My friend, may I ask you a question? When God has His dealings with us, might they include hardship? If so, does that hardship always result in what we think it will be? Ultimately, is it ever a hardship to do the will of God? Or, as the Scriptures states, is it a constant delight?
My friend, Life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I'm Mark Brunner.
When I was a little boy it was so hard to follow the no-peek rule that my mother and father had put into place regarding Christmas gifts. Naturally, curiosity and excitement held me in their grasp during those few weeks prior to Christmas and it was nearly impossible not to peek around the house in search of what my parents might have hidden away until Christmas Eve. But, the no-peek rule was always in force. The rule was (and we all agreed to it) that if we couldn’t help ourselves from peeking, then whatever we had wished for Christmas would not be ours. It was both a threat and a promise. If you were intent on peeking, my parents were just as intent on not buying. First they wanted our will before they were willing to grant our wish.
Here’s a story: There was a celebrated bishop of the Church of England, who had been passing through a deep spiritual experience, reached the place where he was willing to surrender everything to God, except his special care and devotion to his wife, who was an invalid. He was quite sure if he should yield up his will that God might call him to go to some foreign land to preach the gospel, and this he felt he could not do, because of the condition of his wife. But at last he was able to overcome his own will, and take his hands off from everything, even the control of her own life. He told his wife and she agreed that this was best for both. In the nighttime she was taken very much worse, and before the morning came she was dead. That same night the old bishop too had suddenly been summoned into the presence of God, although apparently there had been no warning of his sickness. Now in eternity together--different plan, same outcome. (J. Wilbur Chapan, “Present Day Parables.”)
How like God this is -- he did not want them to be separated from each other, but he did want their wills, and so when they had yielded them, he would not permit them to be separated even in death. God is like this always in his dealings with us. It’s not a hardship to do the will of God. On the contrary, as the Scriptures states, it is a constant delight.
We pray. Dear God, even the strongest Christian among us, when confronted with dealing with hardships that we anticipate as unpleasant, is likely to balk, to think about turning away or finding a better pathway around the future that You might be calling us into. Lord, we are weak and often lose sight of the fact that despite our weaknesses, You always stand strong and stalwart. Forgive us Father when we hesitate and, even worse, walk away from Your will. Touch our hearts and minds with Your reassuring Spirit to remind us that we are fashioned as Christians to walk many paths, some of which are steeper, others that demonstrate outcomes we most assuredly know will likely end in discomfort or worse. We praise You O Lord that obedience to Your will is a constant delight, a pleasure that if not reaped here on earth will most certainly be reaped in heaven. In Jesus Name! Amen.
Therefore my friend, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry for itself; each day has enough trouble of its own. (Matt 6:34) This Passing Day. May this passing day honor our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and be a blessing to you and everyone you meet. Find a stranger and say hello. Don't let another day pass without your day blessing someone else.
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<firstname.lastname@example.org> From Beech Springs, God bless you for Jesus sake.