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Wednesday, January 27, 2010

I don't know why God just doesn't let me die

One of the problems with our society (maybe most) is that there are often too many people who want to be the leader and not enough followers. I remember in grade school that all of the guys wanted to be the captain (the chooser) of whatever game we were playing. They wanted to be in control of things, not a new idea, but often it goes on far too long and affects far too much of our life.

It's surprising how early this trait arises in our lives. Our daughter-in-law Mylinda shared with us this incident about our 2 ½ year old grand daughter, Allison. She told us she is in the grips of what is known as the "terrible two's" and wants everything done her way, so they are fighting that battle now. One day last week her older brother went in to her bedroom to kiss her good night and as he was leaving she commanded, "No, you sit down".

Allison is trying to find her place in the pecking order of the family, she it trying her best to have things done her way and in her own way, to control things and people around her. When it doesn't work she sometimes even turns to trying the "tantrum," but she has yet to figure out that doesn't work either, it often brings chastisement.

Here's the problem. She is only two and we expect two year olds to act that way, it is part of growing and finding out the limits of family and society. The problem is, that some of us, full grown adults, have not yet figured out that we can't always have it our way. That we are not in command or in control of the world, our society and sometimes even what happens in our own lives.

I read of a preacher visiting an old man in a nursing home with a variety of health problems. He told the preacher, "I don't know why God just doesn't let me die!" To which the preacher replied, "Well, maybe God has something else he wants you to do." The old man screws up his face in a scowl and said, "Well, I'm not going to do it."

I think this happens to many people in our world. Things don't happen in their lives the way they want, they are no longer in control and sadly, far too often with those who claim to belong to God. They said, "Lord here is my life, use me," but when their life takes a turn they don't like they say, "I'm not going to do it."

Do you remember those troublesome words of the Apostle Paul in Galatians 2:20? He said, "My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me." (NLT) That should be our goal, that attitude should be what we are striving to develop in our lives. The problem is that far too often we take the attitude of a 2 year old and say, "No, you sit down," "God you do what I say," "you do what I ask," or even, "you don't love me because you didn't make my life come out the way I wanted."

At some point, if we ever hope to be happy in Christ, we will need to realize that we are not in control of our world. When we can grow to the point of giving up control and submitting ourselves to God, we will find happiness, effectiveness and peace.

Russ Lawson

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