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Thursday, June 17, 2010

In The Darkness!

I have been having some difficult days at work. The illnesses here at our home have added to the stress and tension. As everyone else in America and the entire Western World is finding out, a good job with benefits is very difficult to find, or keep, for that matter.

God has blessed me with County employment with some benefits that are rare now a days. The workload is heavy most of the time and the atmosphere is tense, to put it mildly.

But, the Scripture I have memorized over the years and additional passages I come across by the leading of the Spirit, just when I need something to bolster my faith, give strength in times of great trial and distress. This, I feel, is how spiritual muscle is developed. There is really no other way. Who wants to show up at heavens gates in the form of a marsh mellow or a jelly fish! Not me!

When there are trials, tribulations and troubles on every side, we take part in what Jesus experienced while He was here on earth in His human body. The Prophet Isaiah says that Christ was a man acquainted with grief, people deemed Him stricken and smitten of God, a man of sorrows and an acquaintance of grief.

Imagine that! God's Son, His only begotten Son; smitten with grief and a man of sorrows. The Bible says that we hid our faces from Him because of that! Hiding from God?

As Believers mature and earn "our badge" of suffering (sorry for the analogy) we can expect to be set aside, forsaken and downcast during these seasons. Those who have claimed in the past to be our Brother's and Sister's in the LORD will shy away as we go through these valley's. This is not unusual. I have sung the beautiful hymn, "To Be Like Jesus" hundreds of times. How can I expect to begin to take on His character, image and likeness unless I go through what He went through, in some measure?
It is like desiring to be a Green Beret, but never joining basic boot camp! The spiritual mirrors the natural. Things do not work that way in the natural, and they do not work that way in the spiritual.

During trying times, we must muster up, step up to the plate and go to bat, knowing that we are following in the footsteps of the One who says, " Be of good cheer, I have overcome the world..."

So do we, as we stay in, depend totally upon, and seek Him.

The LORD gave me a strong lesson this past week and I would like to share it with you briefly. Late at night after I get home from work I go outside and look up into the night sky. As always, my pitch black retriever goes out with me to see of there are any deer or fox in the yard. When I am ready to go in for the evening, at times, I do not see my dog and I stand on the walk calling him and become upset that he has disappeared, again. After calling several times he nudges my leg and looks at me as if I am crazy. He was standing beside me all of the time!

God reminded me that He is like that when we are in distress and feeling lost. He has PROMISED that He would NEVER LEAVE US or FORSAKE US! It is amazing that God had to use my pet to teach me a spiritual lesson I have trouble believing!

jrp 06.17.2010

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