Best Life Now

I really, really don’t care for Joel Osteen — his teeth and his platitudes irk me.

Prosperity gospel? Pfffffttt.

“It’s God’s will for you to live in prosperity instead of poverty. It’s God’s will for you to pay your bills and not be in debt. It’s God’s will for you to live in health and not in sickness all the days of your life.”

How Mr. Osteen reconciles that with the bible verse about the rich man, the camel, and the eye of the needle is beyond my comprehension, but maybe I’m just not enlightened enough. *insert eye roll here*

Anyway. Never in the history of ever has God given any indication whatsoever that He wants us to be rich, temporally happy, or even healthy. What does He want? He wants us to delight in Him and Him alone. He wants us to delight in Him so badly that He sent His only Son Jesus Christ to Hell and back so that we may know Him.

You didn’t think Christ’s suffering ended on the cross, didja? He paid the price for our transgressions, and that cost is Hell. Christ literally went to Hell and back for you. That’s all kinds of amazing, and something I can’t fully wrap my mind around, because every time I try, my brain figuratively explodes from trying to comprehend such a love.

I can’t even stand it when my kids bonk their heads or scrape their knees … the idea of sacrificing them like lambs so some ungrateful lot of vagabonds might have an opportunity to knock on my door and grace me with their presence? Inconceivable.

What God has done for us is so beyond dollars and cents, love lost and love won, life on Earth at all — that He must view us as squabbling children fighting over the favorite toy of the moment most of the time.

So when people like Joel Osteen say things like, “It’s God’s will for you to live in prosperity …” I scoff or roll my eyes or blow raspberries. Because I’m totally mature like that. But I’m pretty sure the creator of the universe invented the #facepalm, so I go with it.

God’s will is for us to love Him with our whole hearts and souls and all our strength and minds, and to love our neighbors as ourselves. Nothing more and nothing less.

So then what about the rest?

As much as I don’t like Joel Osteen or his cockamamie prosperity gospel, I do believe in living the best life you possibly can — now and forever.

Sometimes life hands you lemons — so go find some sugar and a pitcher and make some friggin’ lemonade. Add vodka if you have it, and invite some friends over. Or maybe even a friend will bring vodka! Those are the bestest friends.

Anyway, God calls us to suffer, but I think I missed the part where He said we’re supposed to wallow in it.

Yes, my marriage fell apart. For better or worse, no matter whose ‘fault’ it was, and not through any lack of trying to fix it — it fell apart. That’s one heck of a lemon, my friends.

And I’m handling it the best that I can. I’m putting on my big girl pants and trying to live my best life now as I put my broken heart in Jesus’ hands to heal. I’ll squee over sales at Target and find other ordinary things to appreciate. I’ll jump out of planes and I’ll spend what would’ve been my 11th anniversary weekend while my kids are at their first full week at their dad’s with my best friend in Texas.

It’s not flippancy; it’s recovery. It is joy and peace and light and trust in the God of hope. Every day I want to live my best possible life. Some days that’s just getting through without bitch-slapping anyone, and others it’s taking the kids to the beach to delight in His creation. Whatever it is, it is completely and totally relying on God to get me through.

My burden was heavy, but I took His yoke and am finding rest for my soul. And it is sooooooo good — lemonade for the soul level of good.

It’s my best life now, and though it may not look like it, it is my way honoring God, of thanking Him for the abundant mercies he has blessed me with. Thank Him even for the suffering. Because suffering produces endurance, endurance produces character, character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.

You may see a sandwich, or a glass of wine, or bowling with a friend, or veging out on the couch catching up on Nashville, or any other number of little things that make me happy … what I see is a Godsend.

It’s my best life now, because God did not leave me in the wilderness. He came and got me … somewhat brutally got me to stop placing my faith in myself and put it back in Him and relearn to trust in Him and Him alone.

And that is the joy that surpasses all joy, even in the midst of suffering.

Comments

  1. The Atomic Mom says:

    …and here is where you “get” it, and the Joel Osteens do not. There will be trials in our lives, the test is if we let God in to help us or not. You get it. You are letting yourself be healed. Good for you! And I’m still marveling that you jumped out of a plane…an aeroplane!

  2. Jenny I had this silly running debate ( in my head) …do I leave a thought or two? Will it even matter? Then it occurred to me….and you’re going to love this…..He wants me to. :-)

    Got to admit I have similar funny challenges with people on TV…so easy to judge them. My favs would be practically anyone on TBN. You want a good laugh watch that sometime.

    Joels’ another story…his blinking used to drive me insane, even if I occasionally like the message. Almost every time however I would hear the little voice on the inside say ” get passed that , and listen to what he’s saying”…..

    Any way I wasn’t writing to defend JO…he’s doing what he’s called to do…some pretty good fruit on his tree if honestly look around.

    Why is money, healing, etc ( prosperity in every area of life ) such a tough subject for believers ? Oh there’s enough nuts out there that want to garble the msg and take advantage of folks. If it really matters to you, ignore what everyone else on both sides say.

    For your sake, for your kids, and everyone you love, slow down for second, and actually do a study on healing in the bible ( or finances ) Simply look up every instance in the Old and New Testament, and see if the Holy Spirit doesn’t reveal to you His will for you. ( try not to picture JO at this point)

    You’re a loving Mom who’s will / desire for your kids is their best life now. You can guess where I’m going with that .

    Some of these that I meditate on ( Romans 10:17)

    Exodus 15:26, Isaiah 53: 4-5, Psalm 103, Prov 4: 20-23, James 5:15, 1Peter 2:24, etc….

    At the end of the day, it’s your choice, and most people, including believers, don’t want to hear that.

    Keep up the good fight

    -AS

  3. Queenie says:

    http://www.todayschristianwoman.com/articles/2013/april/power-of-forgiveness-in-marriage.html

    The Power of Forgiveness in Marriage:
    Does your flesh seem to crawl when you come into contact with certain people? When you hear the sound of their voice, does every fiber of your being cringe? Does your chest tighten when you think of them?
    Are you embarrassed to admit this is the way you feel about the person you share your life with? There is a possibility Satan has you in his grip through unforgiveness.
    Identifying Our Real Enemies
    Too often in marriage when there is offense and conflict, we identify our mates as the enemy. Our mates are never the enemy. If we learn who our enemies really are, we can effectively fight the battles in our marriages and rise to victory. Our real enemies are the powers of darkness and our own flesh. These enemies often go unnoticed in the heat of battle.
    Our flesh seeks to please itself and cannot please God. The apostle Paul warns us about our flesh, in Romans 8:8, “Those who are still under the control of their sinful nature can never please God.”
    The powers of darkness intend for all marriages to be destroyed. If you commit to God and your mate, you will wrestle with the forces of darkness. Ephesians 6:12 declares, “For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.”
    When we recognize our enemies, we are more effective in loosening Satan’s grip of unforgiveness.

  4. Do you even own a bible?

    Just asking…

    I am not even religious, but having read the book I know what comes after the camel and the eye of the needle and you have just turned the meaning of the story assbackwards.

    Rich people were thought to be more likely to enter heaven because they were more likely to be able to afford to carry out all the Jewish commandments.

    Also the Aramaeic word for camel is gamla, which happens to be the same word for “rope you tie things unto the back of a camel” and the greek word kamelos and kamilos are very similar leaving room for error….

    …. but you know it all.

    Eyeroll, pfffft, talk to my hand.

    Am I doing it right!?!

    Please let you daughters practise their blojay skills, they would not be proper sluts without them .

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