I certainly didn’t believe He cared.  Believers or not, we all have this inner understanding that our existence was not initiated by our own will.  At the very least, our parents agreed in deed to bring us into this world.  But again, a deeper truth of His existence is revealed in all of us when we have been pushed beyond our breaking point.

My understanding of Him shaped my fox-hole prayer.  When circumstances force us to lay down all pretense, social conventions, and manners, we cry out to the God we know.  If we see Him as a cosmic overseer, we relate to Him like a run-away slave.  If we see Him as an irresponsible parent, we relate to Him like an angry child.  If we see Him as a predator, we relate to Him like a victim.  Too often we see God like a super-powered human being:  selfish, fickle, irresponsible.  Like some omnipotent two-year-old in the sky who focuses sunlight on us through some giant magnifying glass in order to satisfy some perverse pleasure.  If that’s the God you know, you have every right to be angry with Him.  Without some kind of external knowledge or experience of God, who could say you’re wrong?

So I called God out on the carpet one day and demanded that He justify my placement on this earth, with this mind, in this body, and these parents, in this time.  I got the vague sense I wasn’t being very smart.  I mean, He’s God, He can squash me like a bug.  But I was too exhausted to care.  In fact, I wanted to die.  It would be better if my death, just like my life, were caused by Him.  I wanted nothing to do with it anymore.  I wanted Him to show up or squash me.  And nothing happened…  Or so I thought.

What if the statement, “I never asked to be born”, is a valid and acceptable statement to God?  What if He would say, “You’re right.”  What if He did and does take responsibility for all of His children?  What if there is a force underwriting every human being?  What if He sent us into this world with not only a purpose but also a promise:

Deuteronomy 31:6

English Standard Version (ESV)
Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.

 

Hebrews 13:5

English Standard Version (ESV)
Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.

Joshua 1:9

English Standard Version (ESV)
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.

Matthew 28:20

English Standard Version (ESV)
20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.

Joshua 1:5

English Standard Version (ESV)
No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life. Just as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you or forsake you.

1 Chronicles 28:20

English Standard Version (ESV)
20 Then David said to Solomon his son, “Be strong and courageous and do it. Do not be afraid and do not be dismayed, for the LordGod, even my God, is with you. He will not leave you or forsake you, until all the work for the service of the house of the Lord is finished.

Isaiah 41:10

English Standard Version (ESV)
10 fear not, for I am with you;
    be not dismayed, for I am your God;
I will strengthen you, I will help you,
    I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
 

Haggai 1:13

English Standard Version (ESV)
13 Then Haggai, the messenger of the Lord, spoke to the people with the Lord‘s message, “I am with you, declares the Lord.”

Genesis 28:15

English Standard Version (ESV)
15 Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land. For I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.

Genesis 31:3

English Standard Version (ESV)
Then the Lord said to Jacob, “Return to the land of your fathers and to your kindred, and I will be with you.

 
He says it over and over and over in scripture: “I am with you.”  “I will never leave you.”  This sounds like what a good father would say to a child who is scared about entering a dark room.  “It’s OK.  Don’t be afraid.  Daddy is coming with you.  I won’t leave you.  I’ll be right here.”  And when I look back on the times when my life was falling apart, I can see Him so clearly by my side.  
So, no, none of us asked to be born into this world.  But our Father made us a promise that still stands today:  “You are not alone.  I care for you and I will be with you wherever you go.”  How do I respond to a God like that?  How does a loving, perfect father shape my response in times of crisis?  How sweet and tender of Him to reassure us so many times.  Even when it was previously written for all to read, He said it again:  “I will not leave you.  I will not abandon you.  I am with you even now.”
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