Experience has great value

Published 9:13 am Wednesday, September 19, 2018

With all that our friends in North Carolina are enduring with Hurricane Florence, many pastors begin to get the “Why did God allow this to happen?” questions.

Oftentimes in life, for some reason, we believe that as followers of Jesus, perhaps we should be exempt from the struggles, strife, tragedies and turmoil of this world. However, if you have lived long enough, you know that no one gets spared adversity from this world in which we live. Adam and Eve made sure of that when they were booted from the garden. Chaos and calamity was once again allowed to be the norms of the day. And so it was, that sin was allowed to set things into motion.

I’d like for us to think about something this week. The value of experience. When you go to the doctor to have heart surgery, do you want to be the doctor’s first live surgery, or would you prefer to have someone who has done it before? When you contract a builder to create your dream home, do you pick the one who just got his licenses or someone who has built many houses before?

My point is that experience is valuable. Experience is important. Most of the time, experience comes through adversity. And if you have experience in a certain area, you know what I’m talking about. Didn’t Jesus leave the disciples struggling against the storm all night? However, in the midst of that very struggle, did he not go to them, even by walking on the water? Perhaps it is through the difficult times we endure, that we gain the experience to help others.

Tough things, bad things, horrible things happen not to just bad people or good people, but to ALL people. From those situations and circumstances, we learn lessons, gain experience, and are more able and willing to love our neighbors as ourselves. God doesn’t do anything to us, other than love us, walk with us, and sometimes carry us. In the midst of our pain, God is there. In the midst of our sorrow, God is there. In the midst of the storms, floods, wind and rain, and power outages, our God who is all powerful, is still there.

Remember the disciples in the storm? They thought Jesus was a ghost, right? But it didn’t make him a ghost, it was still Jesus, right? So even in the midst of our storms and struggles, while we might not recognize or notice his presence, God is still there. Bringing with him, all his eternal experiences. That makes him pretty qualified, I’d say.

Use your experiences from life’s adversities, to love one another, as God in Christ Jesus, has and will, always love you.

Tim Beck is pastor of Kenbridge United Methodist Church. His email address is revtimbeck@gmail.com.