The Old Testament is filled with stories of triumph and victory; David and Goliath, Daniel the Lions den, Jonah, Moses. All of these great stories are where the people of God are victorious in the midst of impossible odds. But as the New Testament turns another story is revealed. Since the death of Jesus a new truth is found. Jesus, a man that lived a perfect life, did as all the old laws instructed, taught of the kingdom of God is crucified and dies for the sins of others. The good guy loses and dies. This starts a trend of the tragic stories of many martyrs and Christians. Steven, a man with great faith, is stoned to death. Paul, the author of the majority of the New Testament, dies for the name of Jesus. The story shifts from the victorious good guy, to the martyred saint in the name of God, which brought a strange revelation for me and my life with God. Often times I pray for God to watch and protect me as I go through my everyday life. I expect to be the victorious good guy at the end of the day that enjoys the treasures of this world and the kingdom of God. Somewhere, planted in me from years of “corporate prayer,” I believe that no matter what, God will always protect me from the dangers of this world. I pray, “God watch over me and protect me today.”
But upon examination and meditation I come to the realization that that might not be the case. Luke 22:42 Jesus cries out to God in one of his more memorable prayers. While blood drips like sweat he says, ”Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” And even though Jesus asked for protection he didn’t receive it. God used him to further is kingdom as a payment for all his sons and daughters who couldn’t live that perfect life. He let his son die, and a ground breaking truth is revealed. There may come a day when God may not protect me. I may die before I experience all this life has to offer because this story is about more than just my life. It’s bigger than me and started at the cross. If it is Gods will for me to die to further his kingdom then that is what I should be praying.
This revelation hit me like a ton of bricks today. I have always planned to be a writer, have a family, be successful but I may not have that at all. Every single wish that I have thought was guaranteed to me by Christ I have become attached to. They have become so close to my heart that it’s hard to part with them. I don’t know about you but giving up my dreams is hard. But when I think about it, my love for God is bigger than my love for the blessings he has given me. I have truly fallen in love with God. So as I sit here, giving up all my dreams and wishes to God I know that in the end my suffering will all be for the good. The one this the devil doesn’t want is for Jesus’ name to be spread. If I die I will join my savior in heaven. If I live until I am 100 years old I will use my life to make his name great. Either way, He wins. So instead of, “God protect me and watch over me,” I should be praying, “God please let me live this day, but if I don’t, let my suffering further your name and bring glory to you.”