Meaning in The Measure of Your Commitment
Posted on May 16, 2018 by America's Keswick in Freedom Fighters
Wherever you are, be all there! Live to the hilt every situation you believe to be the will of God.
~ Jim Elliot
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, Who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too. If we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation; and if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which you experience when you patiently endure the same sufferings that we suffer. Our hope for you is unshaken, for we know that as you share in our sufferings, you will also share in our comfort… For we do not want you to be unaware, brothers, of the affliction we experienced in Asia. For we were so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death. But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead. He delivered us from such a deadly peril, and He will deliver us. On Him we have set our hope that He will deliver us again. You also must help us by prayer, so that many will give thanks on our behalf for the blessing granted us through the prayers of many.
~ Paul, The Least of The Apostles, in 2 Corinthians 1
Oh beloved, it is true…
There is an odd measure to the existence of a true follower of Christ. We absolutely must start with the basics. But, immediately thereafter, our lives become an odyssey.
For, in the believer in Christ, some incredible things have happened.
Oh, we know that Jesus died for us, but very soon we realize that we died with Him in His death. And we were raised with Him into His very Life. And that Life, is something very much other than what we thought we were going to be when we grew up.
We are in the world, but we are no longer really of it. Something in us just doesn’t fit any more. Time seems so small and constraining. Its not that sense that comes from being in a hurry. It is this sense that time can no longer hold us. Our eyes are often lifted far off into the future, on infinite focus – but the things that are far away, actually seem more real to us than the fragile place we now inhabit.
No, this is not some sort of mystical journey. We begin to realize that we are now much, much bigger than time. We are in Christ. And He is the Very Author of time and space. And because of this, we find that the things we do and say – in Him – have an enormous effect on the world around us.
Can we see it?
Actually we rarely do. But, would you – dear reader – just attempt for a moment to soak in what the passage above is saying to us?
The passage speaks of suffering. So, it is easy to miss the main point Paul starts with. We see that in our afflictions, G_d brings Comfort to us. His Holy Spirit is The Comforter. In our afflictions and problems and suffering – HE GIVES US HIMSELF! This is an enormous reality. That, in our problems, G_d gives us the Entire Solution. Him.
However, we can miss the point again, as things get harder in our lives. We can begin to think that maybe G_d is just not helping us like He should, and as He has promised. However, we could not be further from the Truth.
No, rather than thinking that our lives being hard is a sign of His absence, we can begin to see that suffering and challenges are gateways, portals, and conduits that He is building into us, that He might Present Himself to others, through us.
Said more simply: We become Jesus to the people we touch. We become Jesus to the people we speak to. And, look, if this doesn’t make us shudder; if this doesn’t make us quake in our boots, we are totally missing the point. Our Lives now, have taken on eternal meaning. We are dealing with infinite Life and eternal death – in our contact with others.
However, G_d is Love. And He does not demand His own way. If we choose to close off. If we choose to resist. If we choose to say no, we can have our own way, and simply suffer and hurt. But, in doing so, our lives quickly spiral out of control and into a meaningless existence.
And, honestly, this what most of us do. We waste our suffering. We waste the purpose of it. We waste the eternal moments that could be made eternally better by allowing – in our suffering – The Comforter Himself to flow THROUGH us, and into others lives.
The picture above, is of a young man, named Jim Elliot. He jumped into the Life the passage above describes. He was a brother who simply said something like: “LORD Jesus, I accept the reality that my life is meaningless unless it is commingled with Your Life; Your suffering; and Your Comfort. I submit to the Truth that suffering is actually a conduit and gateway You build into me – to make Yourselves known to the people You send me to meet. Have Your way Father. I greet my suffering with bright eyes and and a knowing laugh, sure that You are breaking through to others – through me.”
So, hopefully the question is clear. Have you found the meaning in your problems, and in your suffering? The meaning is not to find to find the solution. The meaning is that your life, and this fool of a writer’s life, would be so identified with Jesus in our suffering, that it actually has a healing and comforting effect on others.
Tonight is your night. Time to commit your life to His Life. It is time for your pain to make sense.
Written by Makala Doulos: Makala Doulos is a child of G_d, a husband to his wife, a father to his children, and a teacher to his students. But mostly, he is a prisoner set free by Jesus. Love has invaded his life, crushed it, and made it new. Now, G_d’s Love is what constrains him to live in full surrender to the freedom The Father and Son and Holy Spirit have bought for us all. Grace and Peace to you all.
Daily Quote: According to Viktor Frankl, a person finds identity only to the extent that “he commits himself to something beyond himself, to a cause greater than himself.” The meaning of our lives emerges in the surrender of ourselves to an adventure of becoming who we are not yet.
This Week’s Verse to Memorize:
You are my hiding place and my shield; I hope in Your word. Psalm 119:114