February 8th, '18
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message by Kris Jackson
"O unhappy and pitiable and wretched man that I
am!" (Romans 7:24 AMP)
Isolate that statement from the rest of Paul's
writings and you would think him a social wreck, but he was not. Most dread
asking the mirror who is the fairest of them all for fear that it might crack.
All lives share a degree of misery. Barbara Johnson penned, "Pain is inevitable
but misery is optional". Yes, we can choose attitudes. The old adage says that
misery loves company. Quarantine that spirit before its emotional contagion breaks
out like bird flu. Some need to be put out of their misery. Paul wrote,
"If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable"
(1 Corinthians 15:19). The way to put some one out of their misery is to help
them picture life through the lens of biblical hope. Jesus rose again.
We do however need to exalt the positives in
misery. You didn't know there were positives? First, misery proves we are a
higher created species. The cow in the pasture never goes for counseling, never
complains about gas prices or the weather. Trees just stand there, how boring,
how miserable, but they don't realize it. Blaise Pascal noted, "...all the
miseries of man prove his grandeur; they are the miseries of dignified
personage..." A divine echo in the soul says you were made for more than this.
Misery is human discomfort in a world that is out of order. And that discomfort
or unrest is our motivation for change. The misery of polio led Salk to perfect
his vaccine. The misery of blistered feet urged invention of the auto. Misery
is the boardroom for ideas birthing nearly all human advancements. And it is
what squeezes the heart to make it turn home to God.
In Journey of Desire John Eldredge
added, "Should the king in exile pretend he is happy there?" The church is the
worst at telling men to be "content" with one's lot in life, even when that lot
is described by the adjectives used in the above text, unhappy, pitiable
and wretched. No! We are "kings" in exile. We deserve better than this.
If the sojourn is misery don't ignore it, change it, remodel it, fix it, trade
it in, start over or whatever you have to do. Misery only has mastery when it
is submitted to. "You made him to have dominion over all the works of Your
hands..." (Psalm 8:6) Adam was supposed to take charge, so are you and I. The guy
is not defeated who falls down. He is defeated who doesn't get back up. Jesus
described the Laodiceans as "wretched and miserable..." (Rev
3:17) Why, because they thought they were just fine the way they were. Growth
won't happen until mediocrity is despised and issues are faced head-on. There
are opiates that can mask the pain, "Let him drink...and remember his misery no
more" (Proverbs 31:7), but the same issues stare back after the buzz wears off.
Misery really is friend, at least a mentor. It bids us to take a proactive
step. And the joy amid misery is the understanding that every step from here on