Since yesterday I have been pondering the word…suffering. It was a tough day to say the least. I was feeling pressure. Pressure in decision making, Pressure in homeschooling, Pressure through emails, texts, social media, the needs of my child, Pressure concerning ministry, Pressure to provide, to survive, to be a good example to my child, neighbors, Pressure awaiting the Governors update on the Covid-19 virus, and the list could go on and on…
Then my mind drifted back to my visit to Nazareth. I recalled the smell in the air, the breeze on my face, the sunshine on my back as our tour guided us through the wine press and the olive press. We were educated on the olive crusher and the process. Pressure is what it takes to create the best quality olive oil from olives that we enjoy today. In the midst of his demonstration, he paused and talked about the pressing and crushing Jesus went through in the Garden of Gethsemane ( filled with olive trees) before He endured the cross. There was great meaning in why Jesus chose this location to pray. The pressure was so intense his sweat became blood and oh the crushing on the cross became the absolute best, eternal sacrifice poured out for us, that we may live and be one with Him. John 10:10
￼All of a sudden, the pressure I was feeling became very small.
Then I remembered the pit we visited. It was called the “Sacred Pit” believed to be the place Jesus was kept after beaten awaiting the cross. I remember my knees lowering to the floor and sobbing uncontrollably as you could sense the suffering and His Holiness. I was overtaken by the vision of Him laying there suffering for me and for YOU.
My failures yesterday enduring suffering resulted in my 5 year old, Luke ministering to me. In a moment of weakness and fatigue I lost it and began to cry. I didn’t want him to see me that way, but God had chosen this moment when we both should have been asleep to advance the Gospel. The Jesus in Luke dried my tears, hugged me, comforted me, and told me everything would be ok. Then, instead of me singing him to sleep, he sung me to sleep.
I think if we look closely, all around us during such chaos and fear, the Gospel is being advanced. God is using all those that carry His light, young or old. A couple days ago, I was leading a prayer walk around my neighborhood for others and now I was needing prayers myself and I was amazed in how God spoke to me through my little Luke.
Jesus advanced the Gospel through the cross. Paul advanced the Gospel through chains. How might we advance the Gospel today through these uncertain times?
A great minister and teacher Elizabeth Elliot said “we will never understand suffering unless we understand the love of God and we will never understand the love of God until we understand suffering”￼
She also said ” sometimes the worst thing that may happen in human history will turn out to be the best thing because it will save the world”
Our stability of faith is the most important thing right now.
Trust God. Accept now. See later. His grace is all we need and how can we be grateful in the midst of suffering? Well, God is still love! Nothing has changed that! Aren’t you thankful for His love? ♥️
“God is love.” 1 John 4:8
Big hugs! (6 feet apart)