God gives us pain instead of Cheetos

CheetosCropAnd thus whenever God wants to make people godly and strong that He gives them everything they ever wanted, lots of money, all the Cheetos they could ever eat, and keeps them from any difficulty, illness, or disappointment. God knows this is the best way to create people of patience, perseverance, and integrity…” – 1st Opinions 5:24. FYI: 1st Opinions is actually not a book of the Bible.

I wish that verse was true though, unfortunately it’s quite the opposite. In the Bible whenever you see men and women of greatness, they are inevitably people who have suffered disappointment, failure, weakness, and pain. God promised Abraham he’d have a son and be a great nation, and then let him wander around the desert without his own child for 25 years. Moses felt called to lead Israel out of bondage, (Acts 7:25), so God put him out in the desert for 40 years. (Huh?) David was anointed to be king as a young boy, then God let Saul throw spears at him and forced him to hide in the wilderness. What about the prophets, God’s messengers to Israel? Do you think they got a pass from this sort of treatment? Think again:

God: “Hey Elijah. I need you to help bring Israel’s hearts back to me.”

Elijah: “Sweet.”

God: “Yeah, but king is going to hate you and his wife will try to kill you so you’re going to have to live in the desert all alone and suffer for years.”

Elijah: “Wait, what?” Continue reading


You Are E.T.

et-the-extra-terrestrialET was a movie made in 1982 by Steven Spielberg about an alien, (E.T., The Extra-Terrestrial), who crash landed on earth, made friends with a boy named Elliot, scared Drew Barrymore, ate Reese’s Pieces, phoned home, rode on a flying bike, and then got on his spaceship and went home. It’s really much better than the description I’ve provided, (Rotten Tomatoes gives it a 98% rating).

Why did I bring up a 34-year-old film? Because if you are a Christian, you are E.T. You are an Extra-Terrestrial. When you put your faith in Christ you no longer belonged to this world. Earth in is no longer your home. You belong somewhere else. Your natural identity, culture, and affections are bound to another land. There is a longing inside of you to “phone home”, to leave this awkward place, and be back among your “kind”. (There is also probably a longing inside you for Reese’s pieces, but that has more to do with your sugar tooth).  Continue reading