When we are in the muddy middle of challenges, we don’t necessarily see ’em as chances to roll up our collective sleeves, flex our muscles, grasp the opponent’s hand, and then grunt the scary hairy arms flat to the wrestling match table.
Slam! I won! Right on, buckaroo!
No, we probably just do the next thing that needs doin’ in order to survive (or to feed our families, or to pay the medical bills, or to keep our loved ones together under the same roof, or to stay the course while our families are torn asunder).
We might not even see the sticky situations for what they are.
a demand for proof;
a call to engage in a contest;
an invitation to participate in a competition
Last week I finished a study on the book of Ruth and this week I started in on Esther. The main commonality I see between these biblical stories is that each of these godly women, and their respective, righteous male counterparts, took one day at a time; and in doing so, they did the thing that needed doing in order for good to prevail.
There was no shining moment in time where folks in Ruth’s story climbed atop the city gate and declared how and why and when they would contribute to God’s plan by giving birth to folks in Jesus’ bloodline. There was no pompom shakin’ or hip-hip-hooraying going on.
Likewise, nobody in Esther’s story paraded along the Shushan palace pathways and proclaimed that they would save God’s chosen people from annihilation and destruction. There was no line for autographs. They didn’t even sell event t-shirts.
No sir, no ma’am, these women and men of biblical proportions lived their lives with integrity, humility, honor, obedience, faith, moral uprightness, strength, compassion, and courage.
One day at a time.
Over and over again.
Each person met their specific -n- diverse challenges with similar redemptive character traits; and as a result, they collectively turned the unknown, the scary, the outlandish, and sometimes the evil challenges into opportunities to live out godliness.
“But I want you to know, brethren, that the things which happened to me have actually turned out for the furtherance of the gospel, so that it has become evident to the whole palace guard, and to all the rest, that my chains are in Christ.” (Philippians 1:12-13, NKJV)
a set of circumstances;
a chance for employment of promotion;
an appropriate or favorable time or occasion
They didn’t seize circumstances to show how mighty they were, but instead, they lived their faith through their daily thoughts, words, and deeds. They showed the strength and perfect timing of their God – of our God, of the One and The same God of the universe.
These biblical women and men engaged in demands for proof in the competition that was their every day existence; and in doing so, God’s great goodness was furthered in appropriate circumstances – all of which were under His direct, divine control.
And dare I say, Ruth, Boaz, Esther, and Mordecai merely did the next thing that needed doin’ – in order for the God-grande results (of perseverance, morality, comfort, food, protection, direction, and redemption) to prevail.
Buckaroos, are we too busy gruntin’ the scary hairy arms to the wrestling match table that we miss our daily impact on the furtherance of God’s kingdom?
“Therefore, brethren, stand fast and hold the traditions which you were taught, whether by word or our epistle. Now may our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, and our God and Father, who has loved us and given us everlasting consolation and good hope by grace, comfort your hearts and establish you in every good word and work.” (2 Thes 2:15-17, NKJV)
How can you turn daily challenges into godly opportunities?