(For that brother, that sister...)
"The Opportunity of a Lifetime"
Every born again believer in the Lord Jesus Christ who genuinely and sincerely walks with God will at some point have his (or her) life come crashing down to an apparently hopeless end. As with Job, the Lord will allow the world, the devil, and the flesh to wreak havoc in a particularly vulnerable arena of life, and the cry will come forth from deep places in the soul that were heretofore unknown to even exist...
"My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken me?" (Matthew 27:46).
The Lord Jesus Christ uttered these words during that time on the cross when the light of Heaven became dark, and the love of the Father became wrath. The believer who walks closely with this Christ, once smitten and forsaken, will necessarily come to His place of bewilderment and agony. All will seem lost, and no answers will seem forthcoming, or even possible. "The sufferings of Christ abound in us" (II Corinthians 1:5).
Somehow and from somewhere in the extremity of the darkness, a light will finally begin to glimmer. It will shine in the face of the Lord Jesus who is risen from the dead, and who came forth from the blackest night ever suffered to be declared King of kings and Lord of lords. The light will reveal that a shattered life is not an end, but a beginning. It will declare to the broken heart that no resurrection is possible without death. And it will proclaim in unmistakable terms that in the midst of smittenness and forsakenness, the opportunity of a lifetime is at hand. It promises the possibility of venturing deep into the heart of God, and to never again be the same person we were before our shattering.
There will be no coercion in that holy hour, no inevitability. We will either trust our Heavenly Father and submit unto the cross unto which He has led us. Or we will turn away in unbelief and bitterness of soul. The course of the rest of our lives will flow from the choice we make. If we initially choose to distrust our Lord, He will allow our decision, while ever seeking to return us to that altar where opportunity was mistaken as being disaster and tragedy. If we trust God, we become lamps upon which the light of the risen Christ shines forth to our world "that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body" (II Corinthians 4:10). Much is at stake in our hearts, and much is at stake in our particular worlds that so desperately need to see the Savior alive and walking in us. May we not miss this, the opportunity of a lifetime that will resonate for eternity, and for the glory of our God.
"And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. And He said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for My strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me."
(II Corinthians 12:7-9)