Early this morning (yeah, 3:00 AM....who sleeps???) I wrote a blog for SparkPeople on my page there and it was a whole rather confused wandering about how to live mindfully in the moment; eager and ready for Heaven...but content to live out the days the Lord allots to me. It didn't come to any great sensible conclusion....but later today a friend left a comment there....and her comment was the end to which my blog should have come. Here is her comment:
Several things came to mind as I read your blog...
...Anyway - your journey of thought on your journey of life... brought these Scriptures to my mind... You've probably already been encouraged by these, but for my sake, I'll list them...
II Corinthians 12:7-10
"And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure. Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me. And He said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness." Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ's sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong."
"I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. 21 For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. 22 If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know! 23 I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far; 24 but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body."
"I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do everything through him who gives me strength."
Father, give Your strength to my sister in Christ today. May she find Your grace be sufficient today. May Your plan and purpose for her today be accomplished. May those who are watching her life and journey be encouraged and see Your hand so evident in her life.
In Jesus' name,
These Scriptures are amongst my favorite Scriptures --kind of all are "life-verses" for me. but something new hit me as I read the second one : Phil 1:20-24 ...There's the idea of shame. This is the second time today I've read in Scripture about being ashamed before God...The other is located in Psalm 34:5
"Those who look to Him for help will be radiant with joy; no shadow of shame will darken their faces."...and the final verse in the chapter is "...no one who takes refuge in him will be condemned."
You know, lately, every time I think of Heaven, I feel so unworthy--and I wonder how He will assess me....Maybe I will have good reason for shame. But the chapter in Psalm 34 really helped to quell that fear. God does not reject those who appeal to him for help or security. If we trust in HIM; then we need never be ashamed or to fear shame. What a reassuring thought! His grace is plenty big for me to hide in. There will be no need for blushing, either before Him or before mankind. There is no fear in the love of God. There is fear of God...a healthy dose of respect....but he will never arbitrarily decide to punish, leave, or condemn us if we decide to hide ourselves in him and seek shelter in his mercy.
Then comes the next idea is this passage... "but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death." ...What does it take to live in such a way that our bodies exalt the name of Christ?
Amen. Isn't that the truth! Do I have the courage it takes? To endure pain and sickness, loneliness and feelings of uselessness? To face the questions I have about what the heck this is all for and what on earth is God's purpose for me here; now? To keep plugging along --day to day...long sleepless nights ....pained empty days. Yes, That all takes courage. When we think of courage we think of things like Dietrich Bonhoeffer facing down the Nazis or Corrie Ten Boom in the concentration camp; etc etc......But my life takes courage too. A quiet daily courage that keeps me from doing something desperate---or stupid. Courage to put others first and my needs last. Courage to keep coming to God--even after bitter failure.
Do I have the courage my future will necessitate? Courage for tomorrow is grown in the Petri dish of today.
And lastly: the point? To exalt God in my body. To endure pain, tiredness, loneliness, isolation...or maybe in your cases: through your busyness, your schedules and careers and families. That's what it's all about ...That and making honorable, righteous choices and to flee things that would NOT be God-honoring, not be Christ-exalting.