Friday, June 29, 2012

Beauty Was Just Around the Corner

Recently, I ended my 90 day journey with David and started another 90 day journey, this one with John, the beloved disciple.  I was sad to wrap up the final lessons on David.  Yes, he was flawed.  Yes, his life held great successes but also devastating failures, as well as mistreatment from people who should have known better. However, through it all his soul was knit to God's.  He was a worshiper.  I am a worshiper.  And I was moved to read of David worshiping, even in his final days when it had all been said and done.

I am now 16 lessons into my 90 day journey with John (written by Beth Moore), and there is already so much I could tell you.  Oh, how I sometimes wish you could all pile in my living room and we could drink coffee, eat scones, and share what we have been learning from God's Word with no time limit or duties awaiting us!  For now, I'll choose to share one thing that spoke to me the other day.

The text was Luke 22:7-13.  The assignment was a Passover meal, and Jesus chose Peter and John to prepare it.  If you know anything about a Jewish Passover meal of this time, it would involve having to slaughter a spotless sacrificial lamb.  Later on, both Peter and John would refer to Christ as the Lamb. Perhaps their preparations of this last supper together would make Christ's fulfillment as our perfect sacrifice even more poignant.  John refers over 20 times to the Lamb in the Book of Revelation.  Peter wrote in I Peter 1:18-19,

For you know that you were redeemed from your empty way of life inherited from the fathers, not with perishable things, like silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without defect or blemish. 

Beth pointed out that God can do anything he wants.  He could have prepared the supper himself.  Rather, "He sovereignly chooses to employ mortals to flesh out an invisible work in the visible realm."  

God uses people.

She went on to say, "If He gives us a task or assigns us to a difficult season, every ounce of our experience is meant for our instruction and completion if only we'll let Him finish the work."

How true.  Philippians 1:6 immediately came to mind.

Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.

She wrote of how as Peter and John prepared that Passover meal, they were privy to secrets that would become clearer to them as time passed.  God often works that way.  He doesn't always reveal everything to us immediately.  His work in us is often gradual.  

The Lord confides in those who fear him; he makes his covenant known to them.  (Psalm 25:14)

One of my favorite moments of insight was this.  Beth wrote,

"Ecclesiastes 3:11 says that God makes everything beautiful in its time.  I truly believe that if we're willing to see, God uses every difficulty and every assignment to confide deep things to us, and that the lessons are not complete until their beauty has been revealed.  I fear, however, that we have such an attention deficit that we settle for bearable when beauty was just around the corner."

I was caught by that.  We settle for bearable when beauty was just around the corner.

We allow fear, hurt, anger, bitterness, distractions, discouragement, exhaustion, and a myriad of other possibilities to let us miss the beauty.  If we would have just held on a little longer, let God complete His work, we would have seen it.  

I don't know about you, but I don't want to miss the beauty.  Especially when it could be right around the corner.

Don't give up.  Hold on.  Let Him complete His work.  Then enjoy the view.

(images I captured on a recent visit to the gulf)

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