Monday, July 24, 2017

"What are You Made Of?"

Job 36.15

“He delivers the afflicted in their affliction, And opens their ear in time of oppression.” NASU

“But by means of their suffering, he rescues those who suffer. For he gets their attention through adversity.” NLT

In the wonderful comedy “Night at the Museum” starring Ben Stiller as night security guard Larry Daley, the relics and wax figures come alive each evening after museum closing hours. To save the museum and its living artifacts from annihilation, Larry must confront his own sense of inadequacy. He seeks salvation from Teddy Roosevelt, played by Robin Williams, who responds, “Some are born great, others have greatness thrust upon them.” Larry complains he does not have what it takes but Teddy insists that he does… “I’m made of wax, Larry. What are you made of?”

Larry Daley and I have this in common... we both face difficulties we did not seek. Opportunities for “greatness” are “thrust upon” me when I least want them. I may choose to run from afflictions or embrace them. I might think I’m made of wax, afraid of melting under the heat lamp of trouble. I probably won’t melt but I certainly will discover the truth about myself. Personal adversity will answer the all-important question for me: “What am I made of?”

There isn’t much difference between wax and flesh. Both are soft. Both can be burned and destroyed. Neither will last forever. In truth, I have every reason to be afraid. Just like the psalmist foretelling of the plight of Jesus, I am human with a heart like wax…

“I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint.
My heart has turned to wax; it has melted away within me.”
Psalm 22.14 NIV

I need salvation but I cannot save myself. Salvation comes from a source outside of me…

“And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven
that has been given among men by which we must be saved.”
Acts 4.12

“God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name,
so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow… and that every tongue
will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
Philippians 2.9-11

I need Jesus. Apparently suffering reminds me of that truth. It seems to make me more attune to His voice. Jesus opens my “ear in time of oppression.” He gets my “attention through adversity” and reminds me of my dependence upon Him.

The next time I “have greatness thrust upon” me, I will try to remember ‘what I am made of’. I am made of the essence of Christ who “lives in me” (Galatians 2.20) and through whom “I can do all things” (Philippians 4.13), “overwhelmingly conquer” all adversity (Romans 8.37), and “crush Satan” under my feet (Romans 16.20).

No comments: