Sunday, July 31, 2011
~ "Safe and Sound..."
For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. (1 Thes 5:3)
When the end comes, as John reminds us, we will be asleep in our beds, unaware that we've had the last chance to accept Jesus as our Savior, as forgiveness of our sins and thank God for His mercy and grace. We will be awakened by the sound of a trumpet and life as we know it will end. Those of us washed in the blood will be whisked away, never to look back and never again to suffer or be in pain. Those left behind, well, I won't be one of them, so it's not something I have to think about. I will be safe and sound in the arms of Jesus!
While we are here, we are commanded to love, to obey and to honor the plan God lays before us. We very rarely know what that is. We are encouraged to grow our faith to unconditional acceptance of what He brings for us. God's reasoning is often lost on us weak and two-dimensional humans. We cannot see what lies ahead - only what it right in front of us.
Accepting God's will for us is often harder than we'd like. Being a child of God, we are never promised that the road we travel will be easy - only that it will be worth it! Accepting God's will for us can be painful, it can be heartbreaking. Being a child of God, we are promised that we won't get what we deserve, since we deserve nothing anything we receive is a blessing. Accepting God's will for us requires humility. Being a child of God, we know that He will not leave us, nor forsake us - and just because it may not be what we want, it is most definitely what HE wants. He sometimes says "no" - more often than not. He sometimes says "wait" - building patience within us. He sometimes says "yes", and in that "yes" is the continued reliance on what He has in store for us.
We cannot control God, nor can we control the life that awaits us today or tomorrow. When a mother is in labor, the anticipation of the birth is overshadowed by the pain she is in (even with today's technology and medication - there is still pain involved). She pushes and screams in pain and begs that it be over. But until that little person is delivered into the waiting hands of the doctor, she cannot rest, she cannot stop. Once that baby has been born - the pain vanishes and the focus is on that blessing - that miracle that is laid upon her chest...her child!
God's blessings generally follow the most painful times in our lives. We will not see them through the tears we shed on our way there, but we will know, without any doubt, when they have arrived. Don't give up, don't give it! Don't play the "stubborn" card with God - He has a way of humbling the most stubborn of all people. Tell Him you aren't happy with the hand you've been dealt, but don't back away from it. Play it out! You may only have a pair of two's and feel like there is no possible way to win - what you don't know, is the the other fellow holds no cards of any value. Your lowly hand could be the best! Rejoice in what He gives you, for it is what He wants for you right now. Hold tight to your faith and remember the verse in Jeremiah - (29:11) - He knows the plans He has for you - hold tight to that and walk forward, don't bat an eye and don't hesitate. Don't stop rejoicing all the way through and your reward will be great! Cry if you must, but don't despair! Before long, you will be "safe and sound"...