Illuminations January 2024

Jan 30, 2024 | Articles

Sometimes we have to do what we have to do. It may not be what we want; it might even be an act so repulsive we believe we can’t. But we do it. Why? Because someone has to. And we’re the only one on the spot.

Just before sitting down to write this column, my miniature Schnauzer was routing around in the weeds at the back fence. I went to investigate.
It was a horrific scene. A freshly murdered bunny, beheaded and gutted, lifeless on the tall grass. Before I could think of what to do, Choco grabbed it and raced to the back door, trying to sneak inside with the trophy. I enticed him to drop the bunny and come inside (sans bunny corpse) by giving him a favorite treat.

I hardly remember what I did next. Donning a pair of surgical gloves, I grabbed a leaf rake and a yard bag and began cleaning up the scene of the crime. Piece by piece. It wasn’t pleasant.

Here’s my point. No matter how horrific the task or the extent of the nastiness, some jobs just have to be done. And you may be the one elected to do it. You’ve no choice.

The Apostle Paul says in Philippians 4:13, “I can do everything through Him who gives me strength.” Everything, anything, all things. There is nothing I cannot do through Jesus Christ who gives me every tool I need to get the job done. And “everything” includes messing with the residuals of Choco’s assault on an innocent little bunny rabbit.

What kind of assignments might a Christian encounter that would be difficult (or feel impossible) for him to do? Tell a friend he is not pleasing God by the foul words he is choosing to use? Confront a co-worker who is cheating on his time card? Affirm your faith in Jesus Christ while being threatened with a gun in the face?

Throughout his ministry, the Apostle Paul met with impossible situations that might have seemed impossible to bear.
In his words: “Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked, I spent a night and a day in the open sea, I have been constantly on the move. I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my own countrymen, in danger from Gentiles; in danger in the city, in danger in the country, in danger at sea; and in danger from false brothers. I have labored and toiled and have often gone without sleep; I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food; I have been cold and naked.”

If any man ever had reason to give up, it would be Paul. I’m sure there were times he believed he could not continue, that the task asked of him was impossible. But did he give up? No! Instead, he leaned on the Lord his God and received from Him everything he needed to make it through. He finished the race, he fought the good fight, and he received the crown that God had in store for him.

Paul had a promise from God that He would give him the strength to complete the task. And Paul kept on keeping on.

You and I have that same promise from God today.

On healing your hurt by forgiving the offender: “My ability to heal cannot be conditional on them wanting my forgiveness but only on my willingness to give it.” –  Lysa Terkeurst, “Forgiving What You Cannot Forget”

 

 

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