Tuesday, November 1, 2011

What the heck fire is 100 fold? (Mark 4)

Good morning,

I've had so many thoughts buzzing around my head regarding this blog, and being a semi-reformed perfectionist I am sorely tempted to break it down in to 30 easy steps - but, no. I will resist, and take the advice from a friend to simply write to myself.

Not much exists in Christian writing that speaks to me. Or Christian radio. Or Christian TV. God is not a Genie who brings me money, health, and happiness because I am faithful, live a righteous life, and pray. I recently read a book about a lady whose son was incarcerated for murder - OY, 300 pages of "poor old me." She had hundreds of people sending her gifts, money, and meals. Her husband was a saint. She earned money speaking about her experience as she lectured around the world. And, she made money off of the book she wrote (I know, I contributed!).  The experience was surely difficult, but how many families whose loved ones are in jail enjoy so much help and support? I have met a few of these shattered families. Mostly what we receive from our brethren is secret judgement, curiosity about the juicy details, and pity. So who in the world was the book meant to inspire? And why did I spend the money?

Not having grown up in a Christian home, it was very difficult to understand the call that God put on my life at an early age. I was uncomfortable around my own family as I watched their antics and dark sins. My best friend's family would pick me up for church and youth group, and often times I would run out to their car in the event that one of my family members might follow!

Without a role model I invented my own version of what a Christian life should be like. Kind of "Leave It To Beaver" meets Billy Graham. I was faithful, repented, definitely was not perfect, but kept most of my judgments and criticisms inside my head so I didn't have to apologize to lot of people. I read my Bible, prayed, attended church, Bible studies, enrolled the kids in Christian school. The recipe for success. But then, slowly, everything fell apart. Contrary to what others were thinking, I was not reaping from some secret sin. In fact, I stepped up my prayer life! Praying and journaling hours at a time. Year after year, new and horrible things kept happening. One brother thought perhaps I had been cursed!

Funny how I could read and study the Bible all those years and it did not register what Paul experienced. Or Job.  One time a marriage counselor even asked if I realized what Paul's life was like. Oh, let's see: shipwrecked, beaten, flogged, imprisoned, etc...Was he backslidden, secretly watching dancing girls at night? Nope. Why was my life going haywire but none of my peers' lives? It took years to figure this out, with help from my Pastors of almost 30 years, but I have come to understand that God's call on my life is not what the average American is called to, not more important, just different. I have felt sorry for myself. Wondered why God hated me. Wished I was taking trips to Italy with a husband. But I have also learned obedience, fear and love of the Lord, and the most important element of the 100 fold Christian - "Not my will but thine be done." That means working at any job He picks, accepting closed doors that will not open regardless of prayer, living alone, little money - and doing it joyfully (sometimes:).  It doesn't mean not finishing college, continuing to fill out applications, eating lots of peanut butter and jelly. Every day I'm open to whatever agenda he wants. I would like to remarry, and I could easily do so, but that that would not be waiting upon His will.

My earthly life is His. He's brought me some wonderful perks along the way, but has allowed loss, persecution, slander, pain, and suffering. Like Job, I will not curse God. He gives and takes away but blessed be His name. My Pastor assures me that my reward in the after life will be well worth it, and that it is somewhat of an honor to have the call.

This blog is for any of the 100 fold brethren out there who need support. To produce that kind of crop isn't a glamorous Christian life. In fact, in the eyes of fellow Christians we most likely are misjudged. We're not the first invited to The Women's Christian Ministry Spa day (we don't have the money and usually are working too many hours). People love to talk to us at church because the latest installment of suffering is usually quite juicy. But that's all they want, the juicy story, because they can't relate. They're good, solid, young (in the Lord) Christians who have a different call on their lives. I must insert a cautionary disclaimer: There is the suffering of Christ and the suffering from sin.  Two very different types. I spoke to the ladies' group on that, because often times naughty Christians find themselves in trouble caused by their own misdeeds, and attribute to the sufferings of Christ. NO! We'll touch on that in another post.

I have chosen to remain anonymous because it might otherwise hinder what I write. My hope is to encourage other Christians who have this type of call, but all are welcome. I don't want to debate doctrine - man made stuff to accommodate  our self-will. You will readily glean that I am in no way perfect - God works on that daily :) And I will resist the urge to rewrite and reedit this post....OK, here goes.......


  1. THis is one POWERFUL blog! i Pray it will encourage its readers both 100 folds and new Christians alike! i look forward to more posts in the future! you are a terrific writer with great knowledge of suffering for Christ!