A Brief Walk In the Sewer
By Ed Collins on Jun 27, 2014 12:00 am
Please excuse the tone of this blog. Sometimes, to sugarcoat is to rob the thought of its impact.
So, I won't be doing that here. I won't be "tidying" things up to ensure nobody's offended. I'm sure once you begin reading, you'll be able to relate, even though it's not the prettiest of scenarios or the traditionally encouraging approach. Read between the lines, though, and you shall be encouraged appropriately, I promise! :)
Some days I find it difficult to even make a trip to the local shopping mall. Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not a monk or a recluse (not yet anyways - lol). However, the more I realize how much our God has done for us, and continues to do for us, the more challenging it is NOT to be totally turned off by mankind.
This world stinks! It reeks! It's grotesque in the worst of ways!
Here's the thing. Humanity has been distancing itself from God ever since the dawn of man. However, lately it seems it is sprinting away from Him. Even in my brief 45 year lifetime I've noticed a rapid acceleration. When I was a child, only those on the fringes of society seemed bold enough to be antagonistic towards God. And there weren't many of them, at least not in my periphery. So, most of us dismissed them as castoffs.
Today, things are very different. 'Jesus' has become a swear word. The world still 'tolerates' the concept of a god or gods, but definitely not THE God of the universe. Oh, there are myriad idols (take your pick), just none of them are Jesus.
If this world's view of Jesus were qualified as a scent, it'd come off as sewage.
It'd be nice to breathe some fresh air once in a while, but "whatever". I'll breathe in scripture for that and let the world scoff. Someday it's going to swallow its own venom and choke. That'll be just about the time when the Lord Jesus Christ slams His foot on the tip of the Mount of Olives, splitting it in two (Zechariah 14:4). But that's another story for another day.
There are days when I step out into the world and by the time I get back home I feel like I need a 'shower' to cleanse myself. I feel dirty.
I feel like to live is to walk through a sewer pipe. I guess I'm increasingly realizing what Paul was saying when he wrote, "For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain." (Philippians 1:21)
Life is short. That's a fact. Walking through this world is like taking a brief walk in the sewer.
Gross? Indeed. A cause for throwing in the towel? May it never be! Just the opposite, actually! God's got something to show the antagonists, starting with Satan, himself, the chief of that camp (2 Corinthians 4:4).
Jesus walked through this sewer pipe before we ever did, and the world hated Him for being so clean and pure. He was a sweet aroma to His Father in Heaven, but offensive to the world, so the world extinguished His life (well, tried to anyways). Understanding His own destiny, Jesus prayed on our behalf, "I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. I do not ask You to take them out of the world, but to keep them from the evil one." (John 17:14-15)
So, if my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, wants me to stay put, then I will. He showed me how to do it - by grace. "I can do all things through Him who strengthens me." (Philippians 4:13) I'd rather be in Heaven right now, free from this awful stench, but I know there's work to be done here in time. I'm tired of the smell most days, but even a farmer with his hand to the plow must endure the pungency of manure while he labors.
"But Jesus said to him, 'No one, after putting his hand to the plow and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God."(Luke 9:62)
There are days when life just flat out seems to get the best of us. But I, for one, will never give up. I won't. I can't. Jesus gave all for me. I'd like to think I can at least press on.
I don't have to be smiling all the time, but I can cling to a certain joy set before me, on the inside, where He is also. "Fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God." (Hebrews 12:2)
I am encouraged.
"Therefore, being always of good courage, and knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord - for we walk by faith, not by sight - we are of good courage, I say, and prefer to be absent from the body and to be at home with the Lord. Therefore we also have as our ambition, whether at home or absent, to be pleasing to Him." (2 Corinthians 5:6-9)
If my Lord wants me to slosh through the sewer, then I'll do it. If doing so makes Him happy, then I'm in. And I mustn't forget that I flush my toilet into the sewer system from time to time. That's part of life, too - a big part of realizing how wretched I am all on my own. So I'm not necessarily pointing my finger at individuals, just the world as a whole.
Walk in the sewer and your feet become covered in filth. That's life. So be it. It doesn't have to end there, though - I have the Word always available to cleanse me! I'll even wash others' feet if they let me (John 13:14-15). It's nice to breathe in a little fresh air amongst friends, after all.
"Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of the water with the word." (Ephesians 5:25b-26)
Statistically, I'm well beyond the halfway point in my physical life. God's grace has proven more than sufficient. I moan and groan from time to time, but that's just me venting. Every so often, the relief valve pops and a little steam comes out. I'm human.
Thanks for bearing with me.
Love in Christ,
"Good people" don't get to Heaven, only saved ones do. Are you saved from your sins by true faith in Jesus Christ?