Band of brothers

I've never been in the military, but after watching some of the modern war movies, I can only imagine the intense support soldiers have through some of the most challenging times life can offer.  To think you're whole life depends on the soldier to your right or to your left is something that can't be re-created in most of our worlds.  But I'm here to tell you, I'm experiencing the next best thing.

Since we moved out to Durango, I've met some incredible men.  Men who are willing to stand together in the face of family struggle, economic turmoil, and real spiritual battle.

Last night I was with three of those men who were discussing the issues going on in life.  The conversation was real, honest, and full of vulnerability.  So much so, that at one point I was sitting in our group wondering how in the world I came across such valiant friends. 

The topic last night…"Is God still God?"

It wasn't a weird pseudo spiritual question.  Rather; it was a real honest question on the table.  Is God still God when things go good as well as when things go bad? 

We have this strange idea that God is in the middle of our circumstances, only when things are looking up.  And then when circumstances change, we wonder if God has turned His back or if He's still interested in what we're doing. 

Fueled by the modern day thought God can only be seen in Big Churches with lots of people, or Big businesses surviving this economy inexplicably; the guys last night were struggling through real issues wondering if God is still in the business of blessing them.  In other words, is the identity of a man's blessing wrapped up in his circumstances. 

Well, it didn't take long for us to peruse the Bible a bit and see characters from the very beginning who wrestled with this idea. 

Adam was given the whole garden, and then kicked out.  Was God still interested in Adam's life post eden?
Noah lost all his friends, his business, and everything he knew to be normal after the flood.  Was God being silent in Noah's life?
Abraham traveled as a gypsy and even gave his wife to Pharaoh.  Did God remove His mercy from Abraham?

David was being chased by the King.
Joseph was in prison for a LONG TIME.
Moses wandered through the wilderness for 40 years.  (that's a LONG TIME)
Jacob wrestled with God.
Isaiah was scoffed at by the people.
Jeremiah went through long periods of silence.
Paul was stoned for the message he spread.
The Apostles were all martyred for their faith.
And Jesus was ushered to Gethsemane to die. 

Was God just silent?  Or is our view of God's moving correlated to our western ideas of growth and expansion?  Are we really reliant on God's healing to prove that He is still real?

I saw this video this morning, and it brought tears to my eyes.  How weak our faith is compared to this young man.  I'm confident if you watch it, it will change your paradigm of God's resilience in the world today. 

I guess my point is this, God is still God in the good times of growth and in the economic hardships going on around the country.  God is still God through physical pain, and healing.  God is still God through family hardships and times of celebration.  Don't be discouraged.  God is Still God. 



  1. Dear Mr. Braner,
    Thank you for this post. Indeed God is still God… even when I doubt that He is.
    I was directed to this blog by a mutual friend. Perhaps he was one of the men you sat with last night.
    Currently I am working alongside a group of men struggling with addiction. I find the soldiers-at-war metaphor extremely apt in our mutual struggles. The great thing is that we have a Commander Who will leave no man behind.
    There is a rather old deception held to be truth that the man who enjoys material blessings must have God’s favor; its corollary is that the man who suffers does not stand in God’s favor. It is a pervasive lie that secularism has translated into value and meaning: if you’re successful, you’re of more value and are a better, fitter human — even an archetypal human. Sad, really, that we do not see the powerful blessings that are often inherent in suffering; that we do not know that God has not one whit abandoned the downtrodden and the embarrassing. He’s a God intimately familiar with our pains: He is, after all, the God so strong He can be completely impotent and still be God.
    Peace to you, and God bless you richly.

  2. What an awesome testimony and attitude of gratitude! Many will be blessed by what you have written and the seeds planted through your article.
    God is in the details just as sure as He is the author of the big picture. We may not always see His hand on our lives, but He never forgets about us.
    Skype: lynnibug

  3. WELL every thing has bad situation& somethig’ positive & astop clock is correct atwice aday…….think &lead ur lyf.

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