This blog deals with issues pertaining to natural dignity and worth that all humanity deserves under the Lordship of Jesus Christ. You will find articles about Life issues pertinent to Christian living and faith.
“Our once great western Christian civilization is dying. If this matters to followers of Jesus Christ, then we must set aside our denominational differences and work together to strengthen the things that remain and reclaim what has been lost. Evangelicals and Catholics must stand together to re-establish that former Christian culture and moral consensus. We have the numbers and the organization but the question is this: Do we have the will to win this present spiritual battle for Jesus Christ against secularism? Will we prayerfully and cooperatively work toward a new Christian spiritual revival ― or will we choose to hunker down in our churches and denominationalisms and watch everything sink into the spiritual and moral abyss of a New Dark Age?” - Mark Davis Pickup
Friday, March 14, 2014
HE IS HERE EVEN IN OUR PAIN
There are opportunities to serve God in every situation in which we might find ourselves. We may have to look for the opportunities but even the most mundane of circumstances can give us
opportunities to serve God or humanity in the Lord’s name. I do not believe there
are any circumstances too small or too big that we are unable to be of service
to the Kingdom of God.
said this about service: “It is not how much we do, but how much love we put in
the doing. It is not how much we give, but how much love we put in the giving.”
It’s how we see the art of serving that makes all the difference.
If you are a police officer, a
fire fighter, a book-keeper or a janitor, remember that God desires that we be peaceful,
safe, and orderly. Give your vocation your best as though you are doing your
job for God, not just a salary. Offer your work to God’s service.
Simple house-work or making
supper for your family can be offered up to God.
When my grandchildren were small we would often go to
a playground. Invariably I encountered a frazzled parent of an energetic
pre-schooler. I would try to strike up a conversation to encourage them. Sometimes
they wanted to “vent” and so I used the occasion to practice my listening skills.
Even in disability
there are many opportunities for service.
They come in the oddest forms and at the oddest times. Even from the limitations
of my electric wheelchair, opportunities for service seem to pop up out of the
blue. I know in my heart they are not random ― God sends me the opportunities
to serve Him by serving people.
Many years ago, I was asked to visit a young man who had a terrible version of the disease I suffer
from: multiple sclerosis. His name was Derek.
Back then, there were no effective drugs to stop or slow the progress of MS. Derek’s
career as an engineer was destroyed just as it was beginning. His wife left him. I found Derek
wheelchair-bound in a dingy apartment. He wanted to die.
Derek allowed me to enter his anguished reality because
common disease gave me entrance into his world. My wheelchair and pain spoke to
his pain.I was able to tell him with
authority: “Derek, we are not alone in this fire. There is Another with us: “Jesus
Christ is here. I feel his presence.” Derek looked at me through blood-shot eyes,
streaming down his cheeks, and he said, “He is? I don’t feel him.” Of
course he didn’t. His shock was too new, his pain and sorrow were too fresh. He
felt deserted by God, but that did not mean his perception was accurate. It’s
impossible to see clearly when vision is blurred by tears.
Derek was a terrified and frantic
man. His wild desperation made him incapable of receiving comfort from the
Comforter. Derek reminded me of a hungry infant so ravenous and upset it will
not accept the bottle of milk at its lips. Derek could not yet be helped because he was too frantic for assistance. Derek
was like a drowning man wildly flailing, clutching, kicking and grabbing ― he
could not be rescued ― at least not in that state.
Derek would not accept God
without divine physical deliverance from multiple sclerosis. He wanted nothing other than his old life
back. He only wanted God on Derek’s terms, not God’s terms. Do you see what Derek’s problem was?
The spiritual stakes of Derek’s
grief were horribly high. With time he would either surrender his predicament to
will of God’s wisdom or he would rebel and become bitter and angry. It was only after Derek’s panic and shock subsided from
acquiring a catastrophic disease and losing his wife and career, that he would have
the opportunity to ask (not demand) “Why?”
It would mark a critical transition point for Derek and every other anguished soul. Only in surrender do we become pliable in the
hands of God. He is the potter, we are the clay. Only in surrender to the will of God can we
discover the reason for which we were created.
Rebellion spawns disdain for the
reason we were
created. At the core of the human soul rests a desire to love
perfectly and to be loved perfectly. But that is only possible through knowing Christ.
Only in Christ are we able to receive perfect love and begin to love perfectly.
This is the reason we were created.
Was Derek ever delivered from
his multiple sclerosis? I don’t know, I did not see him again. Miracles happen.
But by the very nature of miracles, they are rare. That is why they are
Jesus cured one paralytic at the pool of Bethesda. The Gospel account
leaves us to conclude many others were left uncured. More often than not people
need adversity or pain in order to discover their abject need for God.
C.S. Lewis said, “God whispers
in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pain: it is His
megaphone to rouse a deaf world.” Many
of us need to remain uncured of physical affliction in order to be roused to
God’s call for spiritual healing. -- Mark [For bookings for me to speak about a Christian perspective on suffering, write to HumanLifeMatters@shaw.ca] Click below orhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3FrEmqyM4-k
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