When the Crap Hits the Fan Our Religion Falls Short

John 16:33 (NLT), “I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”

Jesus was very plain, we live in this corrupted, fallen world, and here, there is going to be trouble. He also prayed later in John 17, “Not that you take them out of the world, but that you protect them from the evil one.” So, we are here till He returns or until God calls us home. So trials and sorrow will be part of our lives. Tribulations and turbulence will be in our future.

So what do we do?

Being “religious” isn’t the answer, going to church, reading your Bible, memorizing scripture isn’t the solution. Though the last three are great things, they are only a means to an end. The end, the final solution, is a close, intimate, and personal relationship with God. Knowing who He is, listening to His voice, getting to know Jesus, talking to Him in a way that isn’t just a list of “do for me” things. Because when the crap hits the fan, our religion falls short.

Jesus said that in Him we might have peace. We only get in Him, when we totally surrender our hearts to Him and allow Him to be Lord of our lives. Just saying a prayer doesn’t change us, or build a relationship. Yielding and pursuing Him does. And only a close and personal relationship with God will get me through the rough places in my life.

A great example was Jairus. He was a religious leader during Jesus time on this earth in human form. His daughter became sick and his religion couldn’t help her. There is no worse report for a parent than your child is a deaths door. This great need, with no religious solution, sent Jairus to Jesus. He had heard about His healing power. He humbled himself and sought the answer. After meeting Jesus and His quick agreement to go with Jairus, someone comes and tells the man that his daughter is dead. Sounds like misplaced faith, that the father was too late, that the answer wouldn’t come.

But Jesus! He assured Jairus that his daughter would be well. His daughter wasn’t just healed that day, she was raised from the dead.

Knowing about God doesn’t save us. Knowing Him does.

Had A Bad Day?


All bad days aren’t the same. Sometimes our circumstances are rotten, but we come out smelling like a rose. We keep a good attitude and we are able to just keep going. My husband likes to say that is like “water off a ducks back.” Then, there are those bad days where we “lose it,” our minds, our tempers… maybe even our witness.
We’ve all had one, Ok, maybe a few more than that. Does that mean we have messed up the whole faith thing? Do we have to go back to “start?” What kind of punishment does God have worked out for us?

Let me remind you of just a few who had bad days:
Joseph was sold into slavery by his brothers. Then was falsely accused and sent to prison.
Moses spent over forty years leading a bunch of whiny, complaining, hard hearted people.
David had a king trying to kill him several times, sinned with Bathsheba, and had quite a few bad days.
Paul persecuted the early Church, was beaten, thrown into prison, shipwrecked (twice), and also had more than his fare share of bad days.
Peter denied Christ, even after Jesus warned him.
Jesus had some. He was rejected by His own people, He was mocked, ridiculed, the religious leaders sought to kill Him, and we haven’t even mentioned Gethsemane, or Calvary.

James 1:2-3 (NIV), “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”

I think it is safe to say that a bad day constitutes a “trial.” It is trying to live in this fallen world. Sometimes our messes are of our own making, and sometimes we just land in them due to no fault of our own. Either way, count it joy. Don’t live there. Don’t glorify the circumstances. Look to God. Repent if needed and move on. Find out what God has to say about it. So you lost it, so what! Those people mentioned above did too.

Joseph saved all of Egypt and his whole family from starvation.
Moses spoke with God face to face.
God called David “a man after My own heart,” and he was given the design of the temple.
Paul wrote most of the New Testament.
Peter brought salvation to the Gentiles and was a leader in the early Church.
And Jesus, well, He fulfilled the law, saved the whole world…you know, all that wonderful stuff!

James told us that that we will mature when our faith is tested.
Don’t let a bad day dictate your future! Move on, move ahead. Don’t remember them. God doesn’t.

God Stretches Us

God stretches us…and I really don’t enjoy the experience! I know it is good for me, but…not fun. A few years ago I took a visit to my past. Went to Washington where I spent my high school and early adult years. I love to see my family, but there is so much junk from my past that feels right “in my face.” I think this time I finally buried the “old me” there. Left her in Washington! I spent way too much time re-living my past, and finally God reminded me that those memories belonged to someone else! Who I am now is a “new creation” who I was then has been crucified, and is dead and buried. A stretching time. On the way home from that visit, our car broke down. Hadn’t even made it half way! Stuck in Butte, Montana, where it was 100 degrees, and dusty (the people were so very nice and helpful). Spent two days there, pretty stressful, looking for a way home, without giving our car away. God came through and we made it back, after a long 24 hour drive straight through, in an unfamiliar truck, towing our car, no bed, no bath and we all were stretched. My husband called it an “adventure,” same word he used in the spring when our kids car broke down on the way to their vacation in Florida, and he went with truck and dolly to pick them up.(We’ve had more than our share of car problems that year). He said to me while our daughter was sleeping in the back seat of the big truck, “we’ve had lots of adventures in our marriage, and we made it through them all. We still have each other and we have God!”
Stretching has been good for us. Ten years ago, he would have lost it, ranted and raved and been totally mad at the world, now he teases and gives God the glory. Stretching has mellowed him. Ten years ago, I would have panicked and had some anxiety attacks, maybe cried and got emotional. Stretching has strengthened me. God is faithful and He has always brought us through every “adventure”. Until I am made perfect, I’ll be stretched. I am determined to give way and be elastic, not to be brittle and bitter and to snap like an old rubber band. Who will I be when I am done? More like Him… more grown up, better and more beautiful!