“The grace of God is manifested in that moment in the pigsty when you finally realize that the worst life in your Father’s house will always exceed the best life away from His presence.”-= Lina AbuJamra
“Luke alone is with me (Paul). Get Mark and bring him with you, for he is very useful to me in my ministry.”- 2 Timothy 4:11 (ESV)
In Chapter 9 (“Is It Supposed to Be This Hard?”), the final chapter of Fractured Faith, Lina AbuJamra asserts that the mess is always in the middle. Because life most often becomes hard in the middle of the Christian life. Just like, Lina herself admits, middle children often equal trouble with a capital T.
For example, Mark (aka John Mark), author of the second gospel in the New Testament, grew up in a faithful, religious family. In addition, the early church held Mark’s uncle, Barnabas, in high regard for his leadership and generosity. Then Paul and Barnabas invited John Mark to join them on their first missionary journey.
However, Mark quit halfway through the journey. Above all, Lina notes, Mark’s ‘deconstruction’ greatly bothered Paul. And he had a fallout with Barnabas over it. But God provided Mark with more opportunities for ministry, as we read in 2 Timothy 4:11. Hence, Lina adds:
“God’s grace is that moment when you hear a whisper in your heart, the whisper that beckons you to come home. And God’s grace is manifested in that moment of reckoning when you understand that it’s time to go back home.”
In conclusion, Lina exhorts, say yes to God. It’s a quiet whisper when you’re expecting a tsunami. Yet, Lina stresses, God’s whisper is an unmistakable thing. Also, the author asserts, your future depends on your willingness to say yes to God. And your yes hinges on your belief in God’s goodness.
Everyone faces that mess in the middle. But how you end matters most. God specializes in turnarounds. He’s waiting to do it for you!
Today’s question: When, if ever, have you faced that moment in the pigsty? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: the annotated bibliography of Fractured Faith