“Affliction will either warm you up toward spiritual things or turn you cold.”
Joni Eareckson Tada “A Lifetime of Wisdom: Embracing the Way God Heals You “
I’m sure we can all proudly stand up and claim the fact we have all seen some form of affliction in our life at one time or another. Case to case, person to person, situation to situation the degree of suffering, hardship, and trouble can differ tremendously. The important thing is to not focus on whether “what I went through” was worse than what other people have experienced but to focus on the outcome where we do get the ability to choose how we react to things.
A lady in my church told me once she had recently came to the conclusion she had her marital problems to thank for the spiritual woman she was turning in to. She was one of those who “warmed up toward spiritual things” as she snuggled up to Jesus. Another example is a man who just a few months before dieing from his cancer told me, “He was thankful for his cancer because it drove him to walk closer to Jesus in order to get through his experience.” He was one of those who “warmed up toward spiritual things.”
God doesn’t always take the shortest path from point A to point B but He will get us there. We turn cold on Jesus when we get impatient traveling to far when we know for sure there had to be a quicker path somewhere. “How long, Lord, how long!” was David’s words in the Psalms as he began to get a little impatient in his travels. We want microwave results that are quick and fast and come out in our favor. If we don’t get what we want we turn cold on Jesus. We unplug from our power source, Jesus Christ, and then wonder why things are just not warming up. Well duh!
I have to confess I’m one of those people who have stood in front of a microwave impatiently wondering why my coffee or food wasn’t heating up as it should. After several wasted minutes of being impatient I discovered the setting on the microwave had been changed to defrost. We treat our spiritual lives the same way. We change the setting to defrost then wonder why we aren’t warming up to Jesus like other people do.
Long before affliction shows up we need to make sure our spiritual heart or soul is in good condition. It’s our responsibility to prep and prepare ourselves to make sure we are set on the correct setting to warm up to Jesus. The best preparation is done through the avenue of prayer and engulfing in God’s word. The longer we spend time in these areas the more confidence and trust will begin to build towards our power source, Jesus.
We may not like what was cooked up at the time but we can always appreciate the outcome when we start in to these moments with the correct attitude. We should never doubt the fact that God does see our affliction. He knows what is going on. He’s in control. We turn cold on God when we think He doesn’t care by allowing these things to happen. If that was the case then my parents must not have cared about me when I was young. After all they allowed me to get hurt on the school bus that resulted in two brain surgeries, uncontrollable seizures and 12 years of disability, how dare they!
Whoa girlie let’s back the school bus up here, what their love assured for me was an extended hand to help me through what life threw my way. The choice was mine to stuff my hand in my pants pocket and pout that I was having to go through these things or I could extend it out and meet their hand in mid-air. Just like mom and dad’s hand was there to see me through, God’s hand is there to walk us through our afflictions.
We can accept it and warm up to it or choose a different setting and reject it in a cold pouting heart engulfed in self-pity instead of family pride that we do have a Father, a Heavenly Father that cares. He’ll never leave us alone. He lights the path occasionally. He leaves it dark where we don’t really need to see. He gives us walking lessons as we trust in the One in the lead. Our patience and trust in Him can take us from a microwave oven, quick got to have it now life, to a conventional oven that will give us even better results if we are only willing to wait for them.
Take a look at your heart and change the setting to Jesus. The end result will always be worth the time it took to get there.
© 2009 Karen J. Gillett @ Pencil Marks and Recipes Publishing