How was your Friday? Mine was full ... and really good.
I got to meet with two men, both of whom play a significant role in this mission. I walked away knowing a little more about the inner lives of both men. I have watched them both deal with different kinds of adversity... over time. And I was proud of them. They are becoming really good men.
You see, we don't have as much CONTROL as we'd like in this life. And even when we think we do, much of that CONTROL is an illusion. What comes to us in our daily lives is what Paul referred to in Romans 8 when he used the phrase, "all things" and then went on to say that "all things work together for good...to those who love God and who are called according to His purposes." (Romans 8:28)
It doesn't mean that people who are especially 'good Christians' will always have especially 'good things' happen to them because of their 'good performance'. It means that people who really give themselves to God will experience a broad sampling of ALL KINDS of experiences - some beautiful things and some tragic things - all of them in their totality working together for the good.
The pivotal truth for Christians is that we get to make significant choices. When some of the "all things" occur that are particularly unpleasant, we have the option to believe that God is really good -- or not. If we make the choice to trust Him, well,... that is the equivalent of saying "Yes!" to the plans of a perfectly loving Father.
That CHOICE to say "Yes!" to God in the middle of chaos or pain or ... even prosperity is a Big Factor in what kind of man you become. He does the Work. We get to agree.
In a world where outward religious activity mattered most, Paul reminded the Galatians that one thing mattered. "For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but faith working through love." Gal 5:6
So, what kind of Man are you becoming? And by what Means?
Both questions are important. The 2nd question <'...by what means?> gets to the core of whether you believe you are a self-made Man or if you believe you belong to Another and find his Ability to be the only ability from which you live. Or, said a different way, are you learning to lean back into God's very real life and allow him to live his Life ... 'as you'.