When some accept Christ as their Savior, they anticipate just that; that He saves us from every problem that we have, that we get a golden ticket, and that we walk onto the straight path of life lined with beautiful smelling flowers. Well, much like Lynn Anderson sang, we were never promised a rose garden. But some still expect the Amen to be followed by a drawn curtain and sunshine and roses. And while that may happen for some, more often than not, it is not the case.
Having God on your side does not guarantee a problem-free life. It does not promise a stress-free life. It doesn’t even mean you won’t wake up crying because you are unsure of the next step you should take. What it does mean is that you have someone there to guide you through those difficult moments in your life. It means you have someone to carry you in your darkest moment. It means that you will have someone in your corner walking along side you. But trouble will still find you. In fact, Jesus tells his disciples right before he is arrested and led to his death, “In the world, you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)
We Are Not Alone
Where is your God now, they are quick to point out. Well, He is right where He needs to be. He is seeing you through this trial, teaching you something by it, or preparing you for something to come. We worry when we try and assume control from Him, instead of allowing God to do His work. We fear when we listen to the voices around us, criticizing how the Holy Spirit is working in our life. His delay is not a failure; it is the perfecting of our faith. We just need to remain patient and allow the Lord to complete his work and listen for His voice. He will speak, and when He does, we need to be ready.
Being Filled with the Spirit
As we wait, we need to remain in Him. Just because we are in quarantine does not mean we are to close ourselves off from God’s word. In fact, all the more reason to dig into the Bible. We often use the excuse that we do not have the time to read; now, many of us have nothing but time. So, to keep our minds on Him, we need to keep ourselves plugged into everything God. It is easier to remain patient if we keep God forefront in our life. This also means being filled with the Spirit. This encompasses Bible reading, prayer, and quiet time with the Lord.
The Battle We Fight
Yet, it is easy to get caught up with what is going on across social media. With every refresh, there is something new to worry about. As I shared last week, we have many sides fighting for our attention. Those that want you to be afraid and hide; those that want you to be angry point blame; those that are saying this is all fake; and those who understand the reality of the situation but want to take necessary precautions, yet also want life to get back to normal. In all cases, everyone believes they are right, and you cannot steer them from their stance. It is easy to lose sight of God when you have such social media mindsets. Your John 3:16 post gets lost in the Newsfeed of “I am right; you are wrong.”
Set Your Sights on Godly Things
So, we must steer clear of getting lost in such trivialness. Set our sights on the things of God. This may mean getting away from social media for a while. Close the browser, put down the phone, get away, and do something else. We stray away from the things of God when our spirits get drained. Think of it like a gas tank in a car. A car cannot be efficient unless the tank has gasoline. The same can be said of you. You cannot be effective unless you are filled with the Spirit. Gas is the lifeblood of a vehicle getting anywhere. The Spirit is the lifeblood of your effectiveness for Christ.
The Intimacy of Renewal
And if you haven’t noticed, a car requires multiple fillings—the same with the Spirit. Look back to the disciples and Pentecost. Was that a one-and-done event? Not by any means. They repeatedly met together, prayed, and sought the Lord. Their main request? To be filled with the Spirit. So, if they who were WITH the Lord in person, repeatedly needed to be filled with the Spirit, who are we to think we would need anything different? But the repeated fillings are where the intimacy with the Spirit comes in. The empowering, the recharging feeling that comes with each renewal.
When It All Falls Apart
Yes, we come full circle. Where is your God, they say. Those times when God seems miles away. I continue to point back to: He is where He is supposed to be; where He always said he would be. Even when life seems to fall apart and is shattered into a million pieces. (Or confusing beyond all get-out) God is there; arms open wide. Natalie Grant sings in her song, Held, “To know that the promise was that when everything fell, we’d be held.” But without plugging into spiritual renewal and consistently refilling our tank, then we can miss out on all that God has for us. So, open your Bible, close your eyes in prayer, and listen for his voice. He is waiting, gas pump in hand.
Photo by Irina Iriser from Pexels
2 thoughts on “Are Christians Promised a Rose Garden Life?”