The other day my youngest daughter and I had dashed out of the house without eating any breakfast. Our place of destination that morning happened to have a vending machine full of junk food that could provide a very short lived satisfaction to hunger pains (with no nutritional value I must add). My daughter asked if I had change so she could get a snack until we can get some “real food”. With those big blue eyes softening my heart I of course caved and told her to go ahead and get some change from my wallet for a snack. Her first try to obtain a snack of her choice the tasty treat became entangled in the spiral mechanics of the machine and would not drop below to her reach. Upon her second try for another choice the snack once again became stuck between the spiral grasp and the glass door of the machine. After the second try the only thing being fed was the machine with mom’s change instead of her belly so she decided to call it quits and just count her/our losses.
This encounter reminded me so much of the world we live in. Some give and give yet never seem to get ahead or become successful according to the standards of our world. There are some who may give a little and get what someone else paid for and lost. There are some who may just shake life and make demands and the demands are granted without any work or effort. Sometimes worldly systems work sufficiently and one can get what they have worked/paid for. Life can really seem unfair and meaningless.
Life of one who has a relationship with Jesus provides so much more than the give and take of this world we live in. The things that are so fleeting and superficial, beauty, money, power, fame, attention, etc… start to become just that, superficial, as one’s relationship deepens with Jesus. A quote caught my attention in Dr. Warren W. Wiersbe’s Bible Commentary of the New Testament. “God’s love for His own is not a pampering love; it is a perfecting love.” It seems all anyone wants to hear is what God will give give give. Our lives are so much more than what we can get. The world is so focused on “self” and what God and others can do for “me me me”. God’s plan for us is to perfect us. Not in a way the world sees perfection. It is a perfection of faith and love. The more He perfects our faith the more of His light and love can flow through us. The stronger our faith the more God can work through us to love others perfectly. The stronger our faith the less we let ourselves get in God’s way. Sometimes deepening our faith means we have to go through a lot of pain, suffering, sorrow, and mistakes in this life. When it comes down to it I would much rather be perfected than to have everything perfect. When I look back on what may seem a complete mess in my own life I can see God’s perfect plan and how it evolved and refined my faith.
Romans 12:2 “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is– His good, pleasing and perfect will. “