Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Last week . . .

This is the last week of school!
Lauren told me she cannot believe she has one year left before she is out of highschool. She can't believe it - how about we can't believe it! "As any parent knows, the time just goes" (watch it Rev. Jessie). One day they can't even hold up their own head - and the next day they are heading off to College.

The test Monday was "okay". It took longer than they expected since the Barium (the juice of the gods - the chaulk gods!) was not moving as fast as they would have liked it to. It did eventually get to where it was supposed to. The part I liked the best was no needles!!!

I wanted to finish up the "pain is such a pain" subject before I get lazy and move on to something else...

Could this be why so many people, whether they would be considered Christian or not, are drawn to and touched by the sufferings of Christ? I think the fact of His innocence, non-violent ways and history of good works (healing diseases and restoring people’s lives, etc.) coupled with the extent and manner in which He was murdered makes people aware of injustice at a new level. Not only injustice, but we also become aware of our capacity (the capacity of the human heart) to imagine and to do horrendous and unspeakable things to each other.
Now had Christ been a murderer, rapist, child molester - and on top of all of that just a downright mean guy – we would have felt little in the area of compassion. However, we would have felt justified in saying that he ‘deserved’ the punishment he received.
1 Peter 2:19

19 For it is commendable if a man bears up under
the pain of unjust suffering because he is conscious of God.

Could it be that my new ‘purpose’ is to encourage those who are going through similar circumstances? I am certainly not the only one who has walked the road of cancer and cancer treatments. Many suffer the ravages of diseases other than cancer and have a life story of their own.
Suffering many times involves endurance. Some parts of life simply have to be endured – they will not be fun – like when you have to discipline your children. They think they are the only one suffering here when in fact they have the easier part of not having to make a decision other than “not to do it again”. Many times a work day can be so difficult as to cause you to quote scripture or other ancient (or not so ancient) axioms like “keep your nose to the grind stone”, “grin and bare it” or how about the under the breath threat, “they are lucky I have a family to feed or I would have been out of here a long time ago”. These statements are kind of funny but also kind of true.

Running even deeper still, is the ‘enduring’ power of love. Not only to be interpreted as the fact that true, Godly love lasts, but that it is also willing (and able) to go through all manner of things on behalf of the one loved. I Corinthians 13 is the love chapter. It describes love as, “patient, kind, not insisting on it’s own rights or getting it’s own way for it is not self seeking; it takes no account of the evil done to it – it pays no attention to a suffered wrong. Love bears up under anything and everything that comes its way.” Only God Himself could fulfill such an exacting list, but He does tell us to be like Him, right? And He (Jesus) said He would send the Holy Spirit to help us and guide us. So, we can learn to love and grow in love – love for God and for each other. It takes time and energy and mistakes will be made, since we are made ‘from dust’, but God understands our frame. And the neat thing is, He loves us in spite of it.

Scripture says that Jesus learned from the things He suffered.
Hebrews 5:8 8

"Although he was a son, he learned
obedience from what he suffered."

and also

1 Peter 2:21
To this you were called, because Christ
suffered for you, leaving you an example,
that you should follow in his steps.
No matter our age or status in life, we all have room to grow and a lot to learn. The key is to not give up and to keep learing and growing, "following in His steps" - this is all just a big test. Let's make an "A+ 100"!
God be with you. George

1 comment:

Will said...

Over and over we see the shouts of praise, "Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; His love endures forever." This was done at the dedication of the temple that bore the Lord's Name.

I had always thought of "endures" as lasting. God's love lasts forever. But lately (in line with what you've written) I see another side. God named Jacob, Israel, which means struggles with God. God's people bore that name, struggles with God. But regardless of how much they struggled against and resisted God, His love endured the insult. It experienced and overcame all opposition. And it will do that forever! Praise God!

God's love is still "self-less". He is still willing to give. Totally mind-boggling!