Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Stressed???



What are the three most stressful things in your life right now? Whatever they are, they are probably what you need most to help you become spiritually transformed.

When one door closes, another opens.....but it's hell in the hallway.  Joyce Rupp

Change, struggle, pain opens the door. We need to choose to walk across the threshold. On the other side is rebirth which can look like new beginnings, accepting mystery, clarifies our life purpose, gives appreciation of community, puts ego into its place. We become more compassionate, lean more on God. It helps to focus us out of our safety that keeps us from growing and into the wild edges that move us beyond our bordered boxes that can, at times, stifle our growth.

In his book, God's Love Letters to You, Larry Crabb shares the following.

God says: The life I want you to live now is a life both to endure and to enjoy.

At times, such strong endurance will be required that joy will seem a far-off hope, a lost experience. But without endurance, you will know little of the very real joy I provide.

With endurance, a joy will develop that frees you to appreciate the pleasures of life's blessings without requiring from them a  satisfaction they cannot provide.

And that same joy, more deeply felt as a longing whose complete satisfaction is guaranteed, frees you to endure whatever hardships lie ahead.

Think of an internal struggle or perhaps a relationship that provokes ongoing tension. In either case, how have you given up and settled for less than what God might want? What would it look like to get back in the battle and persevere?

What pleasure in your life might you be requiring to do more for you than it can? Put words to the anger behind this demand for satisfying pleasure.

Stop and consider how you might typically define joy. After reading today's thoughts, how would you amend your understand of joy?

Take a moment to pray:
Down deep, Lord, I can sense a desire in me to persevere though I am easily derailed. Often I seek pleasure to find an easy way out. In my heart of hearts, I long to know the joy that Jesus knew as he endured the cross. Make sense for me of that kind of perseverance and joy. In His name, amen.


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