She had great parents! The young lady we’ll call “Sheila” was not being mistreated or abused. In fact, she went to the finest schools, had a beautiful home, was deeply loved and at the end of the day was simply spoiled.
She felt it was unfair that she had to clean her room and do chores. It seemed to her that since her mother had spare time she should take care of the chores. Not only had she seemingly lost her mind, she clearly missed the point.
Sheila shared her thoughts with her parents whenever she felt like it. Sometimes she was respectful, sometimes she wasn’t. She felt that she had a right to voice her opinion like the adults in the house. Wrong! Just because you have the ability to speak does not mean you have the right to speak and often wisdom will tell you not to speak; but she missed the point.
Sheila’s friends were allowed to go wherever they wanted to go and do whatever they wanted to do. Therefore, since her parents had rules and parameters to keep her sane and safe, she felt as though they were unbearably harsh and most certainly uncool. Once again she had missed the point.
The end of the year had come and it was time for me to go to the end of the year shut-in. For those of you who may be unfamiliar, a shut-in is a time of fasting and prayer usually overnight for one or more days inside of a church. As I was leaving to go to the church Sheila’s mother called me to tell me that once again Sheila was out of control.
Just before my arrival Sheila notified her family that she would rather “die and go to hell” than be subjected to their rules. I politely made a U turn, headed over the family’s home and spoke to Sheila.
At this point I was furious. First of all, the issue she was protesting was excruciatingly minor. Secondly, as a teen raised in church, she knew not to be disrespectful and thirdly she knows the gravity of hell and volunteering to go because you don’t want to follow rules was just plain ridiculous!
So there I stood in the kitchen, annoyed, angry, running late and trying to stay off the news. I told her that since she was planning her soul’s destination I thought the best thing that she could do was come shut in with me. She looked as though she wanted to speak but as she looked at the expression on my face “something on the inside” must have told her not to press her luck.
We got to the church and began to pray. Hours passed and she leaned over and said in a whining teenage whisper, “How long are we going to staaaaay here.” I looked at her and whispered through my teeth, “Until you don’t want to go to hell anymore!”
More hours passed and she lay down while we continued to pray and read the Word. About two o’clock I the morning, she sat up and said, (a bit too loudly) “Why are all the lights on and why is she (the woman leading prayer) hollerin’!” She missed the point.
We weren’t there to sleep; we were there to pray. We probably spent as many hours counseling her as we did praying over her during the shut in. We laugh about the shut in now that Sheila’s all grown up with her own child. She loves and appreciates her parents and her God. She will complete her undergraduate degree soon, attends church faithfully and has decided that she definitely does NOT want to go to hell.
Many times we are so focused on what we want and need that we miss the point of what God is really trying to accomplish in us. Sheila’s parents weren’t trying to steal her fun, they were trying to keep her save and impart wisdom until she was old enough to make her own choices in her own house.
We, like Sheila, can be so consumed in our temper tantrums and fault finding that we fail to realize how good the Lord has been to us. Yes, you may have gone through an illness, but if you stay in the valley of despair you missed the point. Through that experience you know firsthand that God is a healer.
Perhaps you’ve been broke and God brought you out. If you are praising your boss then you missed the point! God is your provider and He puts food on your table and clothes on your back!
Maybe you have been incarcerated and are finding life on the outside to be challenging. Don’t miss the point: God will show you that there is life after incarceration and hope for those that others have designated as hopeless!
Nothing that we have suffered or experienced is wasted. All of our experiences lead us to an expected end of victory, an expected end of joy and an expected end of hope. Don’t miss the point looking at the struggle; there’s something bigger and brighter on the other side! Don’t give up and don’t give in and don’t miss the point!
Monday: 2 Corinthians 12:9
Tuesday: Romans 8:28
Wednesday: Philippians 4:13
Thursday: Isaiah 43
Friday: Romans 9
Saturday: Ephesians 3:20
Sunday: Go to church!