Swimming In Quicksand
Just when you think our world can’t get any more absurd and depraved...another secret email reveals corruption in the highest ranks of government… another accusation of sexual maleficence is leveled… another natural disaster pounds an already broken and battered country… another group of faithful Christ-followers are driven from their homes, some to their graves.
And that’s only the background noise to the cacophony of your personal life that rises and falls on faith and fear, loyalty and betrayal, blessing and loss, good health and disease. All the madness in the world seems to magnify the crazy in our own lives… and I will admit that there are days when I just want to throw in the towel.
On one of those days recently, a friend made a simple but profound statement that has become my battle cry. “The only way that you get to know the end of your story is if you don’t quit.”
Who doesn’t love a great story?! And as Christ-followers, we can be confident that our life-stories will have an awesome ending.
...we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. (Romans 8:28, NASB)
But when the plot of our life-story thickens, it can feel like quicksand sucking us into a hopeless quagmire. “Seriously God?! This is not how I would have written my memoirs,” I have often lamented. Have you ever said or at least thought that? I’m guessing most of God’s people down through the ages have questioned the Lord’s presence and purpose in the hard chapters of life. Fortunately, God shares with us the life-stories of a few saints who never gave up and lived to tell others about His faithfulness. Joseph is one of my favorites.
As a young man, his own brothers sold him into slavery (Genesis 37:18-28). But Joseph didn’t lay down and die. He figured out not only how to survive, but how to thrive as a slave (Genesis 39:1-6). Just when things started to go his way, he was falsely accused of sexual assault and thrown into prison (Genesis 39:11-20). Left to rot in a dungeon, Joseph had every reason to wave the white flag. Instead, he took the time behind bars to practice his God-given gift of discernment, which ultimately earned him his freedom (Genesis 41:38-40) and the keys to a kingdom that would save God’s people from starvation (Genesis 41:41-49)! At every twist and turn in the plot line of Joseph’s life, Scripture tells us that God was with him, enabling him to swim in the quicksand. And in the final chapter of Joseph’s life, his story comes full circle as he shares with his brothers what he learned about the Lord in the darkest of days.
Then his brothers also came and fell down before him and said, "Behold, we are your servants." But Joseph said to them, "Do not be afraid, for am I in God's place? "And as for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present result, to preserve many people alive. (Genesis 50:18-20, NASB)
Under the weight of your own burdens, you might argue that Joseph was a Super Saint… a man with supernatural powers who was destined for greatness. Guess what… SO ARE YOU!
But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who indwells you. (Romans 8:11, NASB)
“The only way you get to know the end of your story is if you don’t quit.” Let this be the battle cry of all Christ-followers in these disturbing times. Things may seem bleak and closing in on hopelessness now. But, our story isn’t over dear friends. And as one who has read The Book from start to finish, I can confidently say it has the greatest ending of all time!