SOMETIMES THINGS NEED TO GET WORSE TO GET BETTER

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SOMETIMES THINGS NEED TO GET WORSE TO GET BETTER

Recently, I have been obsessing with Search Engine Optimization and spending a bit too much time mucking about with Goggle’s Webmaster Tools; and as a result, the error messages started to get to me. So like any responsible web designer, I started taking steps to make the necessary adjustments to the site. But no matter how many changes I made, the error messages just would not go away.

Have you been there too? Well, maybe not web design, but perhaps there’s something which you have been troubleshooting for some time now, but no matter how hard you try, no matter what you do, it doesn’t seem to get better. Then what do you do? That’s right. You start asking around. And if your problem is complex enough, you will soon realize like I did, from trawling the chatrooms, forum pages and websites, that nobody out there really knows the solution. Some don’t even know what they are talking about. They just mimic and mouth what others have said because the source from which they took their information from had a lot of ‘hits’.

And life’s a lot like that, isn’t it? Maybe you have been working at your marriage. Maybe you have been working at your parenting. Maybe it’s your career or your physique. But no matter how hard you try, how many counselling sessions you attend, how many personal trainers you engage, that problem area just does not go away. Until you discover and appreciate the impact of ‘cache’.

Now, it may seem strange to use ‘cache’ as an analogy for life, but bear with me. You see, in the case of the ministry’s website, Google caches the website data so that it can present the search results faster to their users. Now this means that versions which were crawled and sensed in the past have now been kept in their cache, their repository; and even though changes have been made to those versions of the pages, those changes are not registered because Google thinks they have the most updated copy of the page. So what happens is, those errors which were made in the past, are kept in their repository and they think that the page still has errors even though it doesn’t anymore.

And life’s a lot like that too, isn’t it? Whether you are recovering from the cold or from the lung cancer which you got from decades of smoking, there is a ‘cache’ of viruses and wonky cells in your body. And like Google, it takes time for your body to clear its ‘cache’. But only until your body’s cache is cleared, will you begin to feel better. This is regardless of how many changes you have made to your diet and lifestyle routines or how much medicine you have consumed.

And the same is true for the other areas of our life as well. If we have made mistakes at work, our colleagues take a while to clear their ‘cache’ of memory and emotions. Our bosses take some time to trust us again. If we have made mistakes in our relationships, it will take the offended party time to clear their ‘cache’ and forgive us again. So until that happens, no amount of alterations or ‘making up for it’ that we do seem to make any visible change in the situation. We just have to give it time.

But why is that the case? Doesn’t the Bible tell us that

“There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.” Romans 8:1

“For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” John 3:17

Yes, that is true, but that doesn’t mean that consequences don’t exist. Think about it, if you tripped and fell, can you say that you want that scratch to go away immediately? If you had a bit too much to drink, can you say that you want that nauseating feeling to go away immediately? If someone wrongs you, can you say that you will forgive and forget immediately? No, consequences do exist, and they are ‘cached’ into our lives.

Remember when Lazarus got sick? Of course you don’t. We only remember that he died when his illness got ‘cached’ into His life and eventually killed Him. But remember what Jesus said to His disciples concerning this?

“Then Jesus said to them plainly, “Lazarus is dead. And I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, that you may believe.” John 11:14-15

The man is dead AND Jesus is glad He was not there. Why? Yes, so that they may believe. And remember what Jesus said to Martha?

“Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.”
Martha said to Him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.”
Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?”” John 11:23-25

That’s right, Jesus allowed the consequence of Lazarus’ illness to be ‘cached’ into his life until it killed him so that He can show Martha and His disciples that He was indeed the resurrection and the life. For when they were at the entrance to the tomb,

“Jesus said, “Take away the stone.”
Martha, the sister of him who was dead, said to Him, “Lord, by this time there is a stench, for he has been dead four days.”
Jesus said to her, “Did I not say to you that if you would believe you would see the glory of God?” John 11:39-40

Then remember the son that was born to David and Bathsheba out of wedlock? Of course you don’t. You only remember Solomon, the son that was born to them in wedlock. Because the son that was born to them out of wedlock died.

“So David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the Lord.”
And Nathan said to David, “The Lord also has put away your sin; you shall not die. However, because by this deed you have given great occasion to the enemies of the Lord to blaspheme, the child also who is born to you shall surely die.”” 2 Samuel 12:13-14

But look at why the young boy had to be ‘returned’. If the boy was allowed to continue his days on earth, he would naturally, being David’s first born, be first in line to ascend the throne. And can you imagine the scandal that would follow him for the rest of his life? Indeed, Nathan hit the nail on the head. If the boy were to be allowed to continue his days, there would be great occasion for the enemies of the Lord to blaspheme Him, for from David’s line came Jesus.

So in a sense, David ‘cached’ the consequence of losing his son early into his own life. No doubt that boy was meant to be a blessing to David’s household. But because of the nature in which he was conceived, his curse would be greater than his blessing, so as a result, as a consequence, he had to be ‘returned’ to our Father.

Beloved, our lives have not been perfect. Even though Jesus’ sacrifice has made us perfect before our Father, our choices have created some unavoidable consequences that have been ‘cached’ into our lives. And until these consequences have been removed from life’s ‘cache’, our situation may not see much improvement.

But take heart, just like it was for Joseph,

“But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive.” Genesis 50:20

Even the evil which you did to yourself, even the bad consequences which you created for yourself, Jesus IS turning them around for your good. There is a day which He is bringing about. And on that day, you will see why, like Lazarus, Jesus had to tarry, and like David, you had to bear the consequence of some decisions.

Yet, along the way, our Father is watching and Jesus has got your back, for indeed,

“No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.” 1 Corinthians 10:13

No trial will be too big, no lesson too painful, no consequence too damaging, for though it all,

“But He said to me, My grace (My favor and loving-kindness and mercy) is enough for you [sufficient against any danger and enables you to bear the trouble manfully]; for My strength and power are made perfect (fulfilled and completed) and show themselves most effective in [your] weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12:9 [AMPC]
So your changes don’t seem to be making any in-roads into your situation? Keep at it. And let your life’s ‘cache’ refresh itself. Be open to the lessons which our Father has for you for indeed,

“My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord,
Nor detest His correction;
For whom the Lord loves He corrects,
Just as a father the son in whom he delights.” Proverbs 3:11-12

Our Father still delights in you, He still loves you and His promise to you will always hold true.

“I’ve been carrying you on my back
from the day you were born,
And I’ll keep on carrying you when you’re old.
I’ll be there, bearing you when you’re old and gray.
I’ve done it and will keep on doing it,
carrying you on my back, saving you.” Isaiah 46:3-4 [MSG]

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