Day 90: OPEN YOUR HANDS Our reading today is Judges 11 -12, Psalm 50, 11 Cor 1.
OPEN YOUR HANDS
Our reading today is Judges 11 -12, Psalm 50, 11 Cor 1. We are reading from the New Living Translation.
Given the option, I will rely on myself every time. Given the choice, I will hold on to control with a death grip, until I reach the point of death. That grip on self reliance is probably not unique to me. My guess is you know this grip well. God wants to get us beyond the death grip and utter self-reliance, and move us into something entirely new, a life of dependence and trust in his presence, in Him. It appears, in 11 Corinthians, that God allows us to go through these near-death experiences in order to break our grip and open our hand to His. Paul says that he thought he would never live through the difficulties he was experiencing . He said, he expected to die. The purpose of these experiences was that he would learn to stop relying on himself, but on God who raises the dead. In other words, we learn to rely on the power of the resurrection – the power of Christ presence in us – and not ourselves. There is no escaping suffering in this world. I wish that I could explain the meaning of suffering away. But I can’t. But what I can do in the face of suffering, is to look to the one who came and suffered with us, and for us, that we might have hope beyond our suffering, that we might even have joy and life. God is still doing that, he is still suffering with us. That’s the nature of love. To suffer with. The world “compassion literally means “to suffer with”
God is the self-giving, radically forgiving, co-suffering one. When this love meets you, at the deepest level, at your deepest loss, in your deepest wounds. He begins to mend you, in ways that not only heal you, but those around you who are suffering. That’s what Pau is describing here. In vs 6 when he says “For when we ourselves are comforted, we will certainly comfort you.”
May you experience the co-suffering love of God today and be healed.
God uses the external circumstances we are going through, that seem like they are bringing us to the point of death, to teach us to let go and open up to Him.
Given the option, we will rely on ourselves, and not Christ, every time. So He backs us into a corner, and corrals us to the point where we have to trust. If we refuse to do that, we will be of precious little help to ourselves or anyone around us who is going through hard times as well. When those who we know and love reach their point of death, what are we going to say to them? Can you say, through your own experience of letting go and opening up to God, I’ve been there too. I thought I could never live through this. I thought I was going to die when my child ran away, when the doctor gave his report, when they asked for a divorce. I thought that I would die. But it was then, that I had to stop relying on myself and completely rely on God. When I did that I found a different power working through me, the power of Christ in me, the power of the resurrection.
We all reach that point where we think we will never live. When you reach that death point, stop, and rely on Christ in you. Release that grip of control and open up your hand to His. That is when you will find a whole new power at work within you, the power of Christ in you. That will open up a whole new vista of empathy, and wisdom, and courage, for you and for others. That is the With-God life that we all need and were created for.
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