Tuesday, April 26, 2011

~ "Lovely weather we're having..."

And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. (Rev 21:4)

If you have not read the book of Revelation, my suggestion is that you read it soon. Actually, my suggestion is to read all the books contained in the Bible, And, no, it doesn't tell us when the end will come, only what to expect. I remember my mother witnessing to me when I was all of 17 years old. I remember reading it and looking for some of the "signs" listed within its pages. I could find none. Now I can find many. The horrors of this world will end, but not before they get worse.

My family life was not one of joy and blessings, as you might imagine. It was one of rigorous beliefs and structure. It was, at times, one of punishment and absence. I did know that I was loved, but that didn't mean I got away with anything - as a matter of fact, I was frequently punished for the actions (or inactions) of others who lived in that house. There was no sympathy for sickness or pain and no comfort for the hurts a young woman experiences. There was death and there was abuse and there was no relief.

All those components make me who I am today. Combined, they help me to minister to those around me with an attitude of knowledge -- I KNOW the pain they are in, I've experienced it first hand. Never in my 20's did I think that what I was living through would ever end, nor did I think it would ever be of any use to anyone (not even me). I was wrong. God used all those things to bring me closer to Him and to help me bring Him to others and to comfort them in their sorrows. I would not wish any of it away, simply because it would change who I am.

This verse in Revelation is one of hope. Not just hope for the end of the world, but hope for each of us as we travel the life laid before us. Even in our darkest hour, our most painful experiences, the light of Jesus shines through and touches us. He is there, holding out His hand, asking us to take it and walk with Him. He will open your eyes to the glory that can be experienced in your pain and suffering. He will reward you with joy and happiness and blessings if you follow Him. No, it is not an easy life, as I've said many times, but it is certainly worth it. Coming to the end of your road, the one you have chosen to walk will give you perspective on one thing...Jesus! Where does He fit into your life? Does He have a place in your heart? Can you feel Him comforting you? Do you want to know Him before you meet Him?

Spend what ever time you have left in devotion to Him. Dedicate the rest of your life to His service, even if it's from the confines of your sick bed. Ask Him to hold your hand through what is ahead of you. If you ask for a "cure", don't become bitter if the answer is "no", His purpose for you is greater than your own selfishness. Do not be afraid, but do not hesitate to ask "why". It is not punishment for your sins that He gives you, it is strength for your soul. Have faith, believe and trust in Him. Someday soon, you will no longer suffer, there will be no pain and you will be in the presence of HIM!!! The wages of sin is death. The reward for following is eternal life. Come to know Him now, and like the thief beside Him on the cross, you will be with Him in paradise!