I once heard a Jewish speaker and a Christian man on two separate occurrences speak about the necessity of being good. If you want to get right with God, then you need to be more good and less bad. Not a bad system, right?
Personally, I like to think that I’m good. I like to picture myself stopping for someone in need when I am able. I like to think that I would meet someone else’s needs and that I’d let people into my traffic lane on the 405 (yes, the 405, you non-Californians).
My dirty secret is that I don’t go the extra mile on a daily basis, I don’t stop for others at a drop of the hat, and I grudgingly let others into my lane (only if they might dent my car if I don’t brake). Truth be told, I have issues!
The good news is that I don’t have to go up to God with a chart showing my gold stars or a screenshot of how many ‘likes’ I have. In fact, the good news is when I go down and down further into my issues and baggage that God is there.
This shocking, counterintuitive, and revolutionary good news is that in my greatest moment of despair, failure, sin, weakness, losing, failing, frustration, inability, helplessness, wandering, and falling short that God meets me there.
He doesn’t meet us on the ground level or basement.
I’m talking about the bottom of the deepest, darkest coal mine. God meets us in the inner recesses of that mine and whispers comfortingly: “I am on your side.”
God meets us there, in the bowels of despair, and he takes us by the hand and leads us out of that darkness.
Being led out of the dark into the light. God meets us in ordinary times, as I mentioned in the last post. God is with us, and he meets us in the darkest corner of our lives and demonstrates that he is for us. That, my friends, is news you can use.
(2nd of 3 parts on Rob Bell’s book What We Talk About When We Talk About God)