Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Worn Out!

“You have said, ‘I am overwhelmed with trouble! Haven’t I had enough pain already? And now the Lord has added more! I am worn out with groaning and can find no rest’” Jeremiah 45:3.
In my 20’s, I worked for a man who dictated all of his correspondence while I transcribed in shorthand. Sometimes I would get caught up in what he was communicating to his intended recipient and would lose my focus. On some occasions I could not believe the tone and the words that my boss was using. I would be embarrassed for him, irritated at him and hated writing it down knowing someone was going to be on the other side of this message. Our passage today was from a person who also took dictation while his friend shared the message God wanted to communicate to His children. Day after day, year after year the message always seemed to have the same theme. My children have turned from me and are chasing after idols, I have given them chance after chance, and now destruction is coming. I cannot even imagine the heaviness of both hearing this message of destruction and staying focused on getting it down to be read at a later date. No wonder he was overwhelmed with trouble and felt like God was picking on him. He was worn out, sleep deprived and sick in his soul. How did the Lord answer? ‘Are you seeking great things for yourself? Don’t do it!’ Jeremiah 45:5.

When we focus on our troubles and circumstances God knows that we will carry burdens we were never meant to carry. I believe that seeking great things for ourselves can also mean having a set of expectations that do not come about. We think if we are Christians, we will not experience trouble which is not biblical. We feel we are entitled to our feelings when we experience disharmony in our relationships. We live our lives expecting others to do for us what we do for them...people have free will so this expectation falls flat in many cases.

Instead of seeking for ourselves we should walk out Matthew 6:33 which states, ‘But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.’ What are all these things? Physical food for nourishment and drink for refreshment...grace when we sin...comfort when we are upset...healing when we lose a loved one to heaven... forgiveness when we don’t deserve it...the promise and certainty of heavenly reunions and beautiful forever's. We are all guilty of these feelings because as long as we are on earth we walk in the flesh more readily than the spirit. I notice for myself it takes intentional hard work to walk in the Spirit and many times surrendering my own comfort and agenda. I'm ashamed to admit that I'm one of those people who look around at others who seem to have it easy and aren't really that rigorous in serving others and sharing the gospel. I look at my sacrifices and how much I try to impact the Kingdom for God and can't understand why I have a husband who was called to another state to work, a job that takes me out of every comfort I have along with some secret heartbreaks. Its all flesh and its all human nature so I must intentionally deny myself and comfort and 'take captive every thought' that is contrary to the spirit. I CANNOT wait until I cross over the threshold of heaven and claim:

Face to face with God
My reunions with my family
My peace and unchanging joy
My enduring happiness

But until then, we can be both confident and thankful that when we do slip into those flesh feelings we have a God to run to and promise of a comforter who lives inside our hearts to settle our emotions. Praise God!When we focus on the things of God and the transforming work in our hearts through the Holy Spirit it will help us soar above challenging temporary troubles. Thank God we are not citizens of this world but citizens of a city to come.

But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ' Philippians 3:20.

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