Archive for November 2011

Being “OK” with Not Being “OK”

November 7, 2011

By the grace of God I am what I am (I Corinthians 15:10).

You just want to be OK. Your struggles are constant; your conflicts are continuous; your battles are endless. You just look forward to that plane – that place and time in life – where everything will just finally be OK.

Really though, who in this life is truly “OK”? The simple fact of the matter is that, regardless of what outward appearances may suggest, we are all weak, frail, flawed and endlessly faltering creatures – all of us, without exception. The entire creation – every last bit of it – has been subjected, against their will, to vanity. None can escape it; not even you.

For the creature was made subject[1] to vanity,[2] not willingly, but by reason of Him Who has subjected the same in hope (Romans 8:20).

This all will be gloriously and permanently corrected in the resurrection, but you might as well go ahead and admit i: for now you’re broke, and you aren’t going to be “fixed” for now. Granted, you may have some days that are better than others, some circumstances that seem to indicate that you are “OK,” but the wearisome cycle will simply reoccur.

Thus it is by design – by divine design – and Father is bringing you to a place where you are OK with not being OK, a place where you simply rest in His current purpose and plan in your training and development for that grand and magnificent culmination that He has also wonderfully and skillfully designed especially for you – in your next life.

The Christian “Fix”

Christianity always wants to “fix” everything. Religious bookstores are found to abound in “How to …” books. Pulpiteers continually weary their benched-flocks with what they must do to correct things. The pressure is constantly on to get it all corrected, focusing on the problems, on the circumstances, on changing everything – on deliverance from what makes us not OK. Please don’t be influenced to buy into this illusive dream.

Though you may have recurring periods of better circumstances and better performances, that which ultimately stops you from being truly OK will never change. The root of your real problem is not coming from your varied and fluctuating circumstances; they are actually coming from the design of God found in you – the failure to which He has subjected you. He has purposefully and expertly created you with flaws – an abundance of them – that will never go away in this lifetime.

Count on it: if God Himself, in His great wisdom and love for you, has – at this time – subjected you to futility, all of the self-help-religion in the world won’t be able to change it.

The Real Answer

Because of this wise and competent plan of Father, the real answer is never to be found in you at all. The answer is to be found in Him – and in Him alone. It is to be found in knowing just Who He really is, and just what His plans are for you in this temporal life.

[God] said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you: for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest on me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities … for when I am weak, then am I strong (II Corinthians 12:9-10).

I Am What I Am

By the grace of God I am what I am (I Corinthians 15:10).

“I am what I am.” Herein lays a great key. God has made you what you are. You are His handiwork[3] – every bit of you – flaws and all. You are what you are by God’s direct hand. Rest in Him. Rest in His work in you. Rest in His plan for you. Rest in His sure outcome for you.

As a son of God we can be thankful for the sufferings and hardships of this life. If not for them, we would be distracted from our celestial hope. In a seemingly strange, yet divine way, we can even be thankful for our bouts with complaining, realizing that they, too, are a God-send. After all, “all things are of God” (II Corinthians 5:18), even the “evil spirit from the LORD” that troubled Saul (I Samuel 16:14). For, even for us, our complaining makes us realize that this world is not our home and creates in us such a strong desire for something more, something better – and that better thing is Father Himself!

So, relax; the way you are is His outworking in you.

Being OK with Others Not Being OK

It’s the same for other people as well: they are who they are. We are all in His skillful hands; each one of us designed and being masterfully crafted to fit into His glorious, creative collage.

Just as it is true that we are the way we are because Father is working in us, even so He is working His expert plan perfectly and precisely in all of His creation, as He is the “faithful Creator” (I Peter 4:19).

Father is extremely good at His job, and just like with any other work, you can’t judge the finished product when seeing it in some stage of its development. This is true of you and me, but it is also true of our loved ones and friends – all of God’s creation!

Attempting to be “God” to someone is an especially hard job if you are not qualified. There is only One in the universe qualified for such a daunting task, and He already has all things squarely under His control.

Don’t be discouraged when you look around you. What you see is not the end of God’s plan and purpose. What you see is not the finished product of God. God is actively at work in us in every circumstance, of every life. He is steadily and successfully working “all things after the counsel of His Own will,” finding no challenge with the circumstances and lives of our loved ones – not even the hard cases. Nothing poses an obstacle to Him – after all, He is the Almighty God.

Don’t be overwhelmed: you’re not the Workman. God is God; He is in charge. He loves others just as unconditionally as He loves you. He is molding them as surely as He is you – day-by-day – into all that He intends for them to be, regardless of what we may think we currently see.

One day you’ll be OK. In the resurrection Father will perfect His work in you. Until then you can be OK with not being OK. It’s all Father’s plan. To Him, beautiful is the mess we are.

So, relax and enjoy His work.

Clyde L. Pilkington, Jr.

[1] “Made subject” is translated “placed under” in the Emphatic Diaglot.
[2] The Greek word translated “vanity” here is mataiotēs, and is defined by Joseph Thayer (Thayer’s Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament) as: “What is devoid of truth and appropriateness; perverseness, depravity, frailty, want [i.e., lack] of vigor.” B.W. Johnson (People’s New Testament) defines it as “seeking without finding.” It is translated in the follow ways by various versions:
“aimless frustration” (An Understandable Version)
“spoiled” (Bible in Worldwide English)
“frustrated” (Goodspeed New Testament)
“imperfection” (Montgomery New Testament)
“folly” (The Riverside New Testament)
“failure and unreality”(Weymouth New Testament)
“futile”(Moffatt New Testament)
“weak” (New Life Study Testament)
“imperfection” (Centenary Translation)
“dissolution” (Original New Testament)

[3] “We are His workmanship” (Ephesians 2:10, KJV).

“His achievement are we” (CLT).
“we are His handiwork” (Weymouth).

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