A Sidekick's Blog

My Journey: Semper Reformanda (Part Two) | August 8, 2012

Part Two: The Beginning of the Journey

In Part One I described three stops along my journey. But here in Part Two I want to tell how my journey began. And it isn’t what you might expect. My journey actually began before the Earth and the universe was formed. This part of my journey is described in the Bible! Lie everyone’s journey, regardless of where it leads, all journeys begin in God and end in Him. All of His creatures glorify Him, whether to the praise of His glorious love and mercy, or to the praise of His glorious holiness and justice. Either way, we all exist for His glory. Some of us are delighted to have such a purpose, while others resent it. But inevitably, everyone does in fact fulfill the great purpose which God had in mind for each of us before He formed the worlds. But don’t take it from me, take it from the Creator Himself from His own inspired Book:

  • In whom we also have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things after the counsel of His own will (Ephesians 1:11).
  • For the children (Jacob and Esau) being not yet born, neither having done any good nor evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of Him who calls (Romans 9:11).
  • What if God, willing to make His power known, endured with patience the vessels of wrath fitted for destruction and to make known the riches of His glory upon vessels of mercy, which He prepared beforehand for glory (Romans 9:22-23_.
  • Having predestined us to adoption as children by Jesus Christ for Himself, according to the good pleasure of His own will to the praise of His glorious grace whereby He has accepted us in His beloved Son (Ephesians 1:5-6).

I’m one of those who delights in the purpose for which God created me. And He has even used sickness, wickedness, abuse, poverty, and pain to achieve it thus far. But if even Christ learned obedience through suffering (Hebrews 5:8) even though He was the sinless only begotten Son of God, why should I feel entitled to a life free of suffering? Indeed, suffering is – for those of us chosen to adoption – God’s means of raising His adopted sons and daughters to the likeness of His Son. The purity and depth of His love, His wisdom, His patience, His love of others, His compassion for the unlovely, all arose from His suffering. From His laying aside His rightful place on the Throne of the Universe and emptying Himself into human form, born to poverty-stricken parents in an occupied country.

Like Him, I too was born into poverty and lack. Like Him, I too suffered abuse and scorn at the hands of those who should have loved me. And my journey will lead me, eventually, to where He is and I shall be like Him, seeing Him as He is.

At the age of 8 years I grabbed any excuse I could find to avoid going home after school to a crowded home where physical, psychological, and sexual abuse were waiting for me. Some kids from school had a “Good News Club” that met at their house after school, and I went every chance I could just to avoid going home. It was there that the Lord found me and called me to Himself. When I heard about what He had done for me, I couldn’t refuse Him, especially because of His offer to adopt me! Wow, a real family with a Father who loves me and a big Brother to protect me. And so He did.

After my conversion to Christ, the abuse at home grew worse, and as I neared adolescence another family member joined in the sexual abuse. But strangely, at least to folks outside of Christ, it never occurred me that “a God of love wouldn’t allow a little child to suffer like that!” Almighty God certainly could have spared me, but look: He didn’t spare the three Hebrew children, Shadrach, Meishack, and Abednigo from their fiery ordeal either did He? He could have prevented them from being discovered, arrested, bound, and cast alive into a furnace! But nooooooo. He just stood by and let it happen! Why!?

Because again, His purpose was and is always to show His power and glory upon vessels of glory and vessels fitted for destruction. How much more does it say about His character that He could accompany His children through their ordeal than if He had prevented it entirely? They emerged from the furnace without even the smell of smoke in their perfectly intact and unsinged clothing. The very same furnace that completely consumed some of the guards who threw them in! So it was with me, His little adopted sidekick. My Big Brother accompanied me through years of abuse so that I could emerge unscathed (except for what scars I allowed by disregarding my Lord’s warnings). The same ordeal that nearly ruined one of my older brothers did not affect me. I had my Big Brother, Jesus – the Fourth Man in the fiery furnace – accompanying me through my trial to show His character and power in a far greater way than simply preventing the abuse to start with could have done.

My journey has taken many turns in the years since that demonstration of His compassion and power, but He was there and never absent even while the flames of abuse licked at me and threatened to consume me with the same hatred, bitterness, shame, and addiction that took an older brother down for many years afterward. Even during these awful years, I got to know my adoptive heavenly Father and His only begotten Son. I learned that my Father has made me a co-heir with His only begotten Son! All that is His is mine as well! And I have many other brothers and sisters as well. They were there too, though not in the midst of the furnace, but by means of prayer and encouragement.

In Part Three I’ll describe the first major bump in the road and how it led me down a side road, away from my Father’s word, with seductive false promises of power and gifts.

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