Monday, January 4, 2016

Lecrae Calls It Like It Is - Christians Need to Ride the Storm

I value Christian rapper Lecrae for many things, but most of all for his sincerity and realism. He just speaks plainly about failures, weaknesses, struggles, and the real suffering and pressure of life. He doesn't project the image that because he's a "celebrity" as a Christian and a rapper, he's got it all together. And he doesn't try to present the image that Christians have it all under control either.

When you're successful as a Christian in the public eye, there is a huge temptation to want to portray Christianity as being the ideal life where everything works out. It's tempting to try to use your own success as a proof of Christianity's truth. The problem is, it isn't a real image. Christianity doesn't solve all your problems in this life; it solves them all for eternity. Christians suffer almost all the same troubles as everyone else on earth; but only Jesus Christ can back up a promise that those troubles end up serving you by building you up for eternal joy. Everyone gets tossed by the waves, but in Christ the waves carry your vessel home instead of setting it adrift. What matters is not whether you suffer a little more or a little less, but that the suffering itself isn't meaningless. If I can profit by my suffering, then it's not a cause for despair.

This meditation from Lecrae captures it beautifully:
Note: If this link didn't work for you last night, it's fixed now. His Facebook homepage is linked at the end just in case.


Soap box moment...

 I know people are encouraged by quick social media quotes but as I've gotten older trials have been more complicated. More friends divorce, die, lose family members. Systemic oppression around the world, division amongst cultures, ethnicities, religions, and social classes, depression, anxiety, addiction.
I used to wander aimlessly looking for existential solutions for my inner pains. Sex, substances, entertainment, and other distractions made me a type of floating raft in the ocean of life. Tossed by every wind and wave.
The next season was embracing my faith and most of my faith journey was a speed boat. Gathering, doing, serving, racing, learning, and sharing, but I found that's the quickest way to run outta gas.
There's just not always an answer to life's woes in a nice neat Facebook quote. It doesn't make you less spiritual it just makes you real.
I'm learning now to be a sailboat. It's not always go go go. It's calculated, it's strategic for sure, but the work goes into putting up the sail and learning how to steer as the waves of life start rocking.
I can't control the waves of hardship. But it doesn't mean I just carelessly float and let them carry me wherever. I can't motorboat thru my pains either. There's not always a quick solution, quote or sermon to get me thru the ugliness of life.
But I can cast my sail up and trust God as my navigator. I can trust that He's ultimately in control of the wind and waves and that if I continue adjusting my rudder and sail, eventually I'll make it to the island of paradise.
The storms WILL come, the waves will toss and turn but keep holding on. Learn how to sail, and trust the Divine may be a long journey.

(Lecrae on Facebook)

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