March has been a very good month in many ways. I’ve had the opportunity to teach at Paragon, filling in for my friend Pastor Matt, who is in Ethiopia picking up his adopted son. We managed to pay off a big bill or two. It’s been a very fruitful month for conferences with some of the best this year.
And yet, I find in many ways this month I’ve been in survival mode. Keeping up with the business end of things; catching up financially, but slowly; finding time to honor commitments, dealing with minor but annoying illnesses (colds, stomach bugs)…
Not too long ago at the Journey (chronological study, audio available online soon!) we went through Romans 8, an absolutely amazing chapter filled with images of glory, resurrection, purpose, and destiny. We learn in that passage that the entire universe holds its breath, pushes through painful birth pangs in anticipation of the revelation of those who receive the inheritance, the Songs and Daughters of God! That’s us! That’s every believer! We learn that every thing that happens to us is working towards this amazing end. We learn at once the Gospel is much bigger than us and that we are a much bigger part of the plan! God has chosen to reveal His Glory through His amazing plan of redemption in us, and eventually in the entire universe. This Passage wraps up with the following statement, “No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.” In all these things: IN trials, and struggles, and the daily daily of life, we are not merely conquerors, we are more than conquerors. We are inheritors, redeemed, destined for a glory we don’t deserve, Princes and Princess of the Kingdom of Light!
It’s not only the big trials that get me, but it’s also the day to day exercise of survival. David acknowledges it when he prays that God would neither make him poor, nor rich. Poverty, he says would distract him to survival, and wealth would make him less dependent. It’s hard when you are just trying to survive, to conquer life. I’m intrigued by the idea of reaching beyond conquering life.
I don’t have all the answers. I present this as more of a thought than a sermon. But I’m sure it’s directly connected to my ability to remember, to focus, and to immerse myself in the next thought Paul presents “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,kneither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Can we remember this even when the pressure around us is just to survive, which we must do? Can we help each other do that?