When I turned my life over to God and accepted the unsurpassable gift of his love, friendship, and protection, the Holy Spirit came to live in me. Almost immediately, I stopped asking why and realized we live in a fallen world. And due to our abuse of free will and the age-old insistence on choosing evil over good, we can expect suffering until Jesus comes again or we go home to be with him.
It was at this moment, I was given God’s peace that surpasses understanding and began looking for the lessons in everyday life. In 2009, my then 62-year-old husband received the dreaded diagnosis of early-onset Alzheimer’s disease. I googled it and read, “A terminal illness; life expectancy 4 to 8 years.”
After a good cry, I asked God, “Ok Lord, what do you want us to do with this?”
From that point on, he never left our side, never let us lose hope or feel despair, and brought us people and situations that made our journey to the end of Gary’s life an amazing one for all of us. God and his miracles are found in the what of every situation – both good and bad.
1 Peter 4:1-2 reassures us of this outcome: “So then, since Christ suffered physical pain, you must arm yourselves with the same attitude he had, and be ready to suffer, too. For if you have suffered physically for Christ, you have finished with sin. You won’t spend the rest of your lives chasing your own desires, but you will be anxious to do the will of God.”
What was Christ’s attitude? Simply, obedience to the will of the Father. Jesus left the glory of heaven to take on all the pains, sins, failings, and sorrows of humanity because the Father asked him to and because it was the only way to save us from the consequence of sin.
In the garden of Gethsemane on the night before he died, Jesus prayed, “‘Father, if you are willing, please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.’ Then an angel from heaven appeared and strengthened him. He prayed more fervently, and he was in such agony of spirit that his sweat fell to the ground like great drops of blood” (Luke 22:42-44).
When the center of our desires becomes loving God as both our Lord and Savior, we can accept the why and seek to know the what. There, we will find his blessing and peace in all things.
Are you ready to let go of what you want and humbly live a life of obedience which brings God’s blessing? If not, why, and how can you change?
Read 1 Peter 4:12-13. Then, adjust your thinking and look for the lesson and the blessing.
Lord, thank you for the opportunity to draw closer to you during every event in our lives. Please give me the strength and desire to focus on loving and serving you every moment of my life. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.
This post was written by Martha Preckler. Martha loves Jesus and growing closer to him every day. She loves serving on the Sparkle Team and Greeter Team, as a Landing Leader, GrowthTrack hostess, and fill-in writer for LIO. Martha is the grateful mother of two grown sons and one daughter-in-law. Both sons are good writers, but one is a published urban fantasy writer and self-proclaimed grammar dictator, which he swears he picked up from his mother. She has been a Toledo Business Journal contributor, speech writer, as well as creator of dozens of promotional pieces for seniors’ events and programming offer by the YMCA and JCC of Greater Toledo.
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