Romans 5:3-5 (The Message)
3-5There’s more to come: We continue to shout our praise even when we’re hemmed in with troubles, because we know how troubles can develop passionate patience in us, and how that patience in turn forges the tempered steel of virtue, keeping us alert for whatever God will do next. In alert expectancy such as this, we’re never left feeling shortchanged. Quite the contrary—we can’t round up enough containers to hold everything God generously pours into our lives through the Holy Spirit!
Feeling a little “hemmed in with troubles” tonight. And I realize that I need to shout out praise because I want to have “passionate patience” and I certainly don’t want to “feel shortchanged.” Because I certainly have been blessed most certainly, as Eph. 3:20 says, “more than I could ask or imagine.”
Some new, neat friends gave us the book, Life On Hold:Finding Hope in the Face of Serious Illness. It is truly a great but painful read. Tonight I read this excerpt and thought you might want to chew on it with me.
God places hedges around His people for their protection (see Job 1:6-10). Margaret Clarkson says that God has made a hedge about the life of every believer:
The thorns that seem to hem us in are in reality placed there to close us in to God Himself, to protect us from evil, to provide us with sanctuary in the midst of a troubled world… For most of His children, God’s hedges do not seemingly entail suffering, but only protection. For some, however, they mean unending pain and weakness, disappointment and sorrow, varying in degree to total imprisonment. Why this must be so, we may not know; sufficient for us to know that God Hiimself has hedged us in, and God’s hedges are always hedges of protection and blessing. And God Himself, living there both with us and in us, longs to make of our thorny wall a thing of wonder to men and angels and demons, a thing that will one day bring forth holy blossom and fruit to our eternal good and His eternal glory.
My human, fleshly eyesight sees and feels like people that I love are in this position and it is hard to watch. Yes, I feel horribly selfish to admit that I hurt when their hurt is so much greater. It does hurt though. How thankful that my Jesus is with us in the middle of those thorns. We are not alone…. consider it all joy!