We get there by going there
Dr. Seuss reminds us, "Don't cry because it's over. Smile because it happened." So many times, we focus on the 'end' of things and forget all that happened in between the beginning and the end - the 'going through' part. We get through something, look back a bit, celebrate or mourn, depending on the occurrence, and then we commit to our memories something from that experience. It won't be the full details, but we will latch onto some part of it as the memory we will keep. If it was a happy occasion, we may not have wanted it to end. If it was just the opposite, we are probably grateful to have it over once and for all. Either way, it isn't the end that made the difference for us - it was the 'going through' that did.
If with heart and soul you’re doing good, do you think you can be stopped? Even if you suffer for it, you’re still better off. Don’t give the opposition a second thought. Through thick and thin, keep your hearts at attention, in adoration before Christ, your Master. Be ready to speak up and tell anyone who asks why you’re living the way you are, and always with the utmost courtesy. Keep a clear conscience before God so that when people throw mud at you, none of it will stick. They’ll end up realizing that they’re the ones who need a bath. It’s better to suffer for doing good, if that’s what God wants, than to be punished for doing bad. That’s what Christ did definitively: suffered because of others’ sins, the Righteous One for the unrighteous ones. He went through it all—was put to death and then made alive—to bring us to God. (I Peter 3:13-18)
Do you think you can stop what you are going through? You might be able to devise an escape, but in the end, you will likely face something quite similar again. We can celebrate the toughest of things all because we 'go through' them with Christ. We 'get through' with attentive hearts, not side-tracked minds. We celebrate the beginning, middle, and end because we kept Chris central in it all. We were vigilant, determined, and obedient. We continually allowed the cleansing of our hearts, ordering of our thoughts, and balancing of our emotions - and we got through. Christ already went through it all - came out the other side of that tomb - celebrated the victory.
We know life will not always be easy, but we can always find something good in the worst of circumstances when we have made Christ our focus through it all. How do we keep Christ first when the times we are facing are less than 'celebratory'? It requires a very 'conscious' effort on our part to remove our focus from what we are 'going through' and to place it squarely on his having 'gone through' it all for us already. When the emotions want to drift into dread, doubt, or distrust - ADORE him. When the mind wants to constantly rehearse the difficulties - ADORE him. When the spirit grows weary and the body weakens with each new day - ADORE him.
ADORE him - delight in him; celebrate his goodness; relish his grace. ADORE him - treasure his guidance, honor him by using the wisdom he brings, and revere his truth. ADORE him - center your thoughts on his love, open your arms to his embrace, and settle into his peace. The way we 'get through' is by 'going through' WITH him - worshiping (adoring) him each step of the way. It may not look like we are ever going to make it, but by trusting in his grace, we shall. Just sayin!