He Loves Me... He Loves Me Not

Earlier today I pulled up to the Chick Fil A drive thru and was behind two other cars. It was about 2pm and I wondered why they didn't have Lane 2 open. But with their usual quick service I wasn't there more than 15 seconds before 1 car pulled forward leaving only 1 car ahead of me. That's when it happened... a woman sped into the drive thru and immediately went to Lane 2 (even though the sign above it clearly said CLOSED). I watched thinking the speaker wouldn't be on and she would have to reverse and get behind me. But no... in true Chick Fil A fashion they took her order anyways. And honestly... I was irritated. In my mind I'm saying.. here I am following the system, reading the signs.. I should get served before her. I deserve it.
My brief selfish insanity only lasted for a moment before I realized how absurd my irriation was. But the root of the irritation resonated somewhere much deeper than the drive thru issue. To be honest it's kind of been how I've felt about our start to 2014. It's not really been the start I hoped for... if you read my post "When it rains it pours.... and sometimes in your living room" you know that to our surprise this year started at as a wreck... literally. It seems as though everytime we seem to be getting back to normal, craziness slams again. And to top it off we're still dealing with unsettled, unresolved issues from the intial messes. My shoulder still isn't better, our ceiling still isn't fixed, and our insurance still has settled everything on our old, totaled truck. To be really raw with you, I 've kind of had the same feeling as I did in the drive thru today.... We don't deserve this. Why did our honeymoon phase have to come to a crashing hault? We served You. Sought Your Will. Gave You glory. This isn't fair. 
As Christians I think this is a feeling many of you can relate to. It seems as though we feel we should be given what we deserve.... but the sin doesn't stop there. When we do this we put God in such a box that we often correlate our circumstance with His love for us. Sound familiar?
No we wouldn't dare come out and say that... we wouldn't dare say that because we're going through hard times we feel like God doesn't love us... but it's definitely how we act sometimes. With our attitude and emotions and actions and words, we beat around at the thought that God loves us less when He allows us to suffer.
To even beat that though... the main problem with ALL of the above is that somewhere in all of this mindset we forget the point... we forget our purpose... and we become ineffective. We make life about  us... instead of Jesus. We arrogantly act as if we know plan is best for our lives over the knowledge of God.
So maybe you've found yourself in this lie from Satan as well... here are a few truths God revealed to me today...
First of all... God loves you... He loves you... plain and simple. God is not a game of "He loves me, He loves me not." No matter which way the petals fall or when the rain comes or how the sun shines... HE LOVES YOU. Scripture tells us over and over that God loves us with an UNFAILING, STEADFAST LOVE. He already proved it... He doesn't need to make your life rainbows and butterflies to prove it.  Romans 5.8 says "God shows His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." So I tell you and I tell myself... STOP doubting it! STOP doubting it with your attitude, actions, words, and thoughts. HE LOVES YOU. End of story... (not really).
Secondly... I deserve nothing but death... You deserve nothing but death... we say the word "deserve" arrogantly. I Brandy Miller.. deserve death. Because even on my very best "godly woman" day I AM A SINNER. Which makes me deserve Hell... and the only reason I don't get Hell at the end of my day or end of my time on Earth is because GOD LOVES ME! So much He sent JESUS for me! So much that he made a way around Hell for me! The ONLY righteousness I have comes through Jesus... "not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith." (Phil. 3.9) So if you're feeling entitled to anything... we're getting so much more that we could ever deserve!
So what do we do with all of this knowledge? This week in our LifeGroup we were discussing Paul and we looked at his final words to the Church of Ephesus "[pray] also for me that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel" (Eph 6. 19). Here is Paul, in prison, suffering for the sake of Christ and he's not praying for deliverance, he's not begging God for new circumstances. He's asking God to USE HIM. He was focused on spreading the gospel... glorifying Jesus. I'm not saying we don't pray for healing, solutions, circumstances... I'm just starting to wonder what would happen if I prayed more, we prayed more about what God might teach us and how He might use us? What if we started seeing suffering as opportunity... opportunity to grow and opportunity to witness and opportunity to minister?
I have a fresh perspective today... one I've been needing for a while now... one I wasn't expecting to get in the Chick Fil A drive thru. I pray that if you're sitting in the same lie I was, even if you haven't admitted it yet, you'll have new perspective too. Because God really does love you, and He really did sent Jesus to die for you, and by accepting Him is the only way you can be righteous, and through His righteousness is the only way you can not face Hell but Heaven, and on top of all that... He really does want to teach you, grow you, and use you for His glory.



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