People refer to “The Good Life” as something to aspire to or long for. But what is The Good Life? Merriam-Webster defines it as a life marked by a high standard of living. Urban dictionary refers to it as living life drama and worry free. It goes on to say, “Just live your life, have fun, be positive, and you will be living “The Good Life.”
Is living “The Good Life” really all that “good”? Is it all to which one should aspire?
As a response to the tragedy of WWII, many of America’s greatest ministries were birthed. Sadly, today, instead of flourishing, these ministries are closing their doors.
Through hardship and trials people look to God, but when life is easy we have little need for Him. It’s no wonder that American morals have plummeted and, as a country, we have distanced ourselves from Godly principles.
A question on my daughter’s History test the other day asked about the cause of moral decline in American culture. The answer pointed to the fact that when life is easy people often forsake God. As a Christian, I have seen it countless times. When life is difficult we more readily press into God, but when everything is going smoothly He rarely takes center stage.
Who would have thought?
-The Good Life may not be so “good” after all.
“When God gets us alone through suffering, heartbreak, temptation, disappointment, sickness, or by thwarted desires, a broken friendship, or a new friendship—when He gets us absolutely alone, and we are totally speechless, unable to ask even one question, then He begins to teach us.”
Excerpt From: Chambers, Oswald. “My Utmost for His Highest.”
Almost ten years have passed since she died. Looking back, it seems like only yesterday and then too it seems like a lifetime ago. I can’t believe it has been a decade and just now I am beginning to feel like I have come up for air, whole and healthy. If anyone would have told me it would have taken ten years for God to teach me these lessons, I would have been overwhelmed. Even without knowing, I was speechless.
Have you ever been speechless? …At that point where you’re utterly dismayed and you haven’t words to express or even ask “why”. Well if you have, there is a reason. When we are speechless we can finally listen. Quietening our minds and closing our mouths, our ears can do their job more efficiently. Before God renders us speechless, we often know it all, we have advice to give & opinions to share. But when God has our attention we finally realize how little we know and it’s at that moment when we truly become teachable and He can instruct.
If you find yourself speechless, know this, God is about to teach you lessons you could never have learned in your previous state. Allow Him your full attention especially when you don’t understand.
When we don’t understand our circumstances we often falsely assume that God has forsaken us. But it’s through those dark and confusing moments that He desires to bless us. Just this week I was reading an article by Jon Bloom, co-founder of Desiring God entitled, “Will you wrestle with God?” It was written to challenge our thinking on this paradigm.
When things don’t go as we hope it’s easy to assume the worst, but it’s in moments like these that we can and should cling to His promises and remember “that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” – Romans 8:28
A few weeks ago we were watching an older Disney movie called The Adventures of the Wilderness family. A movie filmed in 1977 about a family, tired of living in the city, who moves into the wilderness to live off grid. After selling everything and buying some land they arrive to their new home by plane. A romanticized version of learning to live off the land they have exciting experiences which are foreign to most of us.
While watching the movie I was taken back by how much America has changed in the past 40 years. The first thing that caught my attention was the fact that the little girl and boy were riding with their dog in the back of the family pick-up truck. One might expect this on the farm or in the wilderness, but they were riding through rush hour traffic in LA!
The second thing that caught my attention was the family prayer offering thanks around the dinner table. In 1977, prayer was so common that Walt Disney included it in a major motion picture. But nowadays movies and prayer don’t go hand in hand.
This story reminds me of another one found in the Old Testament book of 1 Kings. It is about a prophet named Elijah. This story is recounted in the New Testament book of Romans (11:2-5).
“God has not rejected his people whom he foreknew. Do you not know what the Scripture says of Elijah, how he appeals to God against Israel? “Lord, they have killed your prophets, they have demolished your altars, and I alone am left, and they seek my life.” But what is God’s reply to him? “I have kept for myself seven thousand men who have not bowed the knee to Baal.” So too at the present time there is a remnant, chosen by grace.”
In spite of my dismay at the change in our culture, I must believe that “So too at the present time there is a remnant, chosen by grace.” A people who wholeheartedly worship the Living God. Ones who aren’t afraid to pray even when the culture deems it antiquated.