Posts Tagged ‘grace’

Yet Inwardly We Are Being Renewed

March 13th, 2009

Josh Weir is a friend that I can rely on to surprise me, to encourage me, to care for me, and to be real with me.  I am eternally blessed by my friendship with Josh.  He makes me laugh, he makes me ponder.  He challenges me to look at things from a different angle.  I met Josh back in college and since then we have shared many different life experiences, ups and downs.  Josh will drop everything to come to a concert, vegas, a padres game with me.  He is supportive and enlightening.  I count Josh as close, dear friend, a man after my own heart.  I am grateful for his presence in my life.

This Too Shall Pass…
by Josh Weir

“Let nothing disturb you, let nothing frighten you, all things are passing. God alone remains.”
– Therese of Lisieux

With so many things in flux in our world today, we are longing for something to find consistency in. We are looking for someone to believe in and restore hope in our lives. Oh, to find preservation. Oh, to find peace. Preservation of the heart which keeps our focus on that which truly sustains; a basis of reliance in the continuing experiences of life. Peace like a river washing over the rocks, around the trees and through the jungle. There are so many things which cloud our mind and distract us from peace. From a minuscule detail of a coffee stain on my tie, to the obsessive attention on the measurement of my waistline. From the refusal to let go and forgive a wrong action, to sensational pleasure seeking which isolates us and can compromise our integrity. We find a myriad of distractions from the peace of knowing the temporal in light of the eternal. In the eternal, our peace is secure. In the eternal, we are in the river of God’s grace as it carries us forward.

In the river of grace, our attention is drawn to the rocks and trees, the current, the rapids and whirlpools, and maybe even to a few snakes or alligators. Whatever we experience doesn’t change our existence in the river of grace which is taking us to God. Peace in the river is in knowing that he has created a place that the river is taking us to; a home and a reward at the end of the faithful journey. We may be in a dinghy or a yacht, or maybe we are hanging on to a piece of driftwood; the river is still taking us home. Knowing that the river is a manifestation of his grace (and that grace will carry us through) and knowing the peace of its perpetual flowing is the sustenance we have been given to continue, gives us hope for our preservation in our experience. As Paul encourages, “All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God. Therefore we do not lose heart.

Though outwardly we are wasting away,
yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.

For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” We have his grace to rely on as we focus on Him and his provision through the moment of distraction. In the experience of difficult times and trials, we can be encouraged by his promises and the hope we have in Him for a future.

As the distractions and complications pass in and out of our days, let us be encouraged by Him who knows ultimate temptation. The one who healed and preached, who was praised with palm branches and scorned with a crown of thorns at the bloody hour. The one who was raised to the seat of power, that every knee should bow, and every tongue confess his Lordship. He is the primary example that God rules and overrules in the lives of men and women. In love and mercy, judgment and righteousness – God rules in the lives of mankind. With injustice and corruption, with benevolence and reconciliation – God overrules in the lives of all humanity. Let nothing bring you fear. Are you happy? It will pass. Are you downtrodden? It will pass. Are you confused, ashamed, excited, or failing? It shall pass. Are you melancholy, calm, famished, accomplished, broken, or needy? It shall pass. Are you terrified, worried, restless, plentiful, conceited, or self-conscious? It shall pass. Are you wildly successful? This too shall pass. Are you struggling to make ends meet? Yes – all things are passing, but God alone remains. Remember that he has placed you in the river, that his grace may bring you to Him. Recall his promise to those whom he calls his own, “and if my people who are called by my name humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land. Now my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to the prayer offered in this place. For now I have chosen and consecrated this house that my name may be there forever, and my eyes and my heart will be there perpetually.” He is consistent in fulfilling his promises. We can rest in that preservation and peace. The essence of his peace is that he is bringing us through all circumstances; we can only experience his carrying us through. He is ruling. He is overruling. He is keeping your head above water or allowing you to walk upon it. Cast your cares upon Him, for he cares for you. Praise Him in the moment of triumph. Speak aloud to the Father in your worry and doubt. Confess your distractions and concerns for the up and coming. Recognize his grace and power, and feel the peace flowing through your days in his eternal triumph over temporal experience. He alone remains. He is worthy of hope. He will preserve you. He will bring you peace.

This Week I'm Thinking About: Josh Stichter