Thursday, July 31, 2014

Crap serves God's purposes

Americans have a lot of crude sayings like "S**t happens" or "holy crap" to describe how we feel when things don't go the way we planned.

As I was walking and listening to the Paul's letter to the Philippians (1/2 the time I write Philippines) the phrase "I want you to know brothers, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel".  Paul was in prison for preaching Christ. They took away his pulpit and his audience and still he says that as far as the advance of the gospel is concerned, things have never been better.  I'm stunned.  Hundreds maybe thousands of people are praying for Paul's release. Some Christians are starting to read Revelation (well, they would have if John had written it sooner) and talk about it being the "last days".  Some have defected; others have gotten tattoos "martyred for Jesus" just to get ready for the end.  And Paul says, "things are great! Never been better."

Lord, I'm amazed, and I have a question, "Paul was a hero of the faith. He pretty much did everything right. Me - I've pretty much made a mess out of a lot of the things in my life. Do you work things out for the advance of your gospel in the lives of "screw ups" as well as in the lives of great men of faith? Is it possible that my greatest failures might also be used by you for the advance of your kingdom?

It is starting to become fashionable to show slide shows at funerals, highlighting the life of the loved one who has just passed on. What if my slideshow showed my greatest failures instead of my greatest hits?  I'm not trying to endorse sin and failure, but rather wondering how far your sovereignty extends. I want to be able to share the good, the bad and the ugly things in my life and say "I want you to know, friends, that what has happened to me, has served to advance the gospel."

I know you are at work in my life and my world and that somehow you will weave all of this together for my good and your glory, even my darkest failures will be redeemed for your purposes. I'm looking forward to seeing how that goes.