Happy New Year!

God may do a new thing and can we follow it? Maybe the lesson of the last 20 years ended and now we move on. Maybe, like Moses it has been 40 years. Can we flex? Let me tell you why we don’t really want to but nevertheless are able.

I came to some conclusions while watching a video of a quadriplegic who loved God so much that every day just brought more desire for His presence. I sadly realized, watching, that what little suffering my life consisted of did the same, however, it didn’t really give me a desire for more of the suffering. I really don’t want to suffer anymore even though it did lead me closer to my Savior —this, a rude awakening.

So, in suffering, two things may eventuate; one, we grow tired of the adversity; two, we accumulate great discipline for a life-style of pain, regardless. Point being, we thank God for training us in the perilous times and adding to us; we still wish, though, the “punishings” would end.

Now, what if God decided to end the pain and take us into a time of health and prosperity? Well, I am leery. There is a side of me that really wishes it could “be for real.” I may pose the question “what is it going to mean to my discipline, after all, I gained it on un-compliant terms?” “I never asked for the groveling, the wrenchings, the pits, but I learned it. I learned how to quiet myself and listen in it and manage it.” “It is an enormous accomplishment for me; a great asset.”

When Job had his ordeal, we cannot tell if he really learned it all the way. We see a lot of complaining which gave way to a prosperous season eventually. Nevertheless, his trial compared to none other in its severity.

Moses, David, and the Nation of Israel all experienced long periods of a certain life mode, only to be interrupted and transplanted abruptly. The transitions in themselves, were tough. But in each case previously enforced disciplines, though very diverse, proved of ultimate value. See, we may not want to budge, but if we must, we are better prepared for it now.

Folks, the character building season of the last several days, months, years etc. produced a courage for the transition itself. Through our experiences, hopefully, we have learned to remove a lot of fear, anxiety, anger and moodiness. It has produced in us more than toughness but also flexibility.

How has this happened? Jesus Christ has become our secret. We have learned to lose our life to find His. We have undertaken to magnify His destiny in place of our own. We have found His life, presence, and direction to be secure. In exchanging ours for His, our finite world of need-motivation, instinctual behavior, and knee-jerk reaction ended. Frankly, our seasonal endings, transitions, hills and valleys, and relationship fluctuations have all been neutralized by the adopting of the sure and steady safety of His net.

This, this, “cross” in the true sense; becoming dead indeed to my restricting mental-habits, my confining rules and self-regulations, and my overt propensity to “fit in” has released me. My reaction to life has moved far away, my caring about “me” diminished, my conscience condemning ceased. I am alive unto God.

So lets conclude; does God know what He is doing? Yes He does. We needn’t be afraid of whatever will come, because we will absorb its blow from our safety home. Jesus has provided all of the insulation, separation, and protection. Thank you Lord! 

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