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“God blesses those who patiently endure testing and temptation. Afterward they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.” James‬ ‭1:12‬‬

I hung up the phone and hung my head. Had I done enough? Was there something more I could have said…or said now to help? Psychologists have coined the term “Messiah Complex” to refer to individuals who have a firm belief that they are responsible for the physical, emotional or spiritual well-being of others. At this point I was in full blown “Messiah Mode!”

The phone call was from a friend who had been struggling for years with relationship issues, self-doubt and fear. On the other hand she was compassionate, understand had, on the surface anyway, a deep love for Jesus. The last few months had been tough. Her family life was hard, her job ended, and God seemed unwilling or unable to help. Her phone call was short but not sweet. She’d had it with God and with living the illusion that he existed and cared about her. She asked me to leave her alone and not bother to pray for her because prayer is worthless.

I have to admit, I don’t blame her. There have been so many times in my life when I’ve struggled or seen the struggles of others and asked the “Why?” question.

There aren’t easy answers. He’s wonderful and confusing all at once. Yet, for me anyway, one thing I’ve noticed is that God’s greatest blessings often seem to come during, or on either side of life’s greatest trials. Had I not known the depths of despair, I never would have experienced the strength of his peace.

I’ll respect my friends desire for distance, but I’ll continue to pray that she sees the God I see. I don’t understand him, but I’m nothing without him. As Peter said when many were leaving Jesus because he disappointed them, “Where else can we go?”


My wife is a coupon guru. Whenever we go shopping it’s always exciting to look at the receipt and take note of the “how much you saved” line. I’ll be honest. She impresses me. I’m not patient enough to do what she does, nor do I think about looking for deals like she does. Occasionally, because she is human, she’ll miss a deal and is truly disappointed about the lost opportunity. I’ll admit, she’s having a positive effect on me. Now, when I shop I use coupons and hunt for the best deal because once a deal is gone it may never return.

In eternities scheme of things, coupons and deals aren’t the most important thing, to be honest. But they give us a simple idea of our life with God. Each of us is created with, as one writer states it, a God-shaped hole in our lives. We can seek to fill it with lots of things. Relationships, toys, a big home and/or bank account, status, and the list goes on. But nothing satisfies that space. Nothing. Nothing that is except God through faith in Jesus Christ.

Two things you can be sure of. Life is uncertain, and God desires a relationship with you. He puts people and circumstances along the path we call life. When we encounter them, we have two choices. One is to ignore them and go on seeking ways to fill the God Space. The other is to respond to his calling and experience all he has for you.

The choice is yours but be aware that at some point it will be to late to cash in on the deal he has for you. Don’t delay. Nothing else satisfies like Jesus. Life won’t get easier by following him, but you’ll find his presence refreshing regardless of your circumstances.

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