2014-12-10 - Choices and Circumstances
When I was seventeen, I made a choice to begin a personal relationship with Jesus. As He is a gentleman, that is how my Lord would want me to decide, by making a choice — because true love is chosen, and not stolen or hijacked, with fear or strange conditions. Within the perimeters of a true love relationship, while in the flesh, there are circumstances still beyond our control. In spite of having been set free by our Savior, we continue to have a sinful nature, as part of the temporal world we have to live within, and there are situations and conditions with which we must still contend. I know, personally, that we still face many unpleasant emotions, diseases, obstacles and circumstances in which there can be miraculous results that keep us in the flesh — or ones that give us eternal freedom from them — by leaving the flesh.
I have experienced times in which people with the best of intentions would give the impression that continued hardship could be attributed to lack of faith or lack of effort in seeking God's counsel. But the word of God teaches us that while there are some challenges we bring upon ourselves and consequences thereof, there are also others that have nothing to do with our own actions, and in either case, glorifying God is the ultimate goal.
I think of a specific instance in which someone who was a hospice nurse told her patient, my mother, that she didn't think she could handle being her nurse anymore. She stated that she had never had a patient that was going to die soon before. My mother's response was simply “well, I have never been dying before, so this is new to me too”. When we decide to not deal with people or situations because it's too difficult for us, we fail to realize that is the whole point of being here. The ultimate price was paid — and sharing that joy in meaningful ways can bring each of us elation — or it can be extremely difficult. But as my Mom told me, “no one said it would be easy”. No matter what we face in this life on earth it's good to know that whatever battle we are fighting the ultimate one was fought and won by our Lord and Savior. Love isn't always easy, in fact, very often it isn't at all. I think our Father knows this, and shows it specifically by giving us his son. If he thought it was worth it, so do I. So how do we show it? We share a laugh, hold a door open for a stranger, call someone by name — someone who isn't expecting it, hold the hand of a dying friend, give a smile to someone who needs it, help someone pick up dropped groceries. Whatever you do, remember it was done for you, too.
As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. 2 His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”
All scripture references are from the New International Version (NIV) unless otherwise noted.