Excerpt from a recent prison correspondence from Bubba:
"I learned how too use a check book it's fun. . . . I am suffering with a heat rash a lot of people get it hear I don't know why. . . . During this week I been grouchy because people weigh God's love on money. . . . Its not easy when I . . . hear from them 'I am giving up because the wicked are doing better.' Oh I get grouchy. God is good as long as every thing is going good for them. I told them NO God must be good even in your toughest downest time's, your heart is being tested. The Word say's God test the heart. Oh Andrée I don't lay it with sugger I give it too them streight and they accept it and keep going. I could not do this with out God Spirit. And plenty I mean plenty of experience. Then I love them and let them know. One man I speak too got's 3 life sentance's and that ain't easy too give him hope that he will walk out but you know God backs up everything I say!"
I guess there are different degrees of faith. There is the person who just flat-out doesn't believe. There is the Christian who flails from faith to discouragement with every wind of circumstance. (A guy I knew at seminary didn't sleep well for three nights in a row and began to doubt the existence of God).
And then there is Bubba. In letter after letter to me, no matter what life throws at him in the most disdained unit of the prison where he is incarcerated, he sees only the hand of God. He sees only His merciful purposes. Neither is there a lag time of a couple of weeks of doubt before he bounces back to faith, as is my tendency. (One has to wonder if such see-saw faith as mine is even really faith, or merely a subsiding of unbelief until the next piddling contrary wind.)
I want a constancy like Bubba's. Go ahead, give me your worst sob story, somebody. I want to answer you with confidence: "God is good, all the time. You will see. Let me pray with you right now, and let us expect to see the goodness of the Lord." Maybe I should practice reciting Psalm 27:13 in the mirror out loud: "I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living." If the Psalmist can say it, and Bubba can say it, why can't I?
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