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by Michael Harbour
All the worlds stage, and all the men and women players: They have their exits and their entrances, says William Shakespeare in As You Like It.
Have you ever considered the problem of pleasure?
Philip Yancey in his reflections on the writings of G. K. Chesterton (entitled Soul Survivor) has helped me to consider the problem of pleasure.
How do you explain all of the overwhelming goodness in the world if there is not a tremendous loving and caring God weaving it all together? Pleasure is a problem for the person who does not believe that God has plans for good.
I wonder if God ever gets tired of making tulips, or daisies, or bluebonnets. Does God ever get tired of making blue? Does God get tired of knitting babies together? Have you considered the goodness of food? Perhaps we would eat less if food were tasteless. Do you think that we would eat, if we had no taste buds? God made eating fun! We love it, right? We are tempted by it. I think we would have eaten for our survival even if God had made us without taste buds, but he didnt. He made food good!
Have you ever asked, Why is sex fun? Would we fail to have children, would we have failed to figure it all out if sex was not fun? But it is enjoyable, a blessing, and sometimes an adventure. Other organisms reproduce just fine in far less joyful ways.
God gave us gifts! How else do we explain the abundance of goodness? For those who refuse to believe in God, how would they answer the problem of pleasure? God is at the center of our existence. God is the answer to the question, Whats going on here?
So, what do we do with all of this goodness?
Wealth is a gift. We choose not to be seduced by it. We treat the gift with joy and with care.
The union of a man and a woman is a great joy, treated as a sacred entrustment.
Power, food, and the earth with all of its wonder are blessings and deposits of Gods great goodness and treated with sacred thanksgiving. God has designed us for joy, for delight, and for adventure. We should not miss the plan. This is whats going on here!
And yes, while there trouble, too, on this stage, we do not have to be afraid. We know the end of the play! We are in the hands of the God who has plans for us, plans for good and plans for our eternal joy! So we can say with confidence, The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can anyone do to me? (Hebrews 13:6). Stand up on that stage with confidence! Place your trust in God. We can have a great life full of Gods blessings as well as a great story with very sweet conclusion.
Author: Michael Harbour
Publication Date: June 21, 2002
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