Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Disciplined, then Returned Home After 70 Years

Why would God bring His people out of Egypt,
then later let them be exiled in a foreign country?
Not only did He do this, but it was foretold(before it happened).

The Jews began their captivity in Babylon
at the hands of Nebuchadnezzar,
lasting 70 years as prophesied in Jeremiah.

Why would a loving God allow this?
Get ready for this, because it is the hard truth...
because He loved them 
and He wished them to love Him in return.

When I was a child, I knew God was part of my life.
I never understood why, nor what it meant.
Later, in my anger, I rejected God
because I didnt understand Him.
After, when I gave up my anger
and finally came to accept Him,
I thought that was all it took.
But God wanted more of me;
to love Him, and do His will.

That often meant doing the “uncomfortable”,
the things I wished to avoid.
It meant joining God in doing His work
through the body of Christ, the church.
Like loving others - even when inconvenient.
Like feeding the homeless.
Like teaching and leading His flock.
These ideas scared me, and it felt awkward
so I found reasons to disengage and ‘bow out’.

On the day of my accident,
I clearly heard the instruction of God
but I rejected His word,
because it seemed odd for Him to speak to me,
and my plans seemed “good enough”.
But still I injured two people
and went to prison for it.
Where was God in this moment?
He was there - protecting me from myself,
and my victims from being injured worse.

God allowed me to be disciplined
so I could lose everything,
and in turn learn to completely rely on Him.
And what is the point?
God loved me too much
to leave me as I was.

And that is the same thing He did with the Jews.
Because when they returned home after 70 years,
they had a renewed faith,
and rebuilt the temple of Solomon,
re-igniting their passion for serving Him
through the love and obedience He alone deserves.

“My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline,

  and do not lose heart when he rebukes you,

because the Lord disciplines the one he loves,

  and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son.”

- Hebrews 12:5-6, & Proverbs 3:12


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