Friday, September 18, 2009

Couldn't There Be Another Way?

God, I know your Word says that if we want to share in your glory, we must also share in your suffering. But couldn't there be another way?

Here is what I read this morning in Joanna Weaver's book, Having a Mary Spirit:

"On that dark Sunday morning two thousand years ago, as Mary Magdalene made her way to the tomb, she never expected to go away running, even dancing with joy. But that is exactly what happened. And that is the underlying truth that makes all our transformations possible--the glorious reality that death (especially death to ourselves!) will always be swallowed up by victory. And the sorrow which once threatened to undo us will be the very thing that makes us proclaim God's glory.

"...Don't miss your moment. Don't miss what God is wanting to do in your life. Right here. Right now. Right in the midst of your frustration, your pain, your everyday realities. 'Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy, to God our savior, who alone is wise, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and forever. Amen.' Jude 24 and 25 (NKJV)'"

God, I know this is true and I know it all too well, but couldn't there be another way for us to be transformed? I know how death can be swallowed up by victory, but I also know how hard that is to grasp when you are eyeball to eyeball with death, or some things that can feel even worse than death.

Father, my friend and her husband have been sitting in a hospital for over a week now, unable to do anything but wait while their only daughter fights for her life. They say it will be months before she is "out of the woods." In fact, life may never be the same for them. My father, couldn't there be another way for transformation to occur in this family? They are a wonderful God-fearing, God-serving family! Is this really necessary? My heart so wishes there were another way, but my head knows the answer to that question. I know you didn't cause the accident, but I do know you could have prevented it. Since you didn't I know you have a purpose in it. And so I pray, Lord, that their lives will never be the same... That all three of them will come through this knowing You like they have never known You before... That they will experience that special measure of grace and nearness that You grant to those who must endure unspeakable pain and suffering... That they will sense the sweetness of Your presence even when they are filled with fear, facing an uncertain future, and yes, even when the anger and depression seem to overwhelm them. Even though this young girl is in a coma and cannot communicate with her parents, I thank you that she can communicate with You and that You are as much or more present with her than with anyone else. I thank you that Your ministering angels are posted at the head of her bed, watching over her, guarding her and protecting her.

And once again, I am drawn to the verses You spoke so strongly to my heart at a time when my sorrow threatened to undo me: "We don't yet see things clearly. We're squinting in a fog, peering through a mist. But it won't be long before the weather clears and the sun shines bright! We'll see it all then, see it all as clearly as God sees us, knowing him directly just as he knows us! But for right now, until that completelness, we have three things to do to lead us toward that consummation: Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly. And the best of the three is love." 1 Corinthians 13:12 and 13 (MSG)

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I would love to hear from you! Let me know what you think and how I can pray for you. Most of us are carrying some pretty heavy baggage and the good news is, you don't have to carry it alone! You can lay it at the feet of Jesus, and sometimes we need help just letting go of our baggage and not picking it up again. We're in this together!