Skip to main content

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!


Popular posts from this blog

What did obedience cost Mary and Joseph?

As we have looked at the birth of Christ, we have considered the fact he was born of a virgin, with an earthly father so willing to honor God with his life that he married a woman who was already pregnant.  In that day and time, a very taboo thing.  We also saw how the mother of Christ was chosen by God and given the dramatic news that she would carry the Son of God.  Imagine her awe, but also see her tremendous amount of fear as she would have received this announcement, knowing all she knew about the time in which she lived about how a woman out of wedlock showing up pregnant would be treated.  We also explored the lowly birth of Jesus in a stable of sorts, surrounded by animals, visited by shepherds, and then honored by magi from afar.  The announcement of his birth was by angels - start to finish.  Mary heard from an angel (a messenger from God), while Joseph was set at ease by a messenger from God on another occasion - assuring him the thing he was about to do in marrying Mary wa

A brilliant display indeed

Love from the center of who you are ; don’t fake it. Run for dear life from evil; hold on for dear life to good. Be good friends who love deeply ; practice playing second fiddle. Don’t burn out; keep yourselves fueled and aflame. Be alert servants of the Master, cheerfully expectant. Don’t quit in hard times; pray all the harder. (Romans 12:9-12) Integrity and Intensity don't seem to fit together all that well, but they are uniquely interwoven traits which actually complement each other. "Love from the center of who you are; don't fake it." God asks for us to have some intensity (fervor) in how we love (from the center of who we are), but he also expects us to have integrity in our love as he asks us to be real in our love (don't fake it). They are indeed integral to each other. At first, we may only think of integrity as honesty - some adherence to a moral code within. I believe there is a little more to integrity than meets the eye. In the most literal sense,

Do me a favor

If you’ve gotten anything at all out of following Christ, if his love has made any difference in your life, if being in a community of the Spirit means anything to you, if you have a heart, if you care—then do me a favor: Agree with each other, love each other, be deep-spirited friends. Don’t push your way to the front; don’t sweet-talk your way to the top. Put yourself aside, and help others get ahead. Don’t be obsessed with getting your own advantage. Forget yourselves long enough to lend a helping hand. (Philippians 2:1-4) Has God's love made ANY difference in your life? What is that difference? Most of us will likely say that our lives were changed for the good, while others will say there was a dramatic change. Some left behind lifestyles marked by all manner of outward sin - like drug addiction, alcoholism, prostitution, or even thievery. There are many that will admit the things they left behind were just a bit subtler - what we can call inward sin - things like jealousy,