by David Brenneman
Sometimes we go from place to place with the desire to get to the destination. Sometimes we go from place to place without the desire to get to the destination. Sometimes it feels like we are standing still while the world moves on around us.
Sometimes it's God taking us up out of a rut we have been in. Sometimes it's our choice to stay in a rut we shouldn't be in.
Being His workmanship, as the Bible says that we are in Ephesians 2:10 NASB "For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.", is made more complicated by being an adult versus believing as a child.
As adults we can often display the worst attributes of a child in our lives. We can over think problems. We can be so narrow minded that we don't think beyond our own interests. We can hold onto things and situations like a child with a favorite toy, never wanting to let go.
We can live a life that's not concerned about others or we can indeed be too concerned about others.
We can look to live for the moment or not at all.
We can walk with Jesus or not.
Our perceptions do more to define our lives than we realize. As I had been taught, perception is everything. It's not the truth that matters to people It's what they perceive the truth to be. If someone perceives a cloudy day when others don't see it, then to them, it is.
Many would argue otherwise but He who searches the hearts says that we do. We choose to live Godly lives in Christ Jesus or we choose to live for ourselves. Since the God of all truth said it, then that is what it is.
Some may now exclaim vehemently that they didn't choose the life they have. That it's not their fault. Well, depending on where they are in respect to salvation, yes they did. Obedience to Christ or disobedience is a choice. That key point determines how life turns out in everything. From health to prosperity, to family and friends. To work and play. Being right before God has everything to do with how life is.
But what if you are living as Godly a life as you know how and life still seems difficult? Consider what this passage says: "And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose." Romans 8:28 NASB.
Just because our finite minds can't grasp the why behind life, it doesn't mean we are not going to live difficult lives. In fact...read on. Romans 5:3-5 NASB "And not only this, but we also celebrate in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us."
We often go through rough lives because someone else in the faith isn't strong enough to do so. Sometimes it's exactly as Paul wrote. We are going through things to grow us.
I have sat and contemplated a stone artist. One who makes statues. It's a very delicate work they do. It's very tedious, very time consuming. A better consideration is that in their line of work they are skilled surgeons. One wrong move and a piece either needs rethought or needs started over. Every cut, every tap, every motion made concerning the desired end result must be done with great care.
Jesus, through the Spirit, is such a one with those who have come to Him for salvation. He loved us enough to die for us, loves us enough not to leave us as He found us. He teaches us to put off the old self and it's practices and put on the new in Christ Jesus. We will go through much, on a person by person basis, to become who we are to be in Christ as Romans 12 speaks to in regards to where we are in the body of Christ.
I have sometimes pondered how different my life could have been had I received what I asked for in my prayers. I have often prayed something akin to what Jesus said to His Father about the cup of suffering passing from me rather than drinking it. There will indeed be a time in eternity where I will probably ask Jesus to show me what would have happened if I had been given my will to be done. It probably wouldn't be pretty.
What we go through in this life also could be to prepare us for harder times ahead. It's not that we did or are doing something wrong. Jesus healed a man who had been in need to healing for longer than He had been on Earth physically. The purpose was to display the works of God in him at that time, in that moment.
We also have a mistaken idea of how far we have come in life. That we think that we have learned enough and deserve a rest from further things in life that stretch us. Scripture seems to say that until we arrive at Heaven's door, or the Rapture of the Church, whichever comes first...we will continue to be worked on in Christ Jesus.
Are His workmanship has the connotation that it's ongoing. We may not see progress. We aren't the stone mason. We aren't the one making us more like Christ. He is. Sometimes we go through painful times. As any Doctor can tell you, some physical surgeries are more invasive than others. We will experience the same in becoming more like Christ. Sometimes multiple surgeries add up to a big difference. Same with chiseling stone.
We may be disappointed in our lives. Rather than focusing on that, ask yourself if you think God's happy with how you are living your life. Is your level of obedience where it should be? Are you doing what you should as a Disciple of Jesus? Are you or have you given up on doing more?
What we go through is more than we see or could understand. The Bible says in Proverbs to Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight. You need a physical condition dealt with, you have to trust the Surgeon don't you? What you go through in life requires your trust in Christ Jesus.
Even when it makes absolutely no sense. Especially when it makes absolutely no sense.
Likewise when it seems to make sense, don't get ahead of ourselves. Don't run ahead of God. Been there done that too many times, probably will do it again, never liked the outcome.
Sometimes the best prayers have few to no words. Sometimes the best prayers are simply "Jesus, hold me!". It's so gratifying that the Spirit can interpret our hearts problems to our all knowing God.
I got up early one morning and rushed right into the day. I had so much to accomplish that I didn't have time to pray.
Problems just tumbled about me, and heavier came each task. "Why doesn't God help me?" I wondered. He answered, You didn't ask,"
I wanted to see joy and beauty, but the day toiled on, gray and bleak. I wondered why God didn't show me. He said, "But you didn't seek.:
I tried to come into God's presence. I used all my keys at the lock. God gently and lovingly chided, "My child, you didn't knock."
I woke up early this morning and paused before enter the day. I had so much to accomplish that I had to take time to pray.
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