Have you ever cried uncontrollably, a cry that comes from deep inside, that verges on out-of-control wailing?
Have you ever been so devastated by some circumstance in life that you hit the floor and did not feel like you were ever going to get up?
Have you ever been hurt so bad that you did not think your heart would ever heal from the wound?
Most of you are probably thinking right now ……nooooo….[and why is he bringing up this uncomfortable stuff?].
Because Dr. Chapman is 100% correct when he says that “God will love you when everyone else walks away.” He was telling the story of Pastor Reuben’s conversion moment.
Why am I bringing this up?
I am putting these dramatic episodes before you because so many people fear these episodes. However don’t we need to have this attitude of “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.” [James 1: 2-3]
Yes, but it is hard when you are in the midst of pain.
It is in these episodes that God proves Himself to you. Men and women will walk away from you but God will not.
At my church we have a leader who is making an effort to startup United Methodist Men after a long hiatus. I was talking to another man who approached some men about participating, and he said it was like he had the plague when he brought up the subject of UMM. They basically said “No, we don’t want anything to do with that.”
Women are often attacked for putting up a false front but that is so silly; both genders like to present a façade to the world. Women don’t have anything on men.
The male façade: “I am in control;” “I can do this all by myself;” “I know where I am going” etc. etc.
None of us is really in control. We can’t do much in this world all by ourselves and if we would admit it, we are lost quite often [literally and figuratively].
But we don’t want to admit it. It is embarrassing.
Men don’t want to admit that we have been absent from the church. We have not provided leadership as a group. We don’t want to admit that fellowship and relationship with other men is important.
You see women have all that relationship stuff figured out.
They know that God can work in relationships. Men think we can do it alone. In fact, just yesterday I was looking at health information [you know, one of those internet lists] about why men die younger than women. One major cause was men do not know how to relate to others and this “lone wolf” mentality can cause men to die earlier than needed.
Social support is a good thing. Spending time with like-minded folks can result in good times and bonds which are needed.
Can people walk away and cause you to cry, devastate you, and break your heart?
You bet they can [that stuff at the beginning all happened to me].
God was the first one to wipe my tears, God was the first one to pick me up off the floor and God over the years has mended my heart and you know what?
People helped too, good Christian people.
Was it all embarrassing? Yes it was, but it made me a stronger person. Will it be good for the men of the church to reemerge as a positive force at St. John? Yes it will.
We will all learn that we can have more control if we work together, we can do a lot more if we work together, and we are all lost from time to time and it is ok to admit it.
The lesson from “God Speaks Your Love Language” is clear. Human relationships reflect the nature of God and if we can understand human relationships better, we can better understand divine love.
You have to say yes to others. You have to join in sometimes. You have to drop the façade…and find God.