I was ecstatic. Someone had actually purchased the album "A Hard Life".
It is not one of our best sellers. With a title like that one could imagine why. Our theology of suffering is a tad understated but is standard fare in the Bible. So many of God's heroes we read about had, well, a very hard life.
I was so thankful to get my hands on this teaching. To experience the journey of exploring God’s heart through the lives of his people. Unfortunately, the unpacking of the treasures he has placed in each of us IS a painful process.
Instead of fighting an already painful journey we are given the choice to lean into what God is doing in our lives thus making what we are experiencing more bearable.
Come, listen to the stories of Moses, Eliakim, Elisha and more.
You will discover here six different flavors of pain that God ordains in our lives and the fruit it produces.
These areas cover
In a way, this album is a follow up to Fractal of Two: Adrenals and Kidneys.
The discussion there camped on the critical skill of reframing the pain in our lives around the covenants of God. "A Hard Life" gives some hands on tools for differentiating between the destructive pain the devil brings and the productive pain from the hand of God.
If you are looking to hone your fathering skills, this will be an excellent tool.
In this set of vignettes we are looking at obedience. There is a general understanding that if we are disobedient we are going to get spanked. So we stop disobeying so the spanking stops.
The extension of that idea is that the safest place for us is the place of obedience. When we are being obedient we will be blessed instead of being spanked and life will be good. The only problem with that is that there is a huge pattern in scripture of obedience being followed by extraordinary pain.
Obviously the most extreme illustration of this in scripture is Jesus. He was obedient to come to earth and do everything else and he got killed for his trouble. But beyond those larger than the universe examples the major people in scripture who obeyed God have experienced monumental pain as a result.
We are going to start with a very high drama episode. Let’s take Moses. Moses had given up on any ideas of being grandiose. Forty years raised in the palace and then forty years chasing woolly headed sheep on the back side of the dessert.
Not real great for your self-image particularly when there is probably a warrant out for your arrest for murder. So he downsized his expectation and that was that.
God came to him at the burning bush and said,
‘You’re the man’. He said, ‘Thank you kindly, but you have the wrong personal file."
God won the argument and Moses stepped into a monumental level of obedience. God called him to leave his father in law, his profession, his security to be on the run and to turn to the most dangerous place on the earth to engage the most dangerous person in the world, and he was to present the most ludicrous proposition of asking Pharaoh in the name of God to release millions of Hebrews to go somewhere else.
There is nothing about this that is compelling. There is no big promise he would live through it, no explanation of how many plagues. Just a command to go. It required immense faith and obedience to God.
And what does he get for his obedience? Well, pain.