Early

April 14th, 2012 | Tags: • , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Return, O Lord! How long? And have compassion on Your servants.

Oh, satisfy us early with Your mercy,
That we may rejoice and be glad all our days!

Make us glad according to the days in which You have afflicted us,
The years in which we have seen evil.

— Psalm 90:13-15, NKLV

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I’m waiting for you, Lord.

The world we live in is not as it once was and not as it will one day be. Our anxious waiting “for that day when God will give us our full rights as his children, including the new bodies he has promised us” is not a soundless, predictable, easy process. The “foretaste of future glory” we have received from the Holy Spirit, rather than eliminating our groaning hunger for Christ and His kingdom, significantly sharpens our longing.

“Suffering makes us want to go there. Broken homes and broken hearts crush our illusions that earth can keep its promises, that it can really satisfy,” states Joni Eareckson Tada, who has lived most of her life in a wheelchair since being paralyzed in a diving accident. “Only the hope of heaven can truly move our passions off this world—which God knows could never fulfill us anyway—and place them where they will find their glorious fulfillment.”

In spite of what currently popular trends, theories, and theology may tell us, just as there is no painless birth, there is no painless life.

Like pregnancy, life can seem strangely meaningless if we discount or dismiss its eternal purpose and value in the presence of painful, confusing contradictions. But when we stop, focus our eyes of faith on Jesus, and quiet our hearts long enough to truly recognize and feel the discomfort, we find Christ waiting to meet us at the heart of our deep groaning.

I’m waiting for you, Lord.

All around us we observe a pregnant creation. The difficult times of pain throughout the world are simply birth pangs. But it’s not only around us; it’s within us. The Spirit of God is arousing us within. We’re also feeling the birth pangs. These sterile and barren bodies of ours are yearning for full deliverance. That is why waiting does not diminish us, any more than waiting diminishes a pregnant mother. We are enlarged in the waiting. We, of course, don’t see what is enlarging us. But the longer we wait, the larger we become, and the more joyful our expectancy. Rom. 8:22-25, MSG



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