As I was seeking God this morning for some refuge, strength and answers, He reminded me that He is the "Risen Lord," who shines upon me always. I worship a living Deity, not some idolatrous, man-made image made of wood, stone or some other form of metal. My relationship with him is meant to be vibrant and challenging, as I allow him to invade more and more territory in my life, He reminded me that I need not fear change, for He is making me a new creation, with old things passing away and new things continually on the horizon. If I cling to the old ways the old paths, I am actually resisting His work within me. God wants us to embrace all that He is doing in our lives, so that we do not be come stagnant. He wants us to find security in Him alone.
There are so many questions that I want answers to, but He reminds me that someday I will see him face to face in glory. And all my questions will be answered. I must trust that He continues to work everything out for my good. The good is working for my good, and the bad is working for my good. He reminds me that He is training me in the ways of His Kingdom: to be made new in the attitude of my mind; to put on the new self, created to be like Him.
Becoming like God does not erase who we are. On the contrary, the more we become like God, the more we develop into the unique individuals He designs us to be. And since we are a part of His royal family, since we have been blood brought by the Blood of the Lamb, we are not Immune to suffering! If we are to share in his glory, we must share in His suffering. We don't have to search very far to find suffering, devastation, sorrow and despair. Somehow it makes its way to each and every one of us.
I have been feeling the pangs of suffering, death and sorrow from several friends and family who have experienced death of their loved ones in the past week.. It can be debilitating! As a minister of the gospel, I have to remember that It is okay to empathize and sympathize with the bereaved family members. In fact, I have shared in the suffering of others and they know my story. It makes it easier to relate to them. But I also was taught something in my Pastoral Counseling Class: "Be careful not to get into the boat with the afflicted." That phrase came back to me this morning. And I am glad that it did, because, I got in the "Boat!" And the "Boat" had me reeling and rocking. In the state that I found myself in, I would be vulnerable and not of any help to anyone in trouble.
Therefore I had to pray and ask God for help, wisdom, and understanding. I worshipped and got into the presence of God. He performed surgery on my mind and on my heart. I feel relieved and so much better.
When adversity comes your way, search for the Lord in the midst of your struggles. Ask God to help you suffer well, in a manner worthy of royalty. Everything you and I endure can help us become more like Him. Remember the ultimate goal: You will see His face in righteousness-and be satisfied!
BELOVED, NOW WE ARE CHILDREN OF GOD; AND IT HAS NOT YET BEEN REVEALED WHAT WE SHALL BE, BUT WE KNOW THAT WHEN HE IS REVEALED, WE SHALL BE LIKE HIM, FOR WE SHALL SEE HIM AS HE IS. 1 JOHN 3:2 (NKJV)