Thursday, September 24, 2009

Shattered Illusions

Don’t you find that life has a way of happening and you seem to have no options when it comes to avoiding crises? Why do they occur? Well, all of us live with so many illusions that when life does happen, more often than not these illusions need to be shattered!

Something that came to mind dealing with this shattering of illusions is found in the story about Joseph. He wasn’t too old before some cataclysmic events swallowed him up alive. If you haven’t read the story, it’s worth the read. Long story short, Joseph ends up being transplanted into a very far away, foreign country – Egypt. Wow! Talk about life happening or as the guy in the commercial puts it, “Life can come at you fast.”

Let’s back up just a bit first. After examining the so-called evidence, Joseph’s torn, blood-stained coat of many colors, we read that his father Jacob lived with a dark cloud over his head everyday and was consumed with a great sadness. But his spiral into depression was based upon a lie because his beloved Joseph was not dead as he supposed!

Back to Joseph: I’m sure there were some major illusion-shatterings transpiring in his life, yet two different times we are told that the favour of his God was a discernible, recognizable and tangible reality to Joseph and it was evident to the Egyptians who surrounded him night and day. First, how would godless heathens see or know of such a thing? Whatever this ‘favour of the Lord’ was, somehow I don’t think it was anything apart from an inner transformation that infected and affected his attitude.

I’m sure that every Egyptian fridge had a papyrus copy of “Joseph’s Guide to Success” taped to it as a reminder of how to succeed in life~ha! 
Here’s a question for you: when did God love Joseph more – at his birth, or as a teenager spewing out his prophetic dreams, after he was assaulted and left for dead in a pit, living as a slave in Egypt, or when he was overnight promoted to become the second most powerful man in the world (second only to Pharaoh)?
I’m using all of this to try and paint a picture for any who have not recognized the liberating power of Christ’s total unconditional love FOR us right where we are!

Because of life happening, I see so many siblings in Christ living with innumerable shattered illusions and pining for that which at one time made them feel good, where they use to really (according to them) shine, and even more sadly living with a morbid fixation on some prophetic word that they hope will somehow sustain them while living in their foreign country.

If there was ever anything bang-on, it was in what Joseph was permitted to experience in the dreams God gave him. But Joe’s identity was removed from what was happening in the centrality of his life. What I mean by this is he derived purpose and fulfillment by revolving in orbit around the Son.
To my way of thinking this story (one of my favourites) graphically portrays the needed shattering of illusions, or more to the point, a bringing down of every false god in a person’s life! The kicker is that Joseph was surrounded by a people who had a plethora of gods and the shocker to Joseph’s dismay was in finding he too was worshiping a strange god: the name it and claim it God, the healthy, wealthy and wise God, the God who would never allow bad things happen to good people. Prior to his imprisonment, Joseph had been using God for his personal fulfillment. There’s no doubt Joseph wanted God, but there was a need greater in his life than just having his needs met or in seeing his dreams come to fruition.

Corrie Tenboom, a sister in Christ whose life experiences were borne out of enduring years in a Nazi prison camp, was fond of saying, “Bloom where you’re planted”, but how is that possible when life shattering-events are not exactly conducive to blooming? Without an invasion (no, I’m not talking about the Nazi killing machine type of invasion, but an invasion of the Father’s total 100% unconditional love for us that lays the foundation of our true worth and value)... and as we become more deeply rooted in that infectious, invasive love, it frees us to prosper and be in health even as our soul prospers. This love has the power to free us to live fully in the moment to the extent that life-shattering events no longer shatter us.


1 comment:

Rich said...

In the movie, Chariot's of Fire the actor playing the roll of Eric Liddell was involved in the 1924 Olympics in Paris, his sister became greatly concerned that his commitment to running had caused him to become derelict regarding his going to China as a missionary, Eric said this to his sister Jennie, "I believe that God made me for a purpose, but He also made me fast. When I run, I feel His pleasure."

I felt this tied in perfectly with this post, as follows.
If we only "feel his pleasure" as in Eric's time spent running in the Olympics, then how miserable would his life prior to this event and then the many years after it have been?

If the only pleasure Joseph (or any of us) ever experienced was when he had those dreams and later told them to his brothers and his father, then the life shattering events that came his way must have produced a most disillusioned life.
I do not believe I am reading anything into this story other than the fact that Joseph discovered a pleasure in simply knowing God was with him through any and all things he faced, but what about you?