"You picked a fine time to leave me Lucille....."
Kenny Rogers sings a song titled, "You picked a fine time to leave me Lucille." I am not a Kenny Rogers fan and I don't know who Lucille is but as I was reading in Galatians this morning this song just popped into my head! I know, I find inspiration in some strange ways, but here it is. In Galatians chapter 3 Paul is trying to reason with the churches in Galatia to not turn to the law and at the same time turn away from their faith and everything he has taught them. Paul couldn't believe that the people were so quick to turn away from the Good News of Christ and start believing something else. He says, "Really there is no other Good News. But some people are confusing you;they want to change the Good News of Christ." (ch.1 v.7) Think of it this way; a cupcake is about 300 calories and no matter what you tell yourself before you eat it, the fact remains that it is still 300 calories. You may say to yourself, "Well, the eggs that were used in the batter are farm fresh, so that is better for me." Or maybe you think, "The frosting on top is made with milk and dairy IS one of the main food groups, right?!" WRONG! No matter how you look at it a cupcake is still a 300 calorie cupcake and the Good News is still the Good News. When we try to twist and tweek something to fit our own needs, wants and conscious, then it is no longer the same. So, where does Lucille fit into all of this? Well, in chapter 4 Paul reminds the people that when he came to them with a terrible sickness and preaching the Good News, they took him in and they had a joy that was unsurmountable, but now as Paul continued to preach the Good News and maybe telling them some things that were a little hard to swallow; where was their faith and joy and their loyalty to him as a messenger of God? Just when Paul needed them, they decided to leave him and seek out a more appealing message and messenger-they picked a "fine time" to leave him! These people, much like todays people, were quick to turn away from the Gospel when it became uncomfortable or too real. I know that when I go to church or I am reading the Bible I would much rather have the feelings of rainbows and sunshine, how about you? The minute we hear that we have to actually practice our faith, we become disenchanted with God. We may look to another church, another preacher or even another religion. Paul said this, "There are people working hard to persuade you, but this is not good for you. They want to persuade you to turn against us and follow only them. It is good for people to show interest in you, but only if their purpose is good. This is always true, not just when I am with you." (ch.4 v.17,18) So, will our lives always be rosy and wonderful? Absolutely not! That doesn't mean that we should doubt Gods love for us. He will be there in the midst of it all. Do not turn your back on the One who is always by your side. His word is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. Although it will not always be what we want to hear, it will always be what we need! He will never leave us and He doesn't want us to ever leave Him. So, the next time you feel like giving up or giving into something because it is what makes you feel better at that moment, think about Paul and maybe Kenny Rogers-because there is never a fine time to leave God. Stay strong, stay faithful and stay by His side.