God Doesn’t Go on Strike

Sunday night here. All last week the rumors have been building of an eminent strike for Monday resulting in a snow-day-esque cancellation of classes and an incapacitated city. This morning I referenced this impending strike and worked it into a joke that had all the church laughing.

You see, in the first weeks of our arrival to the land of Bolivia some kind of dispute arose causing protesters to take to the streets. Frightened we wrote home to pray for us and pray for the nation of Bolivia. Surprisingly not many of the nationals seemed to get too excited about the demonstrations. Pretty soon we caught on that these protests form part of the every day life of the Bolivian culture. Not a week goes by without the presence of some disgruntled group up in arms about some offense.

A recent march in down town Cochabamba. The protesters wanted fair benefits in their government jobs.

How humorous Spanish language class became when the instructor gave us the assignment to work in groups to develop an oral presentation about a relevant issue and plan our chosen type of protest. We had to present to the class our protest strategy in detail. The choices they gave us were: a strike, a march, an hunger sit-in or a blockade in the streets. What fun!

This form of expressing ones public opinion is the way people have been given a voice. It is neither bad nor good in my eyes. It’s just the way it is.

I have some good news for you, though. God does not go on strike!

When God wants to see a change in our behavior he does not choose a public demonstration in hopes to move the powers that be in order to invoke change. Take the example of a city with many people who still have yet to acknowledge him as Lord. Does he take out a spot on the front page of the paper to announce that the sun will not rise on that certain city for the next five days? No! The sun rises in all it’s glorious splendor yet on those who deny a Creator’s hand. What a good God!

There is a verse in Romans chapter two that talks of what brings men and women into repentance. It’s not the strong arm of the omnipotent God. It’s not the smiting hell-fire and brimstone. It’s not the threat of a God with arms crossed sitting on high waiting to zap us with a lightening bolt or smash us like ants at the first slip up we make. Listen to this:

Don’t you see how wonderfully kind, tolerant, and patient God is with you? Does this mean nothing to you? Can’t you see that his kindness is intended to turn you from your sin?

What wonderful words! Here’s the same verse said in another way:

Better think this one through from the beginning. God is kind, but he’s not soft. In kindness he takes us firmly by the hand and leads us into a radical life-change.

I love this! Far from the world of manipulation of powers God makes the choice of a humble king to guide us with kindness. The question is if we are attentive to his kindness.

When was the last time you stopped to notice God’s kindness in your life? Why not take a moment and thank him for his kindness. You are precious to him. He shows you how highly he thinks of you by his goodness in your life. Don’t you just love that about him?

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