What do we do when life throws us a horrible curve ball and we lose either someone or something that we thought we could not live without? This is one of the most dreaded things we can face other than—possibly–the diagnosis of some fatal illness.
When the reality of what just happened to us finally kicks in, we are at first shocked, then dismayed, filled with fear—an identity crisis sometimes sets in—it`s really tough. The inability to see or understand the final outcome of these situations is a true dilemma that we face and live through in this life. It may be weeks, months, or years before we see the spiritual truths revealed through the pain we suffer in this world. Often times we find that in the end, the pain led to an important lesson, an important new direction, or to something worthwhile in life. That is the message in the story I am about to tell. The story is true and the events were real.
I knew a man who was in an organization for some years that was everything to him. He was a true blue believer in their philosophies and edicts. He would have given his life for their cause and at one point almost did. At the time he joined this group (who shall remain unnamed to protect the innocent) he was not a practicing Christian, he was saved yes, but was not living in Gods will by any stretch. He loved the comradeship and lifestyle of this group and he planned to remain a member until the day he died. He gave up most of the things that would be important to normal people to give his time and energy to this group. He put his family, his children, and his God on the back burner to be a loyal member.
During the course or his association with this group he changed. He became hard, he became someone he was not, and he went against all William Power of the ethical boundaries he had once believed in. For many years his only goal was to be at the top, to be a leader in the organization, and to be a shot caller. He was willing to do or become whatever he must to achieve this goal.
The one reality in life that we all must face is that no matter what group you belong to, if there are people involved, there will be politics, neurotic behavior, jealousy, and deceit–It`s human nature in a fallen world. As a Christian, I have been hurt by Church members–at times–worse than the heathens I used to hang with. This is just life; there is no way around it.
Back to my story: As time went on he began to feel the weight of his sins and he knew he needed to change. At this time in his membership he had become a leader in the organization. He was an officer and he basically controlled about 150-200 members in 7 states. As in all groups, when you’re a leader, there is a target on your back, you have enemies, you have political rivals, and his case was no different. There was a member of the group named Martin who was not well liked yet this man yearned to be a leader, he wanted recognition, he was hungry for power. Our man, we will call him Jake, was his friend and so Jake helped him begin to climb that ladder and share in his success as a regional officer.
Jake was a leader who worked closely (for many years) with the organizations top leadership. Jake had the clout and the ability to convince them that Martin was not who they thought he was. Jake defended him to the leadership and built him up every chance he had to put in a good word for him; eventually they listened and Martin was on his way. After a year or two he was even promoted to a higher office than Jake; Jake was proud of him, he deserved it, and Jake celebrated his victory.
Then it began to happen. In the years prior, Martin was at times very jealous of Jake`s personal success and clout within the group. He even conspired to have Jake thrown out of the organization at one point and damn near succeeded. Jake thought they had worked through all of those issues, especially given he had helped him in his ascent in the leadership hierarchy—he was wrong.
Over the next two years Martin did everything he could to discredit Jake, spread false rumors, and turn the leadership against him. Just like the Devil himself, Martin was a master manipulator of the truth. Satan never tells a lie that does not have a least a small bit of truth in it. His mastery is in telling just enough of the truth to make a lie become the Voices from the Heart truth. This man was just as crafty and wise in his trade. Having said that, the truth was that Jake was no Angel either; he had a past that was littered with violence and ego. At first Martin almost went too far too quickly and the leadership began to question him and his motive. He got smart and realized he should go after his goal one bite, one story, and one lie at a time. Martin realized he could not undermine Jake through the President; Jake was too close to this man, but that he would build his lies up through another important member of the leadership. He knew this member would convince the President that Martin was right. Months later at a called meeting—Jake would figure it all out; however, by then it was too late.
It was at this time that Jake finally turned to the Lord. Jake was due to meet the leadership the next weekend to straighten things out between himself and his rival officer .Jake had tried to make his case to the leadership, he had other members close to him give their stories as well. The other members saw it all, they knew how Martin was behaving when the leadership was not around—none of them knew that the President had turned and was now on Martin`s side. Jake had a bad gut feeling about the meeting. He was not sure why, but he felt he needed Gods help. He went to church for the first time in quite a while; he knelt at the church alter and gave it all to God.
When Jake arrived at the location of the meeting he soon noticed that all the other members and officers were treating him funny, something was different. Jake knew something was up but had no idea what the truth was. Soon, he saw the top officer of the organization—the President–a man he had shown undying loyalty to for over 14 years of his life. He knew that if this man, this officer, treated him in the normal fashion—if he greeted him in the normal way–that everything would turn out ok. The President met him with a hug and a smile.
Jake walked into the meeting. The meeting was held in a garage. The chairs were set in a circle and all the leadership and their security were circled around. Jake was not afraid, he had trained all these guys, he knew them personally, and he did not know what was about to take place. Jake took his normal posture–relaxed, confident the issues at hand would be resolved, and he waited for the President to speak. Jake had a gun in his front pocket. The security guys all knew this was his habit—to carry a 380 in his front pocket, but they never searched him or asked for his gun. He thought this was a good sign.
Read this story in its entirety–get a copy of “Voices from the Heart II”