Making a plan, keeping the schedule, crossing things off the list, sometimes it can seem like days are filled with so much of going from one thing to the next we don’t really have time to think about it.
But do you ever have days when you can feel a whisper or nudging- go open your Bible, or pray about that…but you are so preoccupied with what you are trying to do that you don’t even really notice? God is trying to break in- but you can’t hear Him or see what He’s trying to do because you are too busy getting in your own way?
Well, that’s what happened to me yesterday. I was so preoccupied by certain tasks I was trying to get done, that I didn’t stop to spend time with God- to really put it all down and just sit with Him.
I took some “quiet time” but it was really about 15 minutes of reading a devotional and it was encouraging- but afterwards I still felt unsettled in my spirit- I still needed more- but I pushed those thoughts and feelings away and just continued to work.
Today, this morning, I finally took the time (in part at home, in part at BSF). I stopped and really listened- and He comforted me. He encouraged me- He met me right where I am.
Here are some of the meditations from 2 Corinthians that blessed me so richly today- and I pray that they will encourage and strengthen you as well.
How do we respond to trouble in our lives? Do we run from it, avoid it, ignore it, eat or drink alcohol to numb ourselves from the pain of our circumstances? Or do we embrace it, seek to not just endure our trials but do I enlist?
Enlist means to join the cause- fight the good fight- participate in the battle- go on the offensive- not just slump our shoulders under the burden but take courage- have faith in God and stand firm.
Our troubles, the cracks in our jar- reveal Christ’s glory. See 2 Corinthians 4:1-15.
1 Therefore, since through God’s mercy we have this ministry, we do not lose heart. 2 Rather, we have renounced secret and shameful ways; we do not use deception, nor do we distort the word of God. On the contrary, by setting forth the truth plainly we commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God. 3 And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. 4 The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. 5 For what we preach is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. 6 For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,”made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.
7 But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. 8 We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; 9 persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. 10 We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. 11 For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may also be revealed in our mortal body. 12 So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you.
13 It is written: “I believed; therefore I have spoken.” Since we have that same spirit of faith, we also believe and therefore speak, 14 because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you to himself. 15 All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God.
Trials are opportunities for the light of Christ to shine through our brokenness.
So let us shine, may the light of Jesus light us up- may we have on us the fragrance of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (2 Cor. 2:14-17).