Dreary Drizzle

Worries are like dud fire-crackers.  We light the fuse, toss the miniature explosive, run for cover and eagerly wait for the anticipated yet surprising blast.  But all we do is waiting.  We’re paralyzed by the expected. 

On Oct. 25 I preached at Good News on “Preparing for Dark Days” from Luke chapter 9.  Early in the week, a dark cloud started looming over my head in anticipation of the dreary drizzle I was sure Sunday would become.   I want Church to be uplifting, don’t you?  It doesn’t feel uplifting to say, “Someday, some time; the lights go out for all of us.”  It may be lying in a hospital bed, standing by a coffin, landing upside down in the ditch hanging from a seatbelt, it may be children gone wild, or it may be public failure, but some day it happens to everyone.  It’s a stone-cold serious thought that seems better left unspoken.

Acknowledging the ominous dark voice whispering, “It’s sunny now but there’s a storm brewing somewhere,” isn’t stupid but Christians who pretend that life is a Disney Land when it isn’t are.

When Church was over and while the faithful Good News volunteers restored the theater to moving-going shape, I began to realize my speculations had been baseless.  I kept seeing an unanticipated joyful freedom on faces.  Where was the dreary drizzle I’d expected?  What happened?   How could I talk about the inevitability of dark days without dragging everyone through the mud?  I’m sure there are many reasons that haven’t hit me, but two seem applicable. 

Perhaps setting expectations about dark days sets some of us free from guilt. Those who believe that trying hard to live a good life, obeying God, praying, church going, or having enough faith, guarantees smooth sailing, live under a crushing responsibility to attain and preserve the “good life” by being “good.”   But, in a broken world we should accept the inevitability of dark days and it doesn’t matter how “good” we live.  I can’t find one Bible character exempted for dark days?

Trusting Jesus isn’t about exemption from dark days it’s about enabling through them.

Acknowledging the ominous dark voice whispering, “It’s sunny now but there’s a storm brewing somewhere,” isn’t stupid but Christians who pretend that life is a Disney Land when it isn’t are.  Somehow, I think just saying bad things happen to “good” Christian takes some of the pressure off.  I know it sounds gloomy.  But at least we don’t have to blame ourselves for every disaster coming down the pike.

During lunch, Jason, (the father of our grandchildren) mentioned the second and most important reason the drizzle didn’t descend.   While walking across the room, he said, “Focused confidence in Jesus will carry us through the storm. Now that’s gold.”  I always like it when he enjoys something I say.  Did you notice the words “through the storm?”  Living in a broken world means life from beginning to end includes dark days.  Trusting Jesus isn’t about exemption from dark days it’s about enabling through them.
 
The dreary drizzle I expected on Oct. 25 blew over.  It turned off surprisingly sunny.

Grace Freak
Pastor Dan Rockwell
www.graceunplugged.org 

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