"The wretched and miserable should turn to their Saviour first, yet they do not hope in Him until all other hope is exhausted." - Alexander Dumas (The Count of Monte Cristo)
I just finished reading the book The Count of Monte Cristoand I recommend it to any readers out there. As always, it has so much more depth to the story than the movie, but this one is even more so than most. There are stories, within the main story, in which almost all characters were taken completely out of the movie. But one of the things I liked most about the book is Dumas' exploration of Edmund Dantes' relationship with God. This relationship is shown to us in such a way that, even though our experiences are dramatically different, we can relate to it in ourselves. The quote above is probably my favorite quote expressing this relationship.
Why is it that we wait until there is no hope, to turn to Christ? There is a saying that there is 'no atheist in a foxhole'. I've never personally been in a foxhole, but I have seen in my life how many people, who reject God when things are going good, cry out to Him when all goes bad. We seem to think that we don't need Him, when we have a good paying job, a happy family, and everyone we know is healthy.
Even when we initially lose our job, we search and search on our own. Maybe we go to the unemployment office, ask our friends and family for help, or go anywhere else we can think of for help. When we are sick we go to the doctor, then another doctor, then a specialist, etc. When we fight with our spouse, or our kids are rebellious, we find a book about it to read, go to a family counsellor, etc. Then finally, when none of that works, we turn to God. God is our last resort. Why is He not our first?
I do not have a problem with utilizing all of these resources. I think God has put doctors, and counselors, and the unemployment office, in place in order to help us. But we should be consulting God first. We should be asking Him for His plan. What job does He want you to have? How does He want to heal you? What steps does He want you to take to fix your family relationships?
Sometimes I wonder if God doesn't occasionally step back just so we can realize how much we need Him. We get to a point where our lives are going so well and we think it is our own doing. We think that we brought success to our lives, and we stop seeking God. All of a sudden our life falls apart and we blame God. Why did you allow this to happen to my hard fought success? Maybe God is just trying to remind us that none of it is ours. He's waiting for us to seek Him again.
God is always merciful. He always gives another chance. But if you stop seeking Him, watch out, because you just took yourself out of His plan! Don't wait until your last resort. Seek Him now! Before you are wretched and miserable!