Maybe that is a strange way of putting it, but He did, and He continues to. In fact, I believe order to be in a true, committed relationship with Him, He has to screw up our lives. And if he hasn’t screwed up yours, then perhaps you are not as committed as you thought you were.
Before you start to hate me and stop reading, let me explain what I mean.
“For whoever saves his life shall lose it, but whoever loses his life for me shall save it.” (Luke 9:24)
Either way, we are losing our lives. This verse tells us that when we begin to involve ourselves in the things of God, the comfortable life we knew, begins to feel much less comfortable.
Earlier this week I had what I like to call a two faced day. I started off the day in God’s word and in prayer with Him. I really felt as though I was abiding in Him the way John 15 describes. Then lunchtime came around, and for whatever reason for the rest of the day I started living for myself. I began filling my head and conversation with earthly things, and God’s word, glory, and name were absent from my mind.
Not much changed physically however, in fact, most people around me probably couldn’t even tell. But I had a deep sense in my heart that I was no longer abiding in the Lord.
It was a terrible feeling. I walked around the entire second half of the day, very aware that I was not abiding in the presence of God and it left me discontented, grumpy, and quick-tempered.
But then something hit me. This is how I used to live all the time. I used to never be aware, or even concerned if I was abiding in the Lord or not. I lived an empty life everyday and never thought twice about it, I was blissfully ignorant.
But then God came along and started planting seeds of growth in my heart, and as those seeds began to take root I became more and more attuned to God’s presence and His will, and now, I can’t live outside of it without feeling a holy discontent.
God has messed up my life.
I used to be comfortably unaware that I was living an empty life. I could be selfish, rude, and greedy all I wanted without feeling a twinge of conviction. Life sure was simpler then.
Now, living an empty life no longer feels empty, but it feels stuffed full of all of the wrong things that I know cannot deliver the life God desires for me. I have become aware of my selfishness, my bad attitude, my greed. God is ruining my life!
And I couldn’t be more thankful for it.
That discontent I feel with an empty lifestyle is indeed a reason for thanksgiving. I can no longer be content with my selfishness, because now I’m aware that there is another option, another way to live. It means that God has shown me the light, so I can never again be contented with living in darkness. He has led me to fresh water, so I can no longer enjoy licking the dirt. He has laid me down in green pastures, so that I am no longer comfortable on a bed of thorns.
If we are numb to the pain, a bed of thorns can actually feel pretty comfortable, but sooner or later we will be so badly cut up that it will choke us and kill us, whether we feel the scratches or not. God helps us to feel those thorns and long for a bed of soft grass. He makes us aware of the emptiness, the foolishness, the selfishness of our lives, so that we would forsake all of that and enter into a new way of living. God wrecks our lives, not because He’s trying to guilt us, but because He is trying so hard to save us and turn us towards faith in Him.
This hurts sometimes, but I would rather feel the pain of a few thorns then unknowingly bleed to death on my thorn bed.