My friend, may I ask you a question? When we determine that it is not our burden to suffer but rather our privilege to do so for the sake of Jesus Christ, is there an affliction that can match our ability to grow in grace and obedience beyond it? Is it possible that in affliction a Christian is able to overshadow the pain and the suffering because Christ is in us and He is bigger than life?
My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner.
Most of the time the things that afflict us in this life are pretty static. There’s that aching pain in our knee or the boss who bugs us and we just can’t seem to overcome the resentment. But then there’s the larger afflictions, the ones that are really unjust. They grow with time and become great burdens. It’s hard to deflect these because they seem so insurmountable, so unjust. What is God’s will for us in times of these major afflictions?
The little things can be endured. But, the big things, those major surgeries or the loss of a loved one, really push the lim- its of our ability to endure. How does God want us to react to the really big, unfair things in life?
Here’s a story. In 1924, two climbers were part of an expedition that set out to conquer Mount Everest. As far as is known, they never reached the summit; and they never returned. Somewhere on that gigantic mountain they were overpowered by the elements and died. After the failure of the expedition, the rest of the party returned home. Addressing a meeting in London, one of those who returned described the ill-fated adventure. He then turned to a huge photograph of Mount Everest, mounted on the wall behind him. “Everest,” he cried, “we tried to conquer you once, but you overpowered us. We tried to conquer you a second time, but again you were too much for us. But, Everest, I want you to know that we are going to conquer you, for you can’t grow any bigger, and we can!” (Gene Getz, Doing Your Part, Regal, 1984, pp. 152-3.)
When you think about it, the big afflictions, those that catch us unaware and seem so unjust because we really don’t feel we earned the pain and the suffering, don’t get any bigger over time. Even the loss of life can’t grow bigger than the lim- its God has set upon it. Every problem in life, even the ones as big as Mount Everest, has its limits. They have been so set by a just and merciful God. When we determine that it is not our burden to suffer but rather our privilege to do so for the sake of Jesus Christ, there is no affliction that can match our ability to grow in grace and obedience beyond it. In affliction a Christian overshadows the pain and the suffering because Christ is in us and He is bigger than life.
We pray. Heavenly Father, life continually presents us with challenges that, in time, can easily cause us to shrink back, even turn around and put challenges in the rearview mirror. We have tolerances for pain and suffering that speak loudly to us and it is so difficult ignore these. Forgive us Father when we aren’t willing to keep overcoming, keep trying even beyond what we feel we can tolerate. Strengthen us and build us up to help us not only cope but rise above our challenges, both physical and emotional. Make us conquerors in Christ who just don’t know what it means to quit. In Jesus name we pray. 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.