Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Tuesdays with Jesus #185

#185 "Are You Shrinking Back?"
January 26, 2011
"But the righteous will live by faith. And if he shrinks back, I will not be pleased with him." (Hebrews 10: 38)
I know it's not Tuesday. But I say to you that it's better late than never. The last few days have been jammed packed with things to do around Schultzville, and there just wasn't a minute to write. I was actually going to skip this week. I'm being honest here. I was hoping that no one would notice and I could skate by. How like my God to not let me get away so easily. New people were subscribing last night and first thing this morning I read the verse at the top of your screen. It stopped me dead in my tracks.
I spent so many years of my life being a people pleaser. No one wanted to be liked, accepted, and able to keep everyone in my life happy more than me. "No" was not a word that was common to my vocabulary. God is tenacious, and through His Holy Spirit and His Word, deliverance from that addiction eventually came. It was an arduous process, full of scraped knees and victories, depending on the day. Praise God that nothing is impossible for Him. I then exchanged that dysfunction for a full out obsessive desire to please God. The thought of breaking the heart of God brings horrible brokenness to my own. I want my Heavenly Father to smile when He thinks about me. I want Him to elbow some angels, pointing at me, saying, "That's my girl. In her I am well-pleased."
I remember a day that I told what most would call a "little white lie." Someone asked me to keep a secret and my eldest daughter asked me a question about the situation. I out and out told her a lie in order to protect the other person's confidentiality. The minute the words escaped my lips, I wanted to crawl into a hole and hide. Not because I expected God to strike me with lightning for my transgression. I know better than that. It was because I knew with every fiber of my being that God was not smiling in that moment. He clearly hates lies. In fact a lying tongue is one of the six things the Lord hates. (See Proverbs 6: 16-19) He hates it so much that it's listed twice on the list. I paced and I cried and I apologized. I had to make it right. I went to my daughter and confessed that I had lied, telling her that I couldn't reveal the truth because I had promised, but that what I told her was a big fat lie. Not a little white one...a big fat one, because a lie is a lie in God's eyes. Humans have manufactured degrees of lying. After telling the truth, only then did I know that my behavior was pleasing to God. Whew! I could breathe.
This morning, I was reminded that those who "shrink back" are not pleasing to God. To shrink back in the Greek language means a few different things. It means to draw back, to withdraw, or to be timid. The phrase is used of those who "from timidity hesitate to avow what they believe, or to be unwilling to utter from fear." It pictures someone who cowers.
The first thing that comes to your mind is most likely fear of speaking up for your faith in Christ in front of others. There's that natural fear of being ridiculed or rejected. So we shrink back in timidity, keeping our opinions and beliefs to ourselves. We cower. This is not pleasing to God. Are you "shrinking back"?
I believe that there are much more subtle ways of shrinking back. I believe that, because the devil's MO is not very often the use of the obvious. He knows that if he counterfeits, uses subtlety, and slinks around your life, he can trap you. He can even deceive you into thinking that shrinking back is a good thing and that it's God who is directing your steps. One of the ways he does this is through busyness and using the everyday circumstances of your life.
Do you have a calling on your life? Something to do, that you clearly know God has ordained and chosen you for? Are you following through with that plan? Are you obeying? Or..has life gotten in your way and you are now confused about the call and whether it was real to begin with? Or...does it seem that you are just too busy and too many circumstances are getting in the way, and it must be God telling you that now is just not the right time? So you quit. You say that you'll do it later. You cower. You shrink back.
Does it seem like any time you start to fulfill your calling, all "hell" breaks loose in your life? I can raise my hand on that one! I've experienced sickness, family emergencies, being called on to help in dire situations where I'm the only candidate, and on and on, just when I'm revving up my engines to go forward in the call on my life. And I'm ashamed to say that many times I have shrunk back and talked myself into believing that God was trying to tell me that now just wasn't the time.  I think the blinders to the enemy's lies are starting to come off. God will always complete what He started. What has been conceived will be delivered. Only you and I can stop it. By shrinking back. The revelation of this truth produced a good amount of godly sorrow leading to repentance in me today.
We need to take the example of some early New Testament believers. Would you read Hebrews 10: 32-39, the verses that just precede the verse at the top of your screen? We are given the example of some folk who stood their ground in the face of great suffering. They were insulted and persecuted. They had their belongings confiscated. They were ridiculed and rejected. And they did it all with joy. In these verses we are admonished to "not throw away our confidence" and "to persevere." We are admonished to not shrink back and if we do, our God will not be pleased.
Right in the midst of all of the things that pull me this way and that, I need to continue to persevere in the calling that God has placed on my life. You need to persevere in whatever it is that is your unique assignment for God on planet Earth. That's why, right now, the laundry is piled high, my crossword puzzle is begging to be done, and the phone is being left unanswered. That is why even when people need me, and tragedies beset us, and busyness is running rampant, I still have a job to do for my Lord. It must be my priority. I have to stop shrinking back. I've done that too many times. And maybe, just maybe, that's why our callings don't progress according to the vision that God gave us once upon a time. Self-sabotage perhaps. Are you sabotaging God's best for your life? We don't have a clue what God has in store for us if we would just stay true to Him and His assignments on our lives. I'm sure it is something beyond our wildest dreams. What would our world be like if every believer followed the call, made it a priority and stopped "shrinking back?"
I've heard some sweet words spoken over the course of my life. Words like, "you've been accepted." "I love you." "Will you marry me?" "I do." "It's a girl." Times two. "It's a boy." Times two. "I love you Gigi." But one day...I want to hear the sweetest words that anyone, ever, will utter from their lips to my ears. I want to hear, "Well done, my good and faithful servant. Here she is! This is my daughter. In her I am well pleased."
"But we're not quitters who lose out. Oh, no! We'll stay with it and survive, trusting all the way." (Hebrews 10: 39 The Message)     
Living the Word along with you, 
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Tuesday, January 18, 2011

A Modern Day Moses

#184 Modern Day Moses  (Adapted from a "Tuesdays with Jesus" in 2006)
January 18, 2011
"And now the cry of the Israelites has reached me, and I have seen the way the Egyptians are oppressing them. So now, go. I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people the Israelites out of Egypt." (Exodus 3: 9-10)
This week we celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. While doing my daily Bible reading, beginning the book of Exodus, I began to draw a parallel between Moses and Dr. King. I thought that surely I'm not the only one who ever entertained this idea, so I went on a search. Sure enough, I wasn't the only one."Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was the Moses of the 20th century", said Charles E. Mock of the National Baptist Convention. At a Martin Luther King Jr. annual awards dinner, Charlton Heston said, "A great many people think of me as Moses parting the Red Sea but if the 20th century ever had a real Moses who led his people to the promised land that man, of course, would be Dr. King." (2004 Jewish Post of New York) These are only two examples among many that I found.
Dr. King himself must have felt this kinship with Moses as well. At a rally in Memphis, he said, "I just want to do God's will. And He's allowed me to go up the mountain. And I've looked over. And I have seen the promised land. And I may not get there with you, but I want you to know, tonight that we as a people will get to the promised land!" Compare this to Deuteronomy 34: 1-4. "Then Moses climbed Mount Nebo from the plains of Moab to the top of Pisgah, across from Jericho. There the Lord showed him the whole land - from Gilead to Dan, all of Naphtali, the territory of Ephraim and Manasseh, all the land of Judah as far as the western sea, the Negev and the whole region from the Valley of Jericho, the City of Palms, as far as Zoar. Then the Lord said to him, "This is the land I promised on oath to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob when I said, 'I will give it to your descendants.' I have let you see it with your eyes, but you will not cross over into it." Both men saw the promised land .... both men never got there.
Born in Atlanta, Georgia, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., graduated from Morehouse College (B.A., 1948), Crozer Theological Seminary (B.D., 1951), and Boston University (Ph.D., 1955). The son of the pastor of the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, King was ordained in 1947 and became (1954) minister of a Baptist church in Montgomery, Alabama. He may have had  expectations of leading a middle class, quiet lifestyle, but God had a different plan. He grew up mostly protected from segregation but he had a different calling on his life. Not that he didn't know what was right and wrong. His father was an example to him. His dad refused to patronize a shoe store that made blacks be served only in the back of the store. He also corrected a white police officer who called him "boy", declaring that he was a man. (Detroit News, Jan. 16, 2006)   His son Dexter Scott King said, "Greatness was thrust upon him, and for some internal reason or external destiny he did not turn away." Just like Dr. King, Moses saw the oppression of his people in Egypt. Fleeing for his life after killing an Egyptian, Moses was living a quiet life, married, having children and tending the flocks of his father-in-law Jethro, when God interrupted his life and called him to service. And he did not turn away.
Not that both men didn't have some fears, insecurities and self-doubt to overcome. Dr. King had to surrender his expectations of the way he thought life was going to be, to heed the call to become a leader in a movement bigger than himself. He had to muster up boldness, willingness and surrender to his God to go forward. Moses questioned his own abilities. Low self esteem said, "Who am I, that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?" (Exodus 3: 11) Doubt asked, "What if they don't believe me?" (Exodus 4: 1) Lack of any confidence in himself said, "I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue." (Exodus 4:10) Fear screamed, "O Lord, please send someone else to do it. " (Exodus 4: 13) Both men trusted in their God, heeded the call on their life, and obeyed.
On the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in August of 1963, Dr. King gave his famous "I Have A Dream" speech. In the shadow of Mount Sinai, Moses read the commands that were written by the very finger of God to the people. Both men presented the way to a better life. The way to peace and prosperity. Both men's words are still being ignored.
So what does this mean to us, on January 18, 2011....thousands of years after Moses and almost fifty years after Dr. King? Have we reached the promised land? I believe we have come a long way but I also believe that we have a long way to go. Racial prejudice lay behind more than half of the 7649 hate crimes reported to the FBI in 2004. I personally see racial profiling in action in my community when motor vehicles are pulled over for traffic stops. There is still a huge disparity between blacks and whites in America. Closer to home, many of us grew up in families steeped in racial prejudice and hatred. And appalling and ugly as it may sound, it grows like a festering sore in many of our churches. Sunday morning is the most segregated morning of the week. Despite my attempts at educating those that don't know any better, I have heard white Christians say that black people like being on welfare and are just too lazy to work.
So back to...what can I do? I must become intentional about improving relationships that I have with those brothers and sisters not like me. I am blessed to be in a fellowship that is very diverse and is quite intentional about being so. I must understand that the church that Jesus regards as after His own heart is diverse and very colorful. Look at what Heaven will be like: "After this I looked and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb." (Revelation 7: 9)
I must teach my children and model for them that racial prejudice is wrong. I must believe that every person has worth as an individual and that they are entitled to dignity and respect, regardless of race or color. I must strive daily to eliminate racial prejudice from my thoughts and actions. I must speak up when I see racial prejudice by others. Like Moses and Dr. King, I must trust in my God, obey His word and never turn away from what I know is right because of fear or rejection. I would like to be a part of that "beautiful symphony of brotherhood" that Dr. King spoke of in his speech. The one where "we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day." And as I hold your hand, my white brother or sister, and with my other hand, hold yours, my black brother or sister, may we all give the world a little glimpse of what Heaven will really look like.
Living the Word along with you,                 
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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Tuesdays with Jesus #183

#183 "Shimei Situations"
January 11, 2011
"So David and his men continued along the road while Shimei was going along the hillside opposite him, cursing as he went and throwing stones at him and showering him with dirt." (2 Samuel 16: 13)
What is your response when you feel that you've been wronged by another person? What do you do when you've been hurt SO very badly by someone else? Believe it or not, one option is to go to revenge advice web sites and type in your situation. can go to Revenge Products Inc., and buy products to get revenge on your ex or your enemy. Their ad boasts, "Check out our revenge products." You can buy anything from dartboard covers with your enemy's face on them, to voodoo dolls, and kitty pan liners. I found over 5 million hits for the word "revenge" on Google. It seems to me that getting revenge and retribution on those who have wronged us is the way to go. It's normal. It's common, it's accepted and even encouraged by our society. But is it God's way? Let's see.
2 Samuel 16: 5-14 tells the story of a man named Shimei. He may be very unfamiliar to you, but his story is a powerful one. My prayer today is that you will find comfort for today, or that you will tuck this message away for some future time when you encounter a "Shimei Situation" of your own.
The setting for the story takes place when King David is running from his own son, Absalom, who rebelled against him, had his own band of followers and was seeking his father's life. Aren't there just some times in our lives when it seems that everyone is against us?
As David and his men are approaching Bahurim, a town in Benjamin between Jerusalem and Jericho, beyond the Mount of Olives, on the way to Jericho, a man named Shimei is running along the ridge, along the hillside, opposite David, cursing and throwing stones and dirt at David and his men. He taunted David with false accusations. He accuses David of shedding blood in the household of Saul, which is something David had never done. Back in the day, David had been given ample opportunity to literally kill Saul, but he never did. And he never harmed any of Saul's family. False accusations. Have you ever been falsely accused? In the vernacular of our day, Shimei's  words would have sounded like this. "You are a good for nothing." Some folks I know would have used much stronger language.     
Ever had a Shimei of your own? Someone running right alongside of you in life, yelling curses, throwing stones, and flinging dirt your way? Maybe they tell you that you're a "good for nothing." Maybe they tell you that you'll never amount to anything or that you're too far gone. Maybe someone is accusing you falsely for things that you've never done. What do you do? What HAVE you done in this kind of a situation? What ARE we to do? King David was called "a man after God's own heart." What did he do in just this same situation?
Abishai, David's bodyguard, begged the king to let him decapitate Shimei, but David said no. It's pretty popular from the world view to get revenge when someone's done you wrong. Friends and family say, "Are you going to let them get away with that? You have every right to get back at them for what they did to you." Revenge is called "sweet" and paybacks are considered normal, right?
King David knew who the real "King" was. He knew that God was sovereign and in control. According to the Jewish historian, Josephus, David believed that it was by God's permission that Shimei treated him in such a hateful manner. His friends didn't see it quite that way. God had said, "Do not touch my anointed ones; do my prophets no harm." (Psalm 105:15) David's men knew that cursing the King, the Lord's anointed, was a capital offense. As a result, Shimei deserved to die.
David, on the other hand, believed that if he did not return evil for evil, God would one day repay him for his obedience. He saw Shimei and the situation as an instrument of God and he believed that God would one day bring the vindication on Shimei that he deserved. God had said, "It is mine to avenge; I will repay." (Deuteronomy 32: 35)
So...for now...Shimei could continue to curse and throw stones and shower David with dirt. Josephus says, "David went on his way without troubling himself with Shimei."
Oh my! That we could trust like that! That we could be so confident that God would repay our enemy that we could go on our way, "without troubling ourselves" with them. Most of the time, that's not what we do, is it? We get very troubled. We work ourselves into a frenzy. Our mind whirls. Our gut turns. We rehash the offense over and over and over again in our mind. We don't do a small amount of talking about the person, and what they did to us, to everyone who will lend an ear to our story. We walk around singing "another somebody done some somebody wrong song." For days.  For months. Sadly, maybe even for years.
Be so clear dear one, that I am not minimizing any pain or offense that has been done to you. Many of you have been wronged in the worst possible ways and hurt very, very deeply. Those wrongs may even be new and fresh today, and you're still reeling from the assault of your enemy. I do not shame you for the hurt that you feel. I understand. I've been hurt deeply too. God created us to have feelings and emotions, and those feelings get hurt sometimes. We suffer wounds of abuse and rejection, loneliness, false accusation and betrayal. Frankly, it hurts! I would be a hypocrite of the highest order if I told you that your wounds weren't deep and tender and didn't hurt very badly. But in order to grow and mature and move past those wounds in a healthy way, we have to learn what to do with that pain and become aware of what our Creator wants us to do.
David went on his way without troubling himself with Shimei. The passage reads, "David and his men continued along the road and arrived at their destination." It says that they arrived "exhausted", but golly-geez, they arrived!
It can be so exhausting when your Shimei is running right alongside of you. You feel the pain and sting of the curses. You get some bruises from the stones. But if you do as David did, and "not trouble yourself with Shimei", and continue along the road, you may arrive dirty and exhausted, but you will arrive.
We can stay stuck in our bitterness. We can stay stuck in unforgiveness and in seeking the perfect revenge, or we can arrive at the God-given destination for our lives. Revenge will only be like drinking poison yourself, and hoping that your enemy will die. We only hurt ourselves and keep ourselves away from our destinies and the appointments and plans that God has for our lives. And He does have a destiny, an appointment and a plan for each and every one of us. Don't trouble yourself with Shimei! Continue along on your way and arrive at your destination!
Looks like the end of the Shimei situation, doesn't it? I thought so too when I first read the passage. Later I found that this wasn't the end by a long shot! It would be great if you would read 2 Samuel 19: 16-23.
After Absalom's death, the people of Judah invited David to come and rule over them, and they sent a delegation to the Jordan River to meet him and to help him cross the waters. Lo and behold, who was part of that welcoming committee? None other than Shimei himself!
I think that he had to do some pretty quick thinking because David was on his way and would surely remember the day that Shimei disrespected him, and exhibited such despicable behavior. Surely David would punish him. We see Shimei hit the floor and beg the king for forgiveness.
In his own words, he says: "For I your servant (all of a sudden he's David's servant?), know that I have sinned (ya think!), but today I have come here as the first of the house of Joseph to come down and meet my lord the king (aren't I wonderful? See how I've changed?)" He's pouring it on pretty thick to save his skin. Again, Abishai wants Shimei's head, but again, David grants him mercy and vows that Shimei shall not die. It's interesting that his forefather Joseph had acted in just the same way after being thrown into a pit by his brothers. There came a day when the brothers needed Joseph's mercy and he gave it freely saying, "You intended to harm me,  but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. So then, don't be afraid. I will provide for you and your children." And he reassured them and spoke kindly to them."  (Genesis 50: 20-21)
There may come a day when YOUR Shimei, your own enemy, may come to you and sincerely ask for your forgiveness or your help. Will you show them mercy and grace, or will you exact your own brand of revenge and cut off their head?
Clara Barton, the founder of the American Red Cross, was reminded one day of a vicious deed that someone had done to her years before. But she acted as if she had never heard of the incident. "Don't you remember it?" her friend asked. "No", came Clara's reply. "I distinctly remember forgetting it." Shake it off and move on.
I encourage you to read 1 Kings 2: 8-9, 36-46 to find out the end of Shimei at the hands of Solomon, the king's son. It took years, but there was an end to Shimei. That can be hard to swallow.
Delayed justice is not denied justice. God says that it is His job to avenge and repay. Your Shimei may think that he is secure when he doesn't get immediate punishment for what he did you. He threw stones and dirt and cursed you up and down. He falsely accused you. And nothing happened. Instead you showed restraint, or mercy or forgiveness or kindness and chose not to get revenge. He's feeling pretty secure right about now, so let him! Don't trouble yourself with Shimei. Continue on the road with your eyes fixed on Christ. You may be dirty and exhausted but stay focused. You will arrive at your intended destination. Somewhere in God's perfect sovereignty, He allowed your situation, your mistreatment, and the wrong that was done to you. Nothing touches you without first going through the nail-scarred hands of Jesus.
Get ready! One day your Shimei may come to you and fall at your feet and sincerely beg you for mercy. When that happens, give it to him. He may ask for your help. Give it to him. Forgive as the Lord forgave you, graciously and freely.
Always remember that your God is a just God. He will repay. In His own way. In His own time. Trust Him completely for that. Jesus Himself was falsely accused. They beat Him, spit on Him, pulled out His beard, mocked Him and finally, nailed Him to a cross, and left Him to die. He never, ever, not once, did anything wrong. What did Jesus do? Some of His last words were, "Father forgive them, for they know not what they do." He had been betrayed by Judas in the garden, but He called him "friend."
Joseph forgave his brothers and showed them mercy. David didn't trouble himself with Shimei and he didn't seek revenge. Jesus suffered at the hands of those who treated Him unfairly and He asked His Father to forgive them. Ask your Father to forgive your Shimei. You forgive him too. Remember that God says, "Vengeance is mine. I will repay." Let Him do it.
Living the Word along with you,                 
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Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Tuesdays with Jesus #182

"The sun will no more be your light by day, nor will the brightness of the moon shine on you, for the Lord will be your everlasting light, and your God will be your glory." (Isaiah 60: 19)  
My dear friends,
Don't get excited about the title "Eclipse". I'm not going to write a critique about those popular "Twilight" movies, even though, shhh... I'm team Edward all the way! I'm not going to explore the meaning of Pink Floyd's "Dark Side of the Moon" either.
As we were standing in church this past Sunday during praise and worship, four little words jumped out at me from the screen as we sang, "He loves us". Those would be the obvious words to embrace, right? Being someone who never explores the obvious, I was taken aback by these four  words in the lyrics: "Afflictions eclipsed by glory". Those three words have stayed with me ever since. I have literally awakened the last two mornings with that part of the song playing in my head.
As you know, afflictions are the sufferings that we experience in life. They are the things that burden our spirits and threaten to wreck us. They come from the pressure of circumstances that come at us from without. We've all been there. For many of us, that's our address right at this very moment. It's at times like this that we desperately need the God of hope to come and fill us with joy and peace (Rom. 15:13). O God, do it for my friend now.
 The word "eclipse" has its origin from the ancient Greek word "ekleipsis", which means, "I cease to exist," or "I am absent." During a total solar eclipse, one heavenly body covers another heavenly body, making the other one barely visible. It dominates; it overshadows if you will. When God eclipses our afflictions with His glory, they become obscure. They are reduced in importance. They are less outstanding or important by comparison. The Glory surpasses the affliction every single time! Using dictionary synonyms, the Glory will beat, better, surpass, exceed, excel, outclass, outdistance, outdo, top, and outshine the afflictions every time.
I pray that you have experienced moments when in the middle of one of the most horrific times of your life, something has happened that you know without a doubt came from God. It was one of those things that knocked your socks off. There was a ray of light at the end of a dark, dark tunnel. It may not or may never, ever, answer the question "Why", but a glimpse of Heaven was given to you at that exact moment and you realized that God has had a plan all along and He used your vessel, your life, and yes, even your great affliction to perfect His plan.
At that moment, even if just for a moment, your affliction was eclipsed by His Glory. It doesn't mean that the affliction wasn't there anymore. It doesn't mean it no longer exists or never happened. It means that for a minute, a moment, maybe longer, it diminished in sight and importance. It was eclipsed by the Glory of Almighty God!
In John 11, Jesus was given the news that His friend Lazarus was very ill. He delayed in going to help and Lazarus died. Before this even happened, Jesus told His disciples that it would all happen "for God's glory so that God's Son may be glorified through it." (John 11: 4) Jesus had a plan. He would allow Lazarus to pass away. The sisters would question "why". Just like you and I. But His Father's glory was always Christ's aim. His Father's glory is His aim and goal in your situation as well.
We know the story. Jesus raises Lazarus from the dead. Was His Father glorified in that, or what? Lazarus had to die for God to show His glory through His Son. Your affliction has a purpose. God doesn't just send trouble to you for no reason at all. I believe that His heart breaks when your heart is breaking and He understands each and every "why" that you pray. But His Glory is at stake. Sometimes other people's lives are at stake. There are things that need to be done and your affliction was the route to the desired end of God.
We need to believe this when we are afflicted, burdened and pressed to our limits by our circumstances. Otherwise we may just break and lose our cotton-pickin' minds. It's not just something to believe that someone made up to make us feel better. It's not psycho-babble to help us deal with our situations. It is the truth as revealed to us in the Word of God. Revealed to us in words straight from the lips of our Savior. He told our friend Martha, "Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the Glory of God?" (John 11: 40) O, my friends...believe it and you WILL see the Glory of God in your affliction. The Glory will eclipse your affliction every time, even if it's just for a moment. I have fallen on my arthritic knees in worship more than once when I have been witness to this God Glory right in the middle of my afflictions. Right there is where the Glory has become greater in significance, dominated, overshadowed and made my affliction less important by comparison. Glory to God!
In the natural realm, eclipses don't last. They come and go. Kelly and I talked yesterday and voiced the fact that we live more of our lives in the afflictions, in the troubles, and in the valleys, than in those mountaintop, Shekinah Glory, experiences of life on Earth. There is only one place where we will live enveloped in the Glory all the time and that is when we arrive in Glory itself, Heaven. But in the here and now, we can believe that those moments will come when God Himself will arrive and show us something that will so eclipse our affliction that it almost "ceases to exist and is absent" for a moment. Those moments are so worth waiting for. They let us know that our afflictions are not without great purpose. God is working on one of those moments for you right now. Wait for it. Believe for it. If you believe, you will see the Glory of God. Your eclipse is on its way. And if it takes an affliction to be eclipsed by the Glory of God, bring it on. "It's only during an eclipse that the Man in the Moon has a place in the sun." Take your place in the Son.
Living the Word along with you,