I have enjoyed reading the “Doubt Month” series on The Church of No People lately, and I was especially struck by his finale which begs the question “How Could I Be a Christian?” It really isn’t a bleak conclusion of all the doubts that the author, and many others of us, have about the reasons behind why we are Christians. It’s a beautiful twist on how we couldn’t possibly not be Christians! (did you follow that?) Anyway, I decided that the members of my home group needed to read this as well, so I forwarded the link on to them, in hopes that they might get around to reading it in the near future, and I got this almost immediate response:
I can’t tell you how awesome it was to receive this at this very
moment. I just returned from the breakroom where we were in this exact
conversation – everything we spoke about is hit upon in this one blog –
it was so nice to be able to forward this to the parties involved in the
God’s timing is perfect! And I feel so blessed to have been a part of this timing!
Now, you don’t believe in coincidences, do you? Yeah, me either… So I come to the second part of my story. At the same time as I was musing over this post and its response, I was dabbling my way through the beginning of the book of Revelation. For some reason I felt like diving into its cryptic and symbolic language to find what God might reveal to me through it. And, lo and behold, he did it! Take into account the following passage:
Then I saw a scrolls in the right hand of the one who was sitting on the throne. There was writing on the inside and the outside of the scroll, and it was sealed with seven seals. And I saw a strong angel, who shouted with a loud voice: “Who is worthy to break the seals on this scroll and open it?” But no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth was able to open the scroll and read it.
Then I began to weep bitterly because no one was found worthy to open the scroll and read it. But one of the twenty-four elders said to me, “Stop weeping! Look, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the heir to David’s throne, has won the victory. He is worthy to open the scroll and its seven seals.”
Then I saw a Lamb that looked as if it had been slaughtered, but it was now standing between the throne and the four living beings and among the twenty-four elders. He had seven horns and seven eyes, which represent the sevenfold Spirits of God that is sent out into every part of the earth. He stepped forward and took the scroll from the right hand of the one sitting on the throne. ~Revelation 5:1-7~
In John’s vision, he sees the scroll with the seven seals, and the angel asks “Who is worthy to open the scroll?” and there is no response. So John, being the human he is, takes the defeatist stance and begins crying about it! Oh, woe is me! There is nobody who can open the scroll! We’re doomed! He has no hope, he has no faith, and most of all, he doesn’t remember the very person that he was a disciple of. Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God that was slain, steps in as the sacrifice who paid the ransom for God’s people to be reunited with him and is therefore worthy to open the scroll.
Think of it this way. So many times we wait until the last minute to call on God. So many times we use him as a last resort instead of our first! John forgets the hope that we have in Christ, just as many of us do. He starts “weeping bitterly” because no one can answer the angel’s call. But, what do those who worship at the throne do? The tell him “knock it off, crybaby! Jesus is here!” Yes, Jesus, Messiah, Redeemer, our very hope in time of need, steps in at the perfect time and because of his sacrifice is able to carry on the relationship that God wants with his people. We so often forget that Jesus Christ is the answer, and that he will be there at the very moment, and every moment, that we need him. But please don’t forget that he is not just waiting for us to sink to utter despair and start weeping bitterly because of our inadequacy, not just waiting for us to cry out to him so that he can swoop in at the last moment and save the day like some pretentious superhero. No, he is there with us through everything, able to protect us and comfort us, because he’s already paid the bill for our imperfection. What does it take to experience God’s perfect timing? It takes a willingness to offer ourselves as living sacrifices to God’s will and intentions and let him be in control.