Distractions - Part III
October 19, 2006 • By Ed Wrather
But in all things we commend ourselves as ministers of God: in much patience, in tribulations, in needs, in distresses, in stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labors, in sleeplessness, in fastings; by purity, by knowledge, by longsuffering, by kindness, by the Holy Spirit, by sincere love, by the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armor of righteousness on the right hand and on the left, by honor and dishonor, by evil report and good report; as deceivers, and yet true; as unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and behold we live; as chastened, and yet not killed; as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things. - 2 Corinthians 6:4-10.
The Amish community in Pennsylvania knows about tribulations,distresses, and about tumults. The peace of the Amish was shattered by the horrendous assault, which left five precious little girls dead. The news of the shocking violence flashed across the world scene and was horrendous, but it must have been even more shocking to learn of the response of the Amish people to the attack. The headline that was on newspapers across the world proclaimed, "Forgiveness, not anger, after Amish school massacre." Instead of lashing out in anger, the Amish reached out in love to the widow and family of the killer, Charles Carl Roberts. The Amish have not turned away from their faith. No, they have demonstrated their faith, and no one who has seen it will soon forget their actions.
Many things may happen to us, both good and bad. But it is of eternal importance that we continue on. There are many watching us as we, "stay at our post, alertly, unswervingly . . . in hard times, tough times, bad times; when we're beaten up, jailed, and mobbed; working hard, working late, working without eating; with pure heart, clear head, steady hand; in gentleness, holiness, and honest love…(The Message)."
There will be major distractions for most people and even, for most Christians during their lifetimes. Most people will experience the death of loved ones, and many may face serious illnesses, even debilitating illnesses. Some may face a severe financial reversal from riches to poverty. Some may see a good profession or job replaced with one that barely pays the bills. Some will see their children or their grandchildren become disappointments to them. Some people are in terrible accidents or like the Amish become victims of crime.
What will you do when there is a major distraction in your life? I believe the Amish have given an example of what we should do. Many will turn away from the Lord during such times and sadly, I have seen many do that. When the major distraction comes you must,, "look(ing) unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God (Hebrews 12:2)." You must "consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls (Hebrews 12:3)." This is the time that you must, "draw near to God and He will draw near to you (James 4:8a)."
The distractions will come but if we have our focus on our Lord Jesus then we will be able to survive, continue on, and see God’s will and purpose fulfilled in our lives to the ultimate degree. Now we see, "through a glass, darkly (1 Corinthians 13:12a)", but some bright shining day we will see clearly and understand why all these things have happened during our lives. Until then we must, "trust in the Lord with all" our hearts, "and lean not on" our "own understanding (Proverbs 3:5)" and say with the Psalmist, "I will praise the LORD all my life; I will sing praise to my God as long as I live (Psalm 146:2)."