Have you ever been in a troublesome situation? We all have faced problems and tribulations almost on a daily basis. If is not one thing is the other, but the fact remains that troubles will visit all of us with an irritating frequency and intensity.
And yet, there are days which seem more problematic than others. I am referring to the days when attacks come one after another; like a swarm of locust that devastate everything in sight. These days are intolerable and seemingly never-ending.
That is exactly how I have been feeling these last few days. It all started on Friday with a simple cough, but it has degenerated into something far worse. Now I have problems or pain in almost every inch of my body. I have a medical condition in:
My head and my eyes
My nose and my mouth
My throat and my neck
My stomach and my chest
I also have constant fever, which in turn has drained all of my strength. I am also suffering from headaches, insomnia, allergies and dehydration and a few more I forgot. The only “good news” in all of this is that I have dropped a few pounds…which I need to.
My case cannot be compared to Job’s day of trial. In one day, Job went from being the richest and most blessed man of his time (Job 1:3), to one of the poorest and most miserable (humanly speaking). In one day, Job lost his fortune (camels, cows, sheep, and donkeys) and all his children (Job 1:13-18).
Only Jesus, and perhaps the apostle Paul, suffered even more than Job. In fact, Isaiah 53 tell us that Jesus was:
“…despised and rejected by men, A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.” (v. 3)
Do you want to talk about having problems? Jesus is personally acquainted with sorrow, grief, troubles, pain, abandonment, betrayal and any other problem you can think of (or complain about). He, who put Job to the test, voluntarily became the Object of derision, scorn and all sorts of attacks.
But Isaiah continues,
"Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows...He was bruised for our iniquities...and by his stripes we are healed" (vv. 4, 5)
I don’t know how to end my problems or this blog, but perhaps we can learn that problems are part of life; that Jesus knows about our problems and that He uses problems to bring the best out of us. Remember that it was He that faced the wilderness for 40 days; that prayed with his own blood on Gethsemane and that shed that same blood to save us from Hell.
I like to travel all over the world. I have traveled to a few different countries in the last ten years, most of them on missionary trips. Sometimes I wish I was a millionaire so I would be able to travel even more.
Among my favorite destinations to visit are Israel, Hawaii, Alaska (only in the summer), Australia, the Canary Islands and almost every nation located along the Mediterranean Sea. There are many beautiful places on this Earth that are worthy of a visit.
Being a millionaire would allow me to travel to some of those exotic locations, but I would rather be a famous (or at least well-known) evangelist to take the Gospel all over the world.
One can dream, right?
Right now, I find myself on a plane, traveling once again. This time, though, I am coming home. I have spent two weeks helping my son in Omaha, but now is time to return to my own house.
Thinking about this latest trip reminds me that I am not home yet. No, I am not referring to the fact that the plane hasn’t yet landed in sunny Florida, but that I have not arrived in heaven, my real home.
I enjoyed my time in Omaha with my family, but it was also filled with work, pain and discomfort. The same happens to all Christians on this Earth. We might have a few days of joy here and there in this planet, but there is also pain, sadness, stress and even death.
I can’t wait for the plane to land in Orlando, Florida. The cold days in Nebraska will soon be only but a memory. I can’t wait for the day when I reach my heavenly home. This world is too cold, dark and filled with sin and death. This world is not my home.
Hebrews 11:13-16 summarizes my feelings so much better:
“These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of them, embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. For those who say such things declare plainly that they seek a homeland. And truly if they had called to mind that country from which they had come out, they would have had opportunity to return. But now they desire a better, that is, a heavenly country. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them.” (Emphasis mine)
Lord Jesus, please come and take me home with you. This is the best place for me (Philippians 1:23). This is my real country (Philippians 3:20). This is where I want to be for all eternity.