“Choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served…or the gods … in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD” Joshua 24:15.
As I continue to drink in the wonderful writings of Sheila Walsh I am constantly amazed by her revelations. My Bible and other studies are marked up with bright yellow highlights, asterisks and squiggly lines written all over the pages. The problem with this book, God Loves Broken People, is that my markings are lost among the pages as everything is marked. She hits the nail on the head every time building a blueprint of truth for the Christian walk.
The underlying unapologetic theme is simple…we have all suffered in this world, and we will all suffer again due to its brokenness. With Walsh, it is a settled attitude removing all uncertainty, freeing up the mental and futile questions of why. Her why is answered once and for all with one word – sin. When sin entered the world brokenness rode in on its back. What we are left with is our response to the certainty of pain and suffering. God echoed this in 1 Peter 4:12, 19, ‘Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange was happening to you…So then, those who suffer according to God’s will should commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good.’
Committing to the Creator…choosing whom we will serve...We can serve the gods of resistance, bitterness, continued questioning or we can serve the God who restores, heals and gives life. It is a choice that our hearts must make in the face of fear and the circumstances of suffering. ‘The power of suffering to create beauty in your life lies almost entirely with you, in how you choose to react to the difficulties and even catastrophes that invade your life. In a sense, the angels hold their breath waiting to see how you will respond…and what you will choose.’ God Loves Broken People, p. 106. Deuteronomy sings a beautiful song in a symphony to be sung by all Christians in their walk of faith. ‘I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the LORD your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him’ Deut 30:19-20.
Notice that Scripture states that through our choosing of life, our children will feel life. Our responses to difficult times provide the manner in which our children will emulate. If we choose life, they will experience life…if we choose the hysteria and chaos of the moment, they will settle into that choice. Our response to suffering opens its arms and gathers our loved ones pulling them in to our attitudes. ‘How we choose to respond to life’s challenges, setbacks, and tragedies makes an enormous difference – not only to our own experience of life, but also to the experience of those who travel life with us.’ God Loves Broken People, p 105.