Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Is it pain or renewal?


God calls the end times the “renewal of all things” in Mathew 19:28
“Repent then and turn to God so that your sins may be wiped out, that time of refreshing may come from the Lord.” Acts 3:19

What appears to be pain and sorrow has frequently in my life been the predecessor of intimacy with God. The Gospel even calls the end times a renewal. What can I endure with the knowledge of God’s presence within me and his protection surrounding me?

Don’t we get excited when we know we’ve bought or made the perfect gift for someone? We wrap it carefully and well, decorating our emotional wish to please a loved one. We present it with a smile being that sure the recipient will be pleased. If it really is as perfect the gift we thought it to be, that mutual happiness of the moment adds joy and intimacy to the relationship. Wasn’t that the purpose of the gift in the first place?

God’s packages to us aren’t always pleasantly wrapped. His gifts aren’t always fun. But gifts they are. Pain, be it emotional, physical or spiritual can sometimes be a gift depending on the way we see and appreciate it. We must accept gifts gracefully and acknowledge the Giver. Simply being a participant on this globe, of course, can impose pain. Even that pain though, is a gift and can be transformed.

So God gifts us or allows us to experience sorrow. Is it to test us? To prove us? Or like many gifts does it depend on our spirit of understanding and acceptance? Do we rebel asking such questions as “why me?” citing our honest attempts to live a decent life? Reading the lives of the saints helps me in this area the most.

St Joan of Arc
Blessed Mary of Australia
St. Louis Marie De Montfort

They were misunderstood, judged to be insane and persecuted for their Godly lives. What made them saints is their heroic degree of virtue. And Joan, Mary and St. Louis Marie De Montfort were simple human beings like us. Their prayer life, i.e. their intimacy with God in the face of trial gave them strength and courage.

Renewal of all things.
Times of refreshing from the Lord.
It does require time spent in the Lord’s presence to be able to translate pain and sorrow into renewal and refreshing. It’s barely human to be able to do that at all. Spiritual intimacy with the one who was persecuted for our sins is the only way for me.

Prayer: Jesus you know how much I really mean that. I come to you be to repaired and made whole. Re-paired that is, to be paired up with you again. Your example and your love is my strength. Thank you for ALWAYS being there.
THE SAINTS CLUB

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