Saturday, May 18, 2013

In The Thick Of It

"Friends, when life gets really difficult, don’t jump to the conclusion that God isn’t on the job. Instead, be glad that you are in the very thick of what Christ experienced. This is a spiritual refining process, with glory just around the corner." (I Peter 4:12-13)

This morning brings grace and blessing in the knowledge that God is with us. Especially in the midst of a very long week, full of both joys and sorrows.
So how does one "be glad that you are in the very thick of what Christ experienced"?

To be honest, I am a beginner at learning to be glad in difficult times. But sitting here, I can't help but wonder if perhaps "being glad" is not about being happy about the struggle or hardship. Seriously...who gets all joyful about cancer or job loss? But rather our joy is in "being in the very thick of what Christ experienced".

What Christ experienced as a human, was God with him. We see evidence of the presence of God when he is ministered to by angels after being in the wilderness. We read about the affirmation of God in his baptism as a voice proclaims that Jesus is his "beloved son". We read about Jesus praying to the Father and then performing miracles.

Perhaps this joy and gladness comes from knowing that God is present in every circumstance...good and bad. His presence is found in the helpfulness of medical professionals. His presence is heard in the encouraging words from a friend. His presence is seen in the tears of the companions who journey with us. His presence is whispered in the voice of a spouse who says, "You can do this". His presence is felt in the nudge from the nose of a faithful dog.

Indeed God has been, is, and always will be present with us! We only have to open our eyes to see it.

grace and peace...

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