Sunday, April 12, 2015

Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord. For me to write the same things to you is not tedious, but for you it is safe. (Philippians 3:1 NKJV)

I often say that I know we aren’t finished until the moment we step through the veil of time into eternity, but ...

We really aren’t finished yet.

Sometimes I’m weary just of the sameness of life. Dishes, laundry, getting up, going to work, come home, eat dinner, bedtime, just to do it all over again. That’s the stuff of everyday life.

I write repeatedly of grace, finding strength in God, of renewing our trust in Him ... that too is the stuff of everyday life.

And really, what else is there, but to continually turn ourselves back to the glory of God? Do we ever tire of admiring beauty? Should we tire of it? Just because there was a sunset yesterday, do we not stop to look at today’s, and marvel over the play of light and color?

Paul makes it clear that we aren’t here just to endure the everyday grind of life. That even when things are tough, or beyond so—even when a situation seems impossible, and our soul and spirit cries out for the release of our homegoing—God has a specific purpose in our remaining here. And although our own refining and spiritual growth is part of that purpose, it may not be the only one.

Sometimes, it’s because those around us still need us.

Part of me flinches at that. I’m not one who thrives upon being needed—as a mother of many I battle an almost constant, low-level resentment against the demands on my time and energy. Nurturing doesn’t come naturally to me, either. But when I let go ... stop thinking of it as myself meeting a need but the Lord meeting needs through me, it becomes peaceful, even joyful ... almost easy.

Paul seemed to have a pretty good grip on that concept. Me, I’m still learning. How to say the words of encouragement that God is leading me to, in the moment. That praying for others is so much more satisfying than praying for myself. Oh, I know in my head that it’s more blessed to give than receive, but in those moments—days, weeks, months—that God is calling me to push through my own pain, weakness, and need to be there for another, it can feel near impossible. Like, of course God couldn’t let life be simple, at least not for very long, without one more wave of drama to come along and upset my equilibrium.

And yet, when I remind myself that He is God—that He holds every single detail and has a purpose even in what seems too hard to bear—I can feel the peace. I can rest in knowing He’s got it all figured out, even as He seems to delight in keeping us guessing.

In the moments where He must somehow be enough ... He always is.

But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us. We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed— 10 always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body. 11 For we who live are always delivered to death for Jesus’ sake, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. 12 So then death is working in us, but life in you. (2 Corinthians 4, NKJV)


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