The Blessing of Scattering

"There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under heaven:

a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,

a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build..."
Ecclesiastes 3:1-3

Hello my friends!

I wanted to ask us a question today: Do we feel as though we or our relationships have been scattered? As you and I look back over the past twelve months in these early days of 2010, is there pain over realizing that some of our relationships are drastically different? Has God allowed some of those dearest to you and me to be ripped from our lives? Why does He allow that to happen?

I am going through my One Year Chronological Bible by Tyndale Publishers for the tenth time this year. No single Biblical tool has helped me to grasp the Bible's events and people and their proper places than this version of the Bible. It allows me to read the Scriptures as a story. It has changed my spiritual walk and understanding of the perfection of the inerrant Word of God.

Today I read Genesis 11, which is the sobering account of the tower of Babel. Every time I read this story, I am struck by the depravity of the human heart. Following the flood that destroyed all human beings, those who lived on earth all spoke one language. Everyone understood everyone else. I don't know what that language was called (I am certain it was not English!), but I was thinking about how convenient it would be if we all understood each other. We could talk to anyone we wanted to. Think of all we could accomplish if there were no language barriers!

But Scripture tells us that this common language brought out the absolute worst in people. Instead of using this gift of communication to glorify the Creator, pride entered the hearts of men and women who decided to build a tower that "...reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves and not be scattered over the face of the whole earth." (Genesis 11:4) If God had not intervened and confused the language of these people, they would have thought that nothing was impossible for them. In the end, their pride brought about what they had been trying to avoid - being scattered over the face of the earth. He had to scatter them for their own good.

My darling friend, what is the lesson for you and me? Sometimes you and I need to take a good hard look at why the scattering has occurred in our lives. I wonder if, under conviction of the Holy Spirit, the Lord is able to reveal why some of those relationships are no more or why they look so different. (If this does not apply to our situation, we do not need to be covered in false guilt. We don't have to receive it. I am not talking about those relationships where we know that we have God's blessing with a beloved person whom we have lost to death in the past year.) I am talking about those relationships that we justify, knowing that God is not in them. If we were really honest, we might see that God did not get glory in that relationship with the man or woman we were spending so much time with. Perhaps he or she had taken the place of our first Love, Jesus Christ. If we look a little harder at the situation, our relationship with that friend had deteriorated into full-blown gossip sessions, slander of others, sexual immorality, or had caused our heart to grow cold toward the will of God in our lives.

I will not evaluate what needs to be evaluated unless I am forced to. The pill is too bitter to swallow. Sometimes God has to completely shake my world for me to come clean before Him. I will not give up what can be slowly killing me with its poison because the poison has disguised itself so well. The pleasure to my flesh is too tantalizing. The heartbreak of the scattering is agonizing. I can become angry and hard-hearted in my disappointment.

But, eventually, if I let Him, He will show me how good He is to have scattered my world. Eventually, I will stand in awe of what He has protected me from and will praise Him for ridding me of what was slowly causing my destruction. I can see the pride, the horror of my ego, as I fall on my face over His gracious mercy to me. And my bruised and healing heart will say once again, "You, O Lord, are God and You are good to me."