#176 "About Face"
November 2, 2010
"I will listen to what God the Lord will say". (Psalm 85: 8a)
Hello, friend on the other side of my screen! It is such an honor to serve Christ, and you, every single Tuesday morning! I hope today finds you well, deep in the Word of God, and radiant with the light of Christ.
I have so much to say to you. Lately, I, along with some members of my family, have been up to our necks in what T. D. Jakes always called "the vicissitudes of life". I wasn't entirely sure what a vicissitude was, but it sure did seem to be an appropriate word for life in the land of the living right about now. A vicissitude is a change; a variation in circumstances; a reversal; an about-face. Anybody?
When life changes, when circumstances do a reversal on you, you can choose to drown in the lake of vicissitude, or do an about-face on your about-face. How about together, we echo the psalmist's words in Psalm 85 today? "I will listen to what God the Lord will say".
One day, Jesus was teaching His disciples, explaining that He was the Bread of Life. (See John 6) He told them that unless they ate the flesh of the Son of Man and unless they drank His blood, they would have no life in them. The Bible says that His disciples called this a "hard saying" and from that time, many of them turned back and no longer followed Him.
"I'm sorry, but we're downsizing and the company has to let you go". "Foreclosure Notice". "Your loved one has cancer". "We're calling because we have your son in custody". "I'm leaving you because I just don't love you anymore and I've found someone else who understands me". "The baby died". Hard sayings. Hard words to hear. Jesus asks you the same question that He asked His running disciples on that day: "You do not want to leave too, do you"? (John 6: 67)
When the hard words come, will you turn your back on Christ, or will you say with Peter (v. 68-69), "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We believe and know that you are the Holy One of God". I don't know how folks handle the vicissitudes of life without Jesus. I just don't know... Where else would I go? To WHOM would I go? I just don't know.
The prodigal son had it all figured out. Get the money from my father and strike out on my own. No more working the fields. No more putting up with that older brother. I'm going to live the good life. Over the course of time, things changed. There was a reversal and an about-face. Wiping the pig slop from his mouth, he utters the words that would about-face his about-face. "I will arise and go to my Father". (Luke 15: 18 KJV)
When the words cut to the core of your being or when your life takes a complete about-face from what you had planned, make it a habit that before you do one, single, solitary thing, you arise and go to your Father. Don't walk...RUN to your Father in Heaven. While you are a long way off, He sees you with eyes full of compassion. He stands at the ready to run to you, throw His arms around you and cradle you to His breast. To whom else should you go?
Lazarus was dead. Mary and Martha just did not understand why Jesus waited so long to come. But while He was still a few days off, He told His disciples that all of this happened "for God's glory so that God's Son may be glorified through it". (John 11: 4) I am completely, absolutely convinced that every vicissitude of life has the ultimate goal of giving God all the glory that is due His Holy Name. I am completely, absolutely convinced that God would never allow the pain to slice me and hurt so much if His glory was not at stake. I wait to see it. I search for it. I long to see Him glorified in the about-faces of my life. My pain and my vicissitudes will not be without purpose. And their purpose is the glory of my Christ.
If the enemy of my soul thinks that his attacks will turn me away from Christ, he's sorely mistaken. To whom else should I go? I will always arise and go to my Father. His glory is at stake. I will see it. I know that I will. So, bring it on devil! Bring it on!
How about you? You do not want to leave too, do you? Arise and go to your Father now. Ask Him to show you His glory. He will do it.
Lord, let it be so. Let it be so.
Living the Word along with you,
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