This past week I finished up Joshua. He did the job the Lord had set out for him to do. Israel gained their land as the Lord had promised Abraham. Joshua died.
It had me thinking. We all have purpose. Are we doing what God intended for us to do?
A few days later I was having my weekly conversation with a friend. It started out and continued on about her sibling. He, like a blue million others, is addicted to drugs. His main addiction being to pills and he will do whatever he needs to to get his fix.
I have never had an interest in drugs. I hate the idea of being on any medication. You can imagine how hard it is for me to understand why anyone would want to abuse pain medication or antidepressants. Didn’t people on drugs want the uppers as opposed to downers? Wasn’t the goal to be trippy instead of vegetative? Am I that old?
That spurned conversations about all the drug issues here in our area and in our state and ultimately in our entire country. Remember the days when that infamous age group of 18-24 smoked some pot, drank some alcohol, then pulled themselves together to go to school and work? They weren’t addicts. They were kids who did stupid stuff but still had a pretty level head on their shoulders. Eventually those kids moved past the pot and booze to become adults who functioned well@ They grew up to be engineers, nurses, teachers, MBA’s, etc.
Now we have kids who take pharmaceuticals for recreational use. Does that sound extremely erroneous or what? People who choose to take medications in mass volumes that will leave them to become catatonic – drooling, urinating, defecating all over themselves. Totally reshaping their brain function and continuing on past the age of twenty-four.
This is the new cool.
Is this what we were made to do? Is this why these kids were born? To be strung out on pills? To lose function? To become the burden of those who love them?
Joshua had a task of bloodshed in the name of the Lord to obtain the inheritance that was Israel’s. It was heartbreaking and heart wrenching to read of all the groups of people he was commissioned to obliterate. He knew his role in this life and he completed the tasks. They were difficult and you know they weighed on him. But he did what he was told to do by the Lord.
Look at our generations. In parallel to Joshua they are pitiful. Joshua was not given an easy task but he did not run from it. He did not try to barter with the Lord over it. He did not even ignore the Lord.
It is a good thing Joshua wasn’t brought forth in 2017. Chances are if he were here he wouldn’t even have a nation clean and strong enough to help him do the work of the God of Israel. A large brunt would be faking illness at an emergency room to get a fix. They would be stoned out of their mind while their two year old sits in the floor watching. The warriors would be so self absorbed that an argument over their well-being would lead to an overdose in a side ditch.
Is this what God intended?
I made the comment during the aforementioned conversation, “We’re going to hell in a hand basket.” (One of my favorite Southern phrases.) My friend agreed. The rest of the afternoon I contemplated the state of just this little dot I live in. Realizing the issues that we often think are in small numbers or in certain areas are in droves and all over the place. It breaks my heart and makes me angry.
God’s ultimate purpose is our progress, friends. God isn’t good with the status quo. He doesn’t give you a billion excuses for what you do wrong in this life. What he does do is wait for you. He may not give you a billion excuses but he will give you a billion chances to turn your life around. The crazy thing is: It is the simplest thing to do but also extremely difficult if you aren’t focusing on the true gift. PEACE.
Jesus hung out with the “scum” of society. He had an affinity for the poor, prostitute, sick, and even the tax collector. He knew their battles were intense. He knew they needed Him and He knew that anyone at their lowest point would be more willing to turn to Him because He knew and still knows their destiny.
Jesus’ goal was for us to progress in our lives to being the lights on the hills. He gave us the power to show the cure for all ills in this world from bigotry to drug addiction – love. Just love.
I am not a hippie I’m not saying we need to give every pill/meth/crack/coke head a big fat hug and tell them it will be OK. That, unfortunately, is not the way reality works. Sometimes love is hard. It often means we do not say, “It will be OK!” Sometimes it means we stop short of giving that $20 bill when our addicted loved one or friend says they are in a hard spot. Sometimes it means we do not welcome them in but direct them to a shelter. Sometimes it means we tell them how we honestly feel. It means we stop seeing the trees and start seeing the forest. And sometimes love is walking away but praying continually.
And always asking: Is this what God intended?