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A THORNY COMPANION

May 27, 2008

When the sounds and new light of day begin to pierce the quiet darkness of sleep a companion joins the involuntary thoughts as they awaken. Like a shaded lens it will cloud everything that will be a part of the day. 

Whether the day is filled with the activities of family, career, school or hobby, melancholy will dull the joys and exaggerate the strains. Positive thought will be hard to come by and hope will be shallow if experienced at all. My job is draining. My husband/wife is tiring. My children are exhausting. My life is dreary. Contentment seems like only a fool’s world and peace of mind a self-delusion.

It’s an enduring darkness that most often survives prayer, discipline, determination and decision. It just will not go away! It doesn’t mean there is no faith nor does it mean that grace is not known, it’s just difficult to feel their effect. The head knows the wonder of God’s love, grace and mercy but the heart has trouble translating the personal outcome of each into feelings of peace, joy and contentment.

Wearing many faces; young, old, male, female, rich, poor, tall, short, heavy, thin, educated, uneducated, Christian…. Loving families, friends, brothers, sisters, God/Christ/Holy Spirit…. Reading and study the Bible. Praying prayers of supplication with thanksgiving and letting requests be made known to God (Philippians 4:6 ESV). In a strange way experiencing the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, which guards hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. (v.7 edited mh) It sounds strange to those who do not share the companion. It’s kind of like Paul as he experienced his thorn in the flesh companion. Having known of lesser things being healed, and believing he could serve God more effectively if he could do it without this companion he prayed and pleaded and prayed that God would remove it. God said no. Many who experience the constant company of their gloomy companion have learned the same lesson that Paul learned when God responded to his pleadings, my grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. (2 Corinthians 12:9a ESV). Now living daily, attempting to put things into the perspective Paul did and boast all the more gladly of weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon us. For the sake of Christ, content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when weak, then strong. (v.9b-10 edited mh).

Not having already obtained the resurrection or already perfect, but pressing on to make it our own, because Christ Jesus has made us his own. We do not consider that we have made it our own. But one thing we do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, we press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus (Philippians 3:12-14 12 ESV edited mh).

Always wondering if God will ever carry this unwelcome guest away but continuing to learn daily of the sufficiency of His grace!

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