Flipping through the TV channels on Sunday, I caught Joel Osteen mid diatribe telling how he ousted someone from his real estate team because they mentioned bylaw difficulties and other negatives in the pursuit of Joel’s mega, basketball stadium turned church. He went on to say we should surround ourselves with only positive people, only people who will encourage us …

Thankfully, the closest object to throw at the screen was the dill pickle, chip bag whose contents I’d consumed earlier. The message did not encourage me in my Gollum like state.  My entire body wore a raised reddish/purplish rash which puffed out my cheeks and lips. An allergic reaction to one of the medications I was taking. Perhaps from the diverticulitis antibiotics prescribed the week before or maybe the bridging blood thinners to prepare for a breast biopsy (excuse the alliteration). I can assure you; in the mental and physical state I was in, Joel would roust me from the team too.

But would Jesus? Imagine Him saying to Mary and Martha, “I see you’re sad about the death of your brother, Lazarus, and you’ve allowed yourself to be surrounded by other sad people. I’m sorry, but I won’t help you, you’re not positive enough, goodbye.” Or perhaps having the following comments for the woman who’d been bleeding for twelve years, “That’s a long time to be sick don’t you think? People say you’ve spent all your money trying to get well and now you’re worse. I can’t surround myself with such defeatism – go your way.”  

I guess those of us who find ourselves pressed under the difficulties of life will have to settle for our team captain being the God of the universe.

“In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:17 ESV)

 “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”  (Hebrews 13:5)


Update on my granddaughter: Her parents hope to bring her home from the hospital in the next day or two. She has not regained voluntary movement of her legs but the doctors think, with aggressive physio therapy, there will be improvement.