I struggle, at times, to understand God’s ways. I get that I’m not suppose to get that. Still… that doesn’t help ease the pain.
I feel like I am constantly walking uphill… both ways! So where does my hope lie? In Christ. Okay, good. I’ve got that one. But who do I really trust? Of course I trust God but not as completely as I think He would like, and so… I must continue to endure these trials and the pain in this stupid world. I have faith, but my faith isn’t nearly strong enough yet. Certainly not as strong as God understands that it MUST be if I am to accomplish and see all that He needs me to experience and see. AARRGGGHHH!!! (Excuse me while I have my Charlie Brown moment…)
I battle my confidence in God even as I anguish over things I cannot control. It is in prayer, before Him that He illuminates me: In order for my faith to grow stronger it must be put to the test. And when God sees that my faith has weakened – in any area – He immediately goes to work. And that is the depth of His Love for me. He simply does not stand idly by thinking “Well… we covered this… sure hopes he gets it… I’m sure it’ll all work out…” See, that’s how I parent. That is NOT how God parents. He is the ultimate “pro – active” Father. He gets involved, He gets in the middle of our mess, yet… He refuses to clean up what we’ve spilled. When we come into a saving relationship with His son, Jesus, we are ushered into a new family with a new set of values, standards and rules. We enter a family where growth is expected and demanded while value and self – worth are constantly re-enforced. Christ was the propitiation… that means “sacrifice” (I had to look that word up) for our sins. That means He paid the price so that we might be able to enter into this awesome new family. However; once we enter, God immediately begins the process of sanctifying us as members of His family. To be sanctified is to be made Holy, in the image of Christ, in order that we can begin behaving like members of that family are expected to behave. But here’s the interesting thing about sanctification: even after we enter into this new family, God never forces sanctification upon us. 1 Thessalonians says that it is God’s Will that we be sanctified. But the question is… is it my will? I must be willing to be sanctified before God ever begins this process and being willing goes far beyond a desire just to be holy… it is a conscious “choosing” where as I say to my heavenly Father “This is my will, this is what I want, to be made Holy. So do whatever that takes, God, to get me there.” I can’t try to pray more, or read the bible more, or even serve more in the hope of being sanctified. These things alone DO NOT make me Holy! These things are a reflection of my being sanctified by way of becoming more and more like Christ. Sanctification is the process of transformation from sinner to Son. The effect of sanctification IS a genuine desire to pray more, an authentic thirst for God’s written Word and an uncontrollable quest to serve where ever God’s own Spirit directs me.
My faith is tested in part, because THAT is necessary in this process of being sanctified. So that I may trust even in the midst of my tears. I weep knowing that God is firmly by my side and that Christ has already wept so long ago the stings of this life I now feel. He paid the price for my tears and my pain so that my suffering might only last but a moment in eternity. When I think of it like that… these temporary hardships seem much more bearable and…
… I can actually find Joy and gladness here… today. Not for the circumstances of my present but – thanks to the Atonement of Christ my Savior – for the certainty of my eternal future. And through this all, I smile, hoping to see that perhaps my faith tomorrow may be just a bit stronger from the pain and sorrow of today.
I am rendered speechless… for the divine nature of my God whom I firmly trust has revealed just a small fiber of His nature to me today.
And His Goodness is blinding… SAG – October 2010
SAG – October 2010