Being an Example

My season of stroke-disability has brought me some frank letters from friends who are much farther down the brokenness road than I.  I am ashamed to realize that only now have I had time to hear what they have to say to me. What they share is sobering. Jesus has a very broken and suffering family to care for. It’s amazing that he still has plans to use us to bless others. An excerpt from one friend:

“People used to tell me that they admired me or found inspiration in me because I seemed so strong in the face of the grief….  While I was and am grateful to God that they derive strength or spiritual inspiration from that, it rarely feels ennobling to me…. I’m usually left with the feeling of  “Thanks, Lord, but, as WC Fields would put it: ‘On the whole I’d rather be in Philadelphia’ than here”, then I feel guilty that I’m not grateful to God.  You probably don’t remember, but I once told you in an e-mail that I always believed that the peace that passes understanding would not come to me in this life, but might, if by God’s grace I wind up in heaven, would be waiting for me like a hot shower in the bunkhouse, once I had finished riding the trail.  I succumb to that feeling sometime, and most of the time, and take with gratitude whatever peace and solace that God’s grace offers. Maybe this is the test for our belief in His mercy and goodness, the choice between what’s given or taken from us in this world vs. what’s promised in the next.”


About Deacon Rick

I am a retired Deacon in Lakeland Florida.
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One Response to Being an Example

  1. Tim Maloney says:

    The beauty of Papa’s Love is that we don’t have to “Be” a certain way. Like the song says, “Just As I Am” is where He always meets us. I’ve heard it taught, “don’t go where God wouldn’t go”. But because of Jesus He never leaves us. Never forsakes us. No matter how broken or disgusting life can get. He’s with us. Being real is the only way to get to bottom of who we are and then be able to see who He really is. The contrasts are so striking that the clarity is unmistakeable. It’s through the depths of our despair that the abundance of His love is able to shine through. I have never gone through a trying place that I fell in love with. In fact, looking back makes me hate them even more. But after I get all the stuff out that needs to be released I’ve always been able to see a greater depth of Gods love for me than before. That in turn has allowed me to love others, Christian and non in a deeper more real way. It’s helped me to understand that some people can’t help being who they are and it’s only through this greater love that they’ll be able to receive healing and restoration. Body, Soul and Spirit. Ugh…sigh…and thank you Jesus.

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