Sunday, February 26, 2006

Sanctified by glory and fire...

That's a line of one of the songs Chad led us in during the music today at church. I'm seeing it all around me in the lives of my friends as well as in my own life. For me, the question "why?" is almost pointless. You're never guaranteed and certainly not owed an answer. So minus the emotional release that might follow, it doesn't accomplish anything to ask the question. Our friend Job did. And God let him go on with it until about chapters 39 through about 42 ( I don't have a Bible in front of me, so please don't make nasty comments if I'm off by a couple of chapters). However, God finally answers him. And it's probably not what Job was hoping to hear. He didn't technically get an answer but instead received a staunch questioning pointing to the fact that God is God and man is not. You'd think by our generation we'd have this concept nailed. We all know that's not the case.

But back to the original topic of refinement. It's priceless. I didn't say inexpensive, but priceless. It costs everything. And as a Christian who's been walking long at all, you know you don't really have a choice. When you're honest with yourself, you know there's NOTHING ELSE worth living for. We've all tried our tastes with this and that, but it doesn't satisfy. So we're left with surviving the trials. But there's a jewel to be found...

My dear friend Moses Caesar (check out his book at www.mosesbook.com) challenged me when I was going through a rough time to look at times like these as an opportunity to experience God in a way never done before. When you are at your most vulnerable point, you are broken just enough to let God hold you like He never has. Instead of squirming for a way out, the peace comes in resting with the discomfort. Does that make sense? You find comfort in knowing you're being held, God's love and concern for you hasn't changed, and you're just as close to His heart as you've ever been. Check Deut. 33:12. It talks about the one the Lord loves resting between His shoulders. How sweet is that? Knowing we can lay our heads on His chest and REST there.

The verses Moses pointed me towards in this time were in Psalm 131, where the writer is broken. He compares himself to a weaned child. The significance comes in understanding that a weaned child can (1) recognize his need, (2) make his need known to the one that can do something about his need, but (3) he CANNOT do anything about his need himself. This is exactly how we are in life many times. So we rest in God, trusting His truths about His unchanging love for us (John 3:16, Rom. 5:8, Heb. 13:8), His plans for us (Jer. 29:11, Rom. 8:28, Ps. 139:16), and His eternal victory (John 16:33, Rom. 11:36).

Be strong, take heart, my brothers and sisters, for He has overcome the world, and we are joint heirs with Him!

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

I just wanted to thank you for putting that out there. The confirmation in scripture is so satisfying. Now that I have dealt with the emotion of my "persecution", I have reached the point in which I am thankful that God meets us in the middle of the fiery furnace. I am actually thankful for the trials I am going through... what growth has occured! Praise God!!
Meg

Anna said...

Thank you for sharing that.

Daron said...

Moses Caesar actually just spoke in chapel today, and I loved it! He talked about dealing with pain and surrendering everything to God: Something I have definitely been struggling with. Then I read this, and I get the same message! God is glorious. I love you!

Meredith said...

That's great! Moses told me the same Psalms a few years ago. And I've never forgotten it! It's good to be reminded that when I can't change things I can rest in the fact that He's God and in control. And that He knows my needs. :)

Alissa said...

oh my goodness! i am so psyched about Job right now! After our spring break in 2 weeks, my English class is studying the book of Job--in a public high school! I've started studying it, and it is awesome, of course! but thanks so much for sharing that!!! see you tomorrow, if you're going to d-now!

Brooke Oftedahl said...

Thanks so much for sharing that Lauren! It was all just what i needed to hear!