Oh my goodness how I have missed you my friends! It was a very interesting week, was it not? I think we had more technical glitches last week than ever before. There were several points where I said, “It would be so much easier if I were just posting myself.” But that’s not what God told me to do. He said to have other’s post for me.” And so while it was more work, I did it anyway.
At the beginning of this week “off” God posed me with a decision. “You choose. Neither answer is wrong. It’s your life; do you want to be a hobby writer or a career writer?” I chose, “Career writer”. “Then you need to start acting like one.” And for the next hour we went over schedule and borders (crossable and un-crossable). The first and firmest rule was that I had to treat it like a “real job” with office hours, open phone hours and specified times to work on the computer at my desk. But then came the tricky part. Helping those around me see it as a “real job” too. Because it is. My friends aren’t used to me having a schedule where I am unavailable to their phone calls. They’re used to me being able to sit for HOURS and talk. But if this writing thing is a career then I can’t do that like I used to. Because if I want to make money doing this (and I believe I can) then I’ve got to do it. God didn’t put this talent in this body for no reason. I’ve seen too many lives transformed from this pink pen of Grace to slack back and make it a hobby. Plus, honestly, while it would’ve been OK with God if I had chosen writing as a hobby, I think Satan would have been thrilled! This influenced me greatly in my decision.
Satan hates people reading in their Bibles because that’s where they meet Jesus. *Whispered aside* Satan doesn’t like Jesus very much. But more than that, Satan really hates when people have someone to explain that Bible to them. (Acts 8:26-40) He hates when people open themselves up to the Word of God to transform them and make them more like Christ. (Because remember, he hates Christ.) So when someone as bull-headed as me makes up her mind to help people understand the Word of God and bring them closer to God through something as simple as a blog and books. Well, Satan gets downright pissed off. And boy did I see that this week too! But honestly, it didn’t matter to me. You know why? Because I had made a choice to step into Enemy territory and fight a winning battle for as many souls as God will allow me.
The deepest desire of my heart is for YOU to know the love of Christ. I want you to experience how deep and wide, high and long His love for you is. I want you to experience your heart burning with the fire of His presence. I want you to experience the depth of complete transformation that is only possible through the knowledge of the Grace of God. I want you to know what it’s like to hold the hand of the man who can do all things and has promised to never leave you.
Yes. It’s hard to do the will of God sometimes. But it’s worth every second of fighting and hardship. Just imagine meeting someone in heaven you never met on earth and having them embrace you with a hug of gratitude because you unknowingly endured that hardship for the purpose of their salvation. They will stand there in heaven because you sacrificed just a little bit on earth. Wouldn’t that make it all worth it?
“So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light and momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient (temporary), but the things that are unseen are eternal (permanent).” 2 Corinthians 4:16-18
Yes, it is an affliction. Yes, it is hard and a huge pain. But is the pain permanent? Will it last forever?
Does that pain have a purpose?
What is that purpose?
It is to “prepare you for an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison.”
While the affliction feels heavy at the time. This word from God tells us the Truth. That affliction is light compared to the weight of the glory you will receive from bearing that affliction.
Jesus tells us in Matthew 10:38 “Whoever does not take his cross and follow Me is not worthy of Me.” We each have a cross to carry, financial hardship, death of a loved one, loss of a friendship, cancer, hospitalization, trouble at work, car break downs, lost keys, the list goes on and on. But each of those afflictions, though difficult and cumbersome to carry, are temporary and light.
In the next chapter of Matthew we find Jesus urging His followers to
“Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” (11:29-30)
A yoke is the rabbi’s teaching, this is why in verse 29 He follows “take My yoke upon you” with “and learn from Me”. The teaching of Jesus is as simple as any of them get – LOVE. And in Him alone our souls find true rest. The burden He places on our shoulders is LIGHT. We are called to be His light-bearers, torches of love to a dark and dying world. We are to be an ever-present help to others in times of trouble; Jesus’ hands and feet to the helpless and broken.
Christ carried the heavy cross so that we wouldn’t have to. (We wouldn’t have been able to if we tried anyway.) His lessons for us are easy and His burden upon us is light, it’s our future glory that is heavy.
It’s like Dory from Finding Nemo says, “Just keep swimming, just keep swimming, just keep swimming…”
Just keep swimming my little fish, this temporary affliction will pass and all that will be left is your reward. “An eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison”.