Wednesday, February 7, 2007

How Does This Happen?

Yesterday I read this passage of scripture:

Judges 2:8-13 (New International Version)

"Joshua son of Nun, the servant of the LORD, died at the age of a hundred and ten. And they buried him in the land of his inheritance, at Timnath Heres in the hill country of Ephraim, north of Mount Gaash.
After that whole generation had been gathered to their fathers, another generation grew up, who knew neither the LORD nor what he had done for Israel. Then the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the LORD and served the Baals. They forsook the LORD, the God of their fathers, who had brought them out of Egypt. They followed and worshiped various gods of the peoples around them. They provoked the LORD to anger because they forsook him and served Baal and the Ashtoreths."

And I have to ask myself, "How does this happen?"

How is it that one generation can be so far removed spiritually from the previous generation? What went, or what goes wrong?

I wish I had the answer to that question.

I think my parents did a real good job of raising me in church and teaching me the things of God as best as they could, and yet I still wandered away from the Lord for about ten years.

Our oldest daughter is following the same pattern, and I constantly hear from other christian parents whose children have done the same.

I know the well meaning phrases we tell one another during these times, things like:
"They will come back." "You know the scripture says, If you train up a child in the way they should go, they will come back when they are older." and others like it.

The only problem I have with these well meaning statements is that I have seen many children grow up in good christian homes, and some don't come back. Some have died at an early age.

To watch my daughter, and others I love, live a life away from the Lord is harder than anything I have evere done, and it has made me appreciate my parents even more, as I have realized what I put them through all those years ago.

As with so many things that I find in the Bible that I don't understand, I will leave this in the hands of God.

I'm sorry if this post is not as entertaining as some, but sometimes the scriptures leave me with more questions than they do answers.

I will still hold onto Jesus and the Word, because, to paraphrase what Peter told Jesus, where else could I go, only Jesus has the words of eternal life.

Life is hard. God is good. The questions usually outnumber the answers. But God is good...all the time.

I leave you with the lyrics to two different songs, with the same title. The first one is written by Michael Been and I first heard on a Russ Taff album in the 80's. The second one is by Jeremy Camp. Both have comforted me when the questions arise.

I STILL BELIEVE

I've been in a cave
For forty days
Only a spark
To light my way
I want to give out
I want to give in
This is our crime
This is our sin
But I still believe
I still believe
Through the pain
And through the grief
Through the lies
And through the storms
Through the cries
And through the wars
I still believe

Flat on my back
Out at sea
Hoping these waves
Don't cover me
I'm turned and tossed
Upon the waves
When the darkness comes
I feel the grave
But I still believe
I still believe
Through the cold and through the heat
through the rain
And through the tears
Through the crowds
And through the cheers
I still believe

I'll march this road
I'll climb this hill
Upon my knees If I have to
I'll take my place
Upon this stage
I'll wait till the end of time
For You
For people like us
In places like this
We need all the hope
That we can get
I still believe
I still believe
Through the shame
And through the grief
Through the heartache
And through the tears
Through the waiting
And through the years
I still believe

Words and music by Michael Been and J. Goodwin
1986 Neeb/Tarka Music/Ascap, Tileface Music (BMI)

"I Still Believe"
by Jeremy Camp

Scattered words and empty thoughts
Seem to pour from my heart
I've never felt so torn before
Seems I dont know where to start
But its now I feel Your grace fall like rain
From every fingertip washing away my pain

I still believe in Your faithfulness
I still believe in Your truth
I still believe in Your Holy word
Even when I dont see I still believe

Though the questions still fog up my mind
With promises I still seem to bear
Even when answers slowly unwind
It's my heart I see you prepare
But its now that I feel Your grace fall like rain
From every fingertip washing away my pain

The only place I can go is into Your arms
Where I throw to You my feeble prayers in brokeness
I can see that this is Your will for me
Help me to know You are near


Letting God hold me,
Pastor Dave

2 comments:

Deena said...

Sometimes I think a test that reveals true faith is when all hope seems lost, but you keep clinging to the One who gives all hope...simply because there is no other alternative but to cling.
That sounds like a no brainer, but too many let go and walk away when life gets painfully hard. Me? I'd sooner stop breathing than believing in God and His power to do all things...anything else is pointless.
I just wish I could communicate that to our daughter.

Pastor Steve said...

When you going to post again I'm going through withdraws...

I hope all is well it has been real quiet from the Dave front...

your friend and brother in Christ

Steve