Saturday, October 24, 2009
I have begun reading GREEN by Ted Dekker, and the book provokes me. I don't usually read this type of book. It has blood and betrayal and savagery and intrigue set in the realm of science fiction. In fact, I don't like this book, but I can't get it out of my head! In some ways, it reminds me of the Corrie Ten Boom story. She suffered so much at the hands of the Nazis, and reading about that horror challenges me.
When I heard that Mel Gibson was making a movie about the last days of Christ, I thought I would never want to see that movie. That was the horrible, unthinkable, unimaginable part of Christ's ministry. Why would someone make a movie exclusively about the passion of the Christ? However, I did go see it, and was much moved.
These hard stories have one thing in common. If you endure through the difficult parts, you are rewarded with the ending. I haven't gotten to the ending of GREEN, yet. But, I am certain that I will not be disappointed. Love always wins.
And, endure we must. As Christians, we must be prepared for afflictions so that we are not surprised or crippled by them. All faithful people of God will face trials. Being a believer doesn't mean you will no longer have trouble. In fact, the greater your faith is, the greater the challenges become.
Paul wrote his second letter to the Corinthian church after hearing about a divisive group there who talked him down and said that Paul was not a true apostle of Jesus. How wounding that must have been to him! Paul had spoken boldly for Jesus and, as a result, had survived beatings, being stoned to death, and physical deprivation. He had also tenderly nurtured the Corinthians!
Paul says in his second letter to the them, "Companions as we are in this work with you, we beg you, please don't squander one bit of this marvelous life God has given us. God reminds us, 'I heard your call in the nick of time; The day you needed me, I was there to help.' Well, now is the right time to listen, the day to be helped. Don't put it off; don't frustrate God's work by showing up late, throwing a question mark over everything we're doing. Our work as God's servants gets validated—or not—in the details. People are watching us as we stay at our post, alertly, unswervingly . . . in hard times, tough times, bad times; when we're beaten up, jailed, and mobbed; working hard, working late, working without eating; with pure heart, clear head, steady hand; in gentleness, holiness, and honest love; when we're telling the truth, and when God's showing his power; when we're doing our best setting things right; when we're praised, and when we're blamed; slandered, and honored; true to our word, though distrusted; ignored by the world, but recognized by God; terrifically alive, though rumored to be dead; beaten within an inch of our lives, but refusing to die; immersed in tears, yet always filled with deep joy; living on handouts, yet enriching many; having nothing, having it all." (Message Bible)
I wondered why Ted Dekker's book was called GREEN. Although I have not finished reading it yet, I believe I have found my own answer in Psalm 1:1-3 "How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, Nor stand in the path of sinners, Nor sit in the seat of scoffers! But his delight is in the law of the LORD, And in His law he meditates day and night. He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, Which yields its fruit in its season And its leaf does not wither; And in whatever he does, he prospers."
As writers, we cannot back away from the hard truths. Children and teenagers need to be equipped to deal with affliction as well. Our challenge is to write in such a way as to teach the truth, but provide the reward for endurance as well. Love always wins. In the Lord, we will always stay green and full of life.