I wanted to share this quick excerpt my dad wrote and sent to me this morning that was a great encouragement to my heart and I pray to yours as well. His words nailed the issues of my heart spot on. I’ve been especially struggling with *fear lately (doubts and despair that tend to gnaw and get a foot hold but oh, so subtly). As Timothy writes, “For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.”
I hope you will read through this excerpt several times and continually come back to and remind yourselves of these truths often.
Paul writes: “…we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body.” So this life is inescapably a life of groaning, of longing; of a taste, but not the feast. But, it is groaning, not to despair and ultimate disappointment, but to glorious consummation and eternal satisfaction for those who love our Lord Jesus Christ and “eagerly wait” for His return and the resurrection of our bodies that will follow.
I think all joys on this earth now are tinged with this groaning. There are good things, but they are not the best things that are to be. Being born again and Spirit-filled is not an escape from the pain of this life, but in a significant sense, it is the entrance into it acutely. We hope and we groan. We live with pain, sorrow, longing, which often runs through our lives as a constant refrain, a minor key playing in our daily lives. This groaning purifies us, though. It reminds us we are not at home and that somethimg infinitely greater and unspeakably glorious awaits us and exists just beyond the reach of our perception. Paul groaned and he labored for Christ. The Lord Christ groaned and “for the joy set before Him (the future glory of being with those He would redeem) He endured the cross.”
You and I are to do the same. Groan and hope. Groan and rejoice. Groan and labor for Christ in the gospel. Groan and trust Him. Remember, our little lives fit into His infinitely complex and intricate plan for the ages to “sum up” all things in Christ. He is not required to conform His plan to our transient desires.
Rachel B. Duke
*Note: one of my next blog posts will address “fear” more in depth.