When God Throws a Rock in Your Candy Bag

charlie-brown-1132276_640Don’t you just love Charlie Brown?
His big, old, round head
and his black dot eyes,
his sober approach to the trials of daily life
and his wise but innocent perspective?
Charlie seemed to exist in a dimension
just one degree apart from all the other kids,
separated by an invisible shield
one that kept him from kicking footballs
but also helped him see what others could not.
Remember Charlie Brown on Halloween?
He went trick-or-treating with all of his friends
but when comparing their candy sacks after each house
the other kids would be exclaiming,
I got a popcorn ball!
I got a chocolate bar!
I got gumdrops!
Then Charlie Brown – “I got a rock.”
I could always relate to Charlie Brown.
It’s hard to stand by while others receive exactly what they are requesting
or hoping to find
or need
while you’re the one holding a sack full of rocks.
But sometimes, that’s how life works –
even when we love Jesus.
When disasters strike, there are stories of miracles, people who should have been harmed
but were somehow delivered.
Praise God for that!
But there are also stories of those who fell victim to tragedy, were caught in the crossfire, lost precious loved ones in the storm.
And how hard is it to praise God
when the miracle passed over the one you love
only to land on another?
It’s hard as rock.
Or, perhaps you’ve been working towards a dream
and you know it’s a dream from God
a vision, a goal, a ministry, an art
and you thought you knew where it was going
believed it was blessed,
prayed over,
and you have
poured everything into the endeavor.
But the finish line eludes you
or worse, it seems to be disappearing all together
and you find yourself on the sidelines watching others be called out onto the field, cross the finish line, achieve the dream
while you sit by
holding a bag full of rocks.
How hard is that?
Hard as rock.
But, what gift did Charlie Brown give us?
This little cartoon with a soul.
His story made us feel less alone in a crazy world.
His perseverance inspired us to carry on.
His disappointments helped us see that often there is more to life than getting exactly what we want.
Through Charlie Brown, we are drawn to the mystery of grace,
the grace of a God who pours out His love on us
in ways we sometimes miss
while we’re standing at His door
asking for what we want.
And Charlie Brown reminds us that there is a bigger story.
While the other children were busy about their lives,
Charlie stands there
with a sack full of rocks
and moves us to ask the greater questions.
It’s hard to be Charlie Brown.
It’s painful to watch others rejoice or receive
while we stand there
wanting, grieving, lacking, struggling, waiting
and the temptation is to become bitter
or to assume we’ve been rejected
or that we are unseen
when really, God has simply written us a role
that moves us – and others –
to ask the greater questions.
It’s a role that is hard as rock.
But Jesus was the first rock – the cornerstone – and on Peter the rock, Christ built His church,
and we are all living stones.
So we are not alone.
Did you get a rock?
I know it’s hard –
but take it to Jesus
who has held that same rock
and praise God, Charlie Brown, praise God.

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    The Conversation

  1. Donnalynn Davis says:

    Sometimes it feels like a boulder…but thanks. I needed a Charlie Brown story. I’m ready to try to kick the football once more.

  2. What a PROFOUND connection: Charlie Brown and me before the throne of Grace – much to ponder today. Thank you.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Thanks… …

  4. tina hunt says:

    Considering making a lovely rock garden…. 🙂

  5. Anonymous says:

    Charlie Brown is my son’s favorite character, this story renews my faith to Jesus..
    Yes, I got a rock in my sack, my son was 23 when he passed away 5 years ago. It is a message for me.
    Thank you Lori.

  6. Anonymous says:

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  7. I really needed this today. Five months after radiation, six after chemo I still feel weak and tired. I’m thankful for my life but so frustrated I found myself weeping today. Sorry. But as usual your thoughtful words brought hope. Thank you.