Friday, September 2, 2011

One Man's Desert is Another Man's Oasis

A man recently dies and is in heaven, receiving an orientation tour. As the angel guide walks him through the throne room, and the extra body parts room, the payroll department, and give him a rundown of the daily activities, the recently deceased man can’t help but notice pairs of average looking men and women with smokin’ hot partners. Finally, curiousity becomes too much for him and he asks his angel guide why he keeps seeing the unequally matched pairs. Oh, the angel said, all the average looking people were obedient to the Word of the Lord and he has blessed them with hotties.
As soon as the explanation was given, the man sees a really ugly man with the most beautiful woman. His curiousity is peaked again and he asks the angel, What did he do his life that he gets that woman in his afterlife? The angel replied, That isn’t for his benefit; it’s her punishment for the choices she made in her life when she was alive.

A couple weeks ago, in the post, A Roadtrip with God I suggested that sometimes a desert experience may not be about us. Sometimes, the Lord wants to act in someone else’s life and he is going to use us to do it.

It’s my desire to be used by God to impact others for the kingdom. It’s probably a desire of your heart too. It’s curious then, that if God chooses to use a desert experience we cry, Foul. But isn’t that what we asked for?

The Lord used the Israelites to bring about judgment in neighbouring countries but God always intended for his chosen people to be a blessing for ALL nations. How is this true? Because of their tumultuous history (disaster after disaster), salvation was given to the Gentiles (Romans 11:11). Yea! That’s a benefit for me and anyone else who is not Jewish. It makes me grateful for the Israelites and their suffering because by it, I am able to receive salvation through Christ, who is the ultimate example of how his suffering was a blessing to others.

And just so the Gentiles can’t boast that we have salvation and the Israelites are blinded, Romans 11:12 says that we only receive a portion of the blessing but the fullness of the blessing will be when the Israelites have been reconciled back to God. When the Jews proper, we all prosper.

When will the Jews be reconciled and prosper? The answer is when the full number of the Gentiles is reconciled to God (Romans 11:25). They need us, as much as we need them.

The question we might need to ask ourselves: can we weather the desert and the storms in our own lives if it means reconciliation and blessing for someone else; because perhaps that is why the Lord is taking you through a desert experience.

It’s not always about me; it’s not always about you. My desert experience might be your oasis.

Have you seen this principle in action? Answer in the comments.

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