I have been gone for a week on a trip across country. Packing space was tight. And I left my Bible at home. The week dragged on and I realized that I was lost. I had forgotten my map!
Tonight, after a long day catching up at work and an exhausting week of travel, it felt good to open the Bible once more and read these words:
Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access [by faith] to this grace in which we stand, and we boast in hope of the glory of God. Not only that, but we even boast of our afflictions, knowing that affliction produces endurance, and endurance, proven character, and proven character, hope, and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out into our hearts through the holy Spirit that has been given to us. For Christ, while we were still helpless, yet died at the appointed time for the ungodly. Indeed, only with difficulty does one die for a just person, though perhaps for a good person one might even find courage to die. But God proves his love for us in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us. How much more then, since we are now justified by his blood, will we be saved through him from the wrath. Indeed, if, while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of his Son, how much more, once reconciled, will we be saved by his life. Not only that, but we also boast of God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.
Romans 6: 1-11
Let me boast in my afflictions! Work is hard and tiring. There is never enough time for what I want to do. The chore list at home keeps piling up. There are so many regrets and things I wish I would have done. I am constantly reminded of parenting mistakes I have made or things I wish I could change. Good friends have moved away, others are moving on in directions that will take them away from close counsel and guidance. Too many people are in pain or sick and ailing. A niece and nephew just lost their caregiver to cancer. Life sometimes just sucks. Sometimes everything seems to be a struggle and every task seems meaningless. The end seems too far out of reach. And it is easy to put God to the side. My sins and regrets can feel overwhelming.
But I boast in the hope of the glory of God. Indeed I thank God for the struggles. Thank you God! Thank you God for reminding me that today’s struggles are temporary. For reminding me that every affliction, pain and difficulty breeds endurance, and endurance leads to proven character, and character to hope. And hope allows me to be filled with the knowledge of you and your love and your Holy Spirit.
You loved us even when we did not love you. I love you Lord! Thank you for providing me with the map I need. I am blown away by these words:
“Indeed, if, while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of his Son, how much more, once reconciled, will we be saved by his life.” I have hope in the glory of God!