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Live Like You Are the Luckiest Person in the World.
In one of my classes, my Scripture professor explained that the Bible was meant to teach, convince, and inspire us to stand with God no matter how hard it got. In the 1970s, his only son, who had just turned six, was hit by a car on his way home from school and killed instantly. Three months later, he was denied tenure at the university where he had taught for seven years. In a short period of time, his whole world was turned upside down. He exercised his only option. He stood with God. He said he was glad he did because God always comes and brings his blessings.
When the Israelites were defeated, when Jerusalem was destroyed, and when they were exiled and placed in a concentration camp, the Babylonians taunted them. “Looks like your god really likes you.” They invited the Israelites to join them in worshiping their gods. “Our gods made us a superpower, we have a great economy, everyone has plenty of food, and we have lots of riches and wealth. Come and join us.” Yet, the Israelites stood with God. Eventually, God appeared and brought them back to Jerusalem, and they became one of the greatest nations in the ancient world.
When Job’s three girls and seven boys were tragically killed, when his house collapsed, when 15,000 animals comprising his livestock perished in a fire, and when sores broke out over his body, it is said that he sat on a pile of cow manure because that is how he felt about his life. His wife came and taunted him. “It looks like God likes you. Maybe you should curse God and die.” But Job stood with his God. And one day, God came to Job to see if he wanted to see a few nice things. So God took Job on a virtual tour of the universe. He said to Job, “Did you ever see a deer give birth. Let me show you the stars in the other side of the universe. Take a look and the colors that I use for my sunset tonight. It snowed last night and so you have to take a look at the Himalayas in the morning sun. Want to know how many gallon of water it takes to fill an ocean?” Job was in a state of awe. In the end, he was restored to his former wealth and prosperity.
One day, I picked up my friend, Jack, who had called and had asked if I wanted to flyfish with him that evening. I picked him up, and we drove to the ocean. We got out of the car, and Jack looked out for any signs of fish. When I was standing there, he said to me, “Peter, I am the richest man in the world.” I thought to myself, “What the heck is talking about? He doesn’t have a penny in his pocket. I had to buy him lunch. He has fourth-stage lung cancer, and he lost all his hair due to chemotherapy. The doctors gave him six months to live.” But Jack was not thinking about all of that. He was enjoying the cobalt blue sky and the warmth of the sun. He was going fly fishing, his favorite activity, with his friend, who had just bought him lunch. He was enjoying one blessing after another.
No matter what happens or how hard a day you had, you stand with the Lord, and you will be glad you did. And at the end of the day, you will be saying the same thing: “I am the richest person in the world.”Back to All Homilies