I noticed something while reading in the book of Luke: John the Baptist had such an impacting ministry solely focused on the glory of God and Kingdom growth. And then…just like that…he was imprisoned and later beheaded. Why? It seems like such a waste of a ministry leader; think of all he could have done had he been given twenty or thirty more years to serve!
And then there were Moses’ mom and Hannah, the mother of Samuel. How heart wrenching to have those special baby boys only to turn them over to someone else- sure, it was God’s plan, but think of how they could have thrived in the care of their godly, attentive moms!
And don’t get me started on all the Old Testament prophets. They endured some grueling afflictions- for what? To speak a message to people who really didn’t care? And sometimes they only did one thing and that’s all you heard about them. What a waste of godly potential, don’t you think?
I’ve been thinking about this as I find my way around the new year. I have so many hopes and dreams and plans and goals; I really would like an extra shower or two of blessings and a little more driving down Easy Street if possible. But when I reflect on biblical history it’s apparent that God’s focus is not on human comfort; quite the opposite, in fact. Scripture profusely describes the necessity of trial for the sake of transformation.
Instinctively I get defensive by that reminder and start to protest in my heart: “but that’s hardly fair! Shouldn’t I get a chance to rest after all I’ve been through? Look at how hard I work! I’m trying to be a faithful steward.”
Human history isn’t about humans in general or me specifically. Time doesn’t obey the human directive or the human whim. Nature’s cycles don’t operate by man’s ingenuity. No, it all exists through the word of God for the glory of God; it is enough that we are allowed a part in this epic story. And when I don’t think that’s enough or when I feel overlooked by God in the hustle and bustle of life and start sputtering my “look at me!” complaints, there’s the quiet response with arms fully outstretched on either side: “Look at all I have done.”