Monday, February 6, 2017

All the Way Home

For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities.  For when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Cor 12:10
This verse is a sweet read but a tough calling!  The definition for contentment that I most embrace is contentment being the state of peacefulness.  For me, it’s neither joy nor anguish but rather living in the tension of the two with a peaceful and accepting heart.  It is keeping our suffering and pain in relation to suffering Christ chose on our behalf.  It is understanding that our pain is understood by Christ since He accepting and embraced His circumstances.

I remember when my sister Beth had been diagnosed with cancer and had been given very little time to remain on this earth.  She quietly pursued curative measures instead of palliative measures.  She neither ran from it nor became bitter because of it.  She prayerfully and courageously fought it but in the end embraced it.  She exuded joy every time we were together, not because the circumstances made her happy but because she had become content (peaceful) with those circumstances in light of Christ.  She suffered physically but kept a beautiful smile on her face constantly.  She had become content in her weaknesses…calamities…infirmities.  She had chosen to live with cancer instead of die with cancer all the way up to the end.  Now, she now has a crown of righteousness to accompany the million dollar smile she wore to the end.  Through her weakness, she displayed the strength of God.

None of us have to go far to qualify for weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions or calamities.  Whether we have a medical issue, a financial dilemma, a broken heart or a relational hardship we can learn to be content in the middle of it.  We can focus outside of ourselves and allow God to minister to our hurts and our hearts.  We can walk in the confidence that whatever this life takes from us will be given back to us in Heaven.  We can move in a state of peacefulness understanding that God can relate to our suffering and is more than enough every day when we submit to him.  Our despair will not change our circumstances but our contentment in our situation will allow more joy into our lives during it.
Being content with weaknesses doesn’t mean you like it…want it…enjoy it.  But you accept it…submit to it…embrace it…and by God’s grace you rest in it.’ When Life Is Hard, James McDonald, p. 129. 
I will forever be blessed and inspired by the manner in which Beth walked.  She walked in contentment all the way home.

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