Monday, May 26, 2014

Why Bother?

Life sometimes feels like the children's game Snakes and Ladders. Little by little you make your way HOME for the win. You occasionally get to climb a small ladder and minor setback are expected, so these are taken pretty much in stride. Emotions kick into high gear when we, or others, are on and near the giant "game" changers. You work your way toward a life goal and as you near it a huge snake strikes without warning. One or two big setbacks tend to make you more determined; three, four, and five lead to a "why bother?" mentality. A word of warning here, when the snakes keep on setting you back, do not compare your life to someone you think has a life of one ladder after another. This leads only to anger, bitterness, and resentment. In a word, it leads to sin. You sin not only against a person, but against God. In essence, you tell God that He is unjust when you claim that He is against you and for others.

My wife and I have had many big snakes in our lives. At four we thought, okay we have to have met our start over quota by now. We had not. We still may have not. And, yes, the "why bother?" frustration has made both of us want to raise the white flag of surrender and give up trying at times.

The day had barely begun and a co-worker was already saying "some days make you wonder why you even bother." All I could do that morning was agree with her. That statement has stuck in my head ever since though. Why should we bother? Is it worth the struggle and the frustration of setback after setback, disappointment after disappointment?

If we have entered into a personal relationship with God the Father, through His Son Jesus, the answer is a resounding YES! This relationship changes everything! Our lives are no longer about who we are, what we have, what status we attain, or how we compare to others. We can join with Paul and say to this life "for me to live is Christ and to die is gain." With Him, this life has nothing to offer me that compares to what I already have. All life on this earth has to offer is temporary satisfaction that leaves me wanting more, and it can so easily get taken away. With Jesus life is no longer about the "Snakes and Ladders" of this world. With Jesus the last is the first, little is much, and weakness is strength. Best of all God never loses; with Him even defeat, in our eyes, is victory.

Calvary is the ultimate example of this. To human minds death had conquered Jesus; when all the while God knew Calvary was Jesus eternally conquering death.

To make the victory even sweeter, He also conquered sin on Calvary making a way for us to stand before God clothed in Jesus righteousness; our sin atoned for by His blood.

O victory in Jesus,
My Savior, forever.
He sought me and bought me
With His redeeming blood;
He loved me ere I knew Him
And all my love is due Him,
He plunged me to victory,
Beneath the cleansing flood.
Victory in Jesus - Eugene M. Bartlett - 1939