My friends seem to be multiplying

I am not entirely sure if I like the fact that my friends seem to be multiplying. I have blogged before about a particular idea in C.S. Lewis' Miracles that brought death into a new light for me. I now see God's defeating of death for the masterstroke that it really is. Not only is it a vehicle that carries me into a presence of God that I have not known up to this point, but it ends my tendency toward rebellion as well and allows this mortal to clothe himself in immortality. That is sweetness. But I have a new friend as well...suffering.

This Sunday we listened to a message that framed suffering in a way that I had never thought of it before. My overarching goal in life is to glorify God. In other words, I need to make more and more of Him as He sanctifies me and matures me in Christ. Well, it turns out that suffering is a megaphone that shouts that reality to the world counteracting (if that is the right word...maybe augmenting? complimenting?) the whisper that this reality is when things are good. That makes suffering His servant. It is mine as well and, if embraced and dealt with in the correct manner, it is as good a servant as money is to me.

I'd rather not invite either of these, my new friends, to my table. I just pray that when they knock on my door that I will be hospitable to them. I pray that I would feed and clothe them the way that God would want me to. Suffering and death are coming. They will pull out the chair and take their place in my family room and refuse to relegate themselves to a tent that I have erected outside even if it is just for them. They will sleep in my bed and they will be so close that I will feel the very heartbeat in their chest.

I pray that I will throw my arms around them and shout at the top of my lungs "God is good." So what of it, Satan? Could your defeat have been more complete?

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