If you’ve ever read 2 Samuel, you might have read about Mephibosheph in Chapter 9. He was a man that was lame in both feet. He could not walk. But he was a righteous man.
God did not heal his lame limbs. He could have, but he didn’t. However, God did sit him at the king’s table for the last several years of his life.
Why wouldn’t God heal him? Was it because he was a sinner? Ha. Aren’t we all?
No, it wasn’t a punishment that he was lame. It was a test, a trail, a training, and a testimony. Who knows how this man may have benefited or suffered because of his pain, but because he was faithful, God blessed him through his trail.
Every bad thing that happens to “good people” is not always a punishment. Often it’s to prepare you, to train you for the rest of your life. It can be to show you what’s really important in life. It can be to bring you to God. It can be a doorway to ministry. But it all has a purpose, and if you’re faithful, you’ll see that purpose.
I live in a town with no great pizza places. In fact, we only really have two. Pizza Hut and Domino’s. Typical fast food chain fare.
I’ve had better pizza. Much better. And when I moved here, I cried out for something good. Some independent place. Some New York style. Heck, even some Papa John’s. Anything but Pizza Hut and Domino’s.
I hated these two places. The rubbery cheese. The greasy crust. The over-reliance on garlic to cover up the bland pepperoni. The shame of eating every last crumb of an entire large pizza by yourself, even though you hated every bite of it.
But as the years passed, I continued to eat it. Because mediocre pizza beats the best salad any day.
Christians today are great at pointing out other people’s flaws, but we are terrible at admitting our own. This is a call to change the way Christians do things.
Steve Harvey did a wonderful stand-up special a few years ago for Megafest, a big worship conference, and he called it “Don’t Trip… He Ain’t Through with Me Yet.”
This was a reference to the fact that he is a work in progress and he still has a lot of flaws that he is working on, though, admittedly, with little success.
For instance, he said that when someone says to him, “I’m gonna kill you,” he is not likely to respond with, “I’m gonna pray for you.” He said he feels much better when he comes back crazier, “I’m gonna kill everybody in your family!”
Zachary Levi, best known as “Chuck,” the nerd-turned-super-spy in the TV show of the same name, is a Christian, but most people don’t know that. And off hand, I wouldn’t have thought so either, but for only one reason… he cusses.
Not a lot, but an average amount for a normal person. He cusses. But then, I’d see quotes on his Twitter feed about preaching the Gospel with actions. I did a double-take and did some research.
He’s a true believer, saying once in an interview with Relevant Magazine, “My job on my set, I believe, is to first just love people and gain that trust with people where they know that I really do love them and care about their well-being, so that when they are running into problems, they will hopefully, at some point, come to me and ask me, ‘What is your peace all about? What is your comfort all about? Where do you get your love? Where do you get your talents?’ And I can turn to them and say without blinking, ‘Jesus Christ.’”
Tripp and Tyler are a pair of jokers. They have been doing videos on YouTube for a while now, mostly about just being goofy in different situations, but every now and then focusing on faith topics, both being Christians. However, they are often criticized because their comedy is edgier than most Christians expect.
By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. And God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done. –Genesis 2:2-3 (NIV84)
God just spent six straight days creating everything in existence. We could understand him being a bit weary. But he wasn’t. We often get confused because we try and put God in a human-like box, expecting him to react and need in the same manner we do. But he is God. He doesn’t need rest.
You see, the reality is, even when he was resting, he was creating. By resting on the seventh day, he was adding to the created order of life that rest was a necessary part of things. Everyone is made to work hard and do their best work always, but no man is made to work without rest. God was setting an example that he wanted us to follow: To take one day of the week and rest in the good work you’ve done for the other six, to spend time in tandem with the Creator, and to rebuild your energy for the next week. If you don’t, your body, mind, willpower, and creativity will suffer and you risk burning out. God had that all figured out in the first week.
I’m a father now.
Almost 10 months ago, my beautiful wife gave birth to the cutest baby I’ve ever seen - my son, Elijah.
My wife is the breadwinner in the family. She has the high-paying job and I work part-time and volunteer part-time, but most of my stuff can be done from home, so I’m the stay-at-home dad.
I still haven’t gotten the hang of it yet.
I’m now able to make it through the day without freaking out and the baby gets changed and fed and entertained. But as for cleaning the house or doing dishes or stuff like that with the baby in the house, well, that’s hit or miss.
But I also have trouble when he cries.
It’s been said that everybody has two lives here on Earth and that the second one starts when we realize we only have one.
Until we come to that full realization, we are careless or carefree.
It’s only when something major happens do we come to see that we’ve been living our lives all wrong. And that “something major” is usually very hard to live through.
But if we go through the pain, we find ourselves coming out the other side of it, better than we were before.
Last Christmas was especially tough for a friend of mine. Though I don’t know him very well, I know him to be an upstanding guy for the most part, and he’s been a wonderful mentor to my nephew this past year.
Well, one week before Christmas, when he came home from work, he discovered that his wife had moved out and taken the children with her. She moved across the country and already had a house to move into. This day had apparently been a long time coming.
Uplifting Devotionals for Christians Overcoming Habits, Hang-Ups, & Hurts