GIANTS IN THE DARKNESS
I’m so thankful for everything I have been blessed with: love, support, community, family, and a better relationship with God now than I ever thought possible. I want to acknowledge that where I am today comes with a cost. Many people have sacrificed so that I can be here. Not to mention the greatest sacrifice of all Jesus himself. So, thank you!
But, I’m not gonna lie, it’s been a tough year. It feels like I’m complaining just typing that. Please, don’t misunderstand me. I have so much to be thankful for, especially when I see friends that are going through real tragedy and heartaches, in comparison my “light momentary afflictions” are not that big of a deal. Even if, in the moment, they seem overwhelming and suffocating. Troubles, like so many looming shadows; dancing giants in the darkness; playing their tricks before daybreak.
“For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison...” (2 Corinthians 4:17) I mean, if Paul can say things like this. It should be a warning for me to check my perspective.
In reality, I guess my experience is more of a suffering by degrees. Working for God and doing ministry full-time has really been somewhat of a double-edged existence for me. It’s like I have this front row seat to the story of God and humanity, and I’m participating in some of the most amazing things a person could possibly imagine, but it also brings me face-to-face with truly evil things that most would rather be oblivious to. It takes a toll on the heart.
“…give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” (1 Thessalonians 5:18) Paul writes this in a letter to Christians in the city of Thessalonica. - They are probably recent converts, and are more than likely facing pretty heavy persecution because of their new faith. In those circumstances could I give thanks?
I’m not sure what my own future holds, but I know I am (and all Christians are) being tested, refined, and prepared. I want my heart to be filled with generosity from God and for God, because of what he has done for me. Moreover, I with Paul want to acknowledge the reality of my circumstances, but not be overcome by them. Then, also be thankful in them.
My prayer is that when we feel overwhelmed and suffocated, we can remember God’s gifts and his grace to us, and so with Paul say: “...as grace extends to more and more people it may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God.” (2 Corinthians 4:15)
Today, I will choose thankfulness, regardless of the circumstances. To God be the glory.
PS: Please remember our friends and neighbors in our community and around the world (many are mistreated, hungry, and hurting) We are celebrating today with an excess of food and amusements. Let’s be mindful of how we can give to others with the same generosity that God has given to us.