Pretty ChristianityPosted: October 18, 2010
I have been reading through Genesis. Today I started reading about Joseph. The story is familiar and, this morning, very comforting.
Joseph receives a vision from God. He shares his vision. What happens? He lives happily with his father and brothers in their land and gets a good job which eventually leads to kingship? No. Shortly after sharing his vision, he is betrayed by his brothers, thrown in a pit and sold into slavery. Not pretty.
What about the vision? (Genesis 37:5-8)
I am excited to keep reading because God is faithful and He brings it to pass.
Unfortunately, the journey is not pretty. It is good and full of God’s presence but not pretty. I don’t know where we have gotten off thinking that walking with God should be pretty. I think it is a subtle lie of the enemy infiltrating our churches through the guise of wisdom or blessing.
For us, since we have decided to follow God in church planting, we took a financial loss when selling our house, lived in two separate cities for four months, make 1/3 of the income we made before, participated in gov. programs I never thought I would have to, moved three times in 18 months, sold many of the ‘valuables’ we owned to make ends meet and faced other personal and relational struggles that are just plain ugly. Our journey has been very not pretty in the terms of our finances and comfort.
I candidly share these things because I know we are doing what God has called us to do and yet there are a lot of un-pretty roads He has lead us to walk down. I often doubt rather we are in the “center of God’s will” because it is hard.
I am comforted today with the story of Jospeh because his journey reminds me the opposite of what I thought is true. The difficult and un-pretty journey is more times than not what characterizes God’s will.
Why? Is God just mean?
No! Because in the difficulty and ugliness of the journey, we find God. We find His strength, love, protection, faithfulness, character and goodness! Our life is not easy but, man, it is so good! The Lord continually comforts me with this verse,
“I will give you the treasures of darkness, riches stored in secret places, so that you may know that I am the LORD, the God of Israel, who summons you by name.” Isaiah 45:3
See He is the treasure!