Have you ever wondered what the key to life is? How do I live this life called "Christianity"? I know I'm saved by grace through faith so heaven is in the bag, so to speak. But what do I do in the meantime...just try my best with a bit of God's help? And what about all that suffering? What's that about?
I don't know about you but my trying and His help added in (if I pray correctly and don't mess up in the meantime...a.k.a. "sin") have never really worked for me. There is no joy, no peace, no abundance, no rest...all that Jesus promised, right?
This is what I know: it's His strength in my weakness! His resurrection Life in my humanness! And it's in the deepest of trials, that we need to know this deeply and truly.
In "'Never more than we can bear' Oh really?" we explored Scriptures and experiences about this very truth. Since then I've come across an additional thought. This is so good and so true!
You and I are now called to live in the power of Christ's resurrection life, and the Lord's dealings with us are to get us on to that ground. He will weaken our strength, empty us of our fulness, bring us up against things which are altogether beyond us, and His dealings with us in every way will all point to one direction: to get us to live our life upon no other basis than His resurrection life, the life that we live by faith in Him. T. Austin-Sparks, The Nature of that which Issues in the Resurrection of Christ
So nothing we go through is wasted when it brings us to living from Christ and His resurrection!
We have some missionary friends who are going through the deepest of deep trial. Kim and Randy have been ministering in Austria for many years. They have four children, and in the midst of a healthy, energetic life, their mama Kim has been diagnosed with stage 4 cancer.
As a little background, Kim used to babysit our son Jeremy when he was a baby back in the late 1970's. At that time, my husband John was a youth pastor at McLean Bible Church in Virginia. Kim's parents, Bobby and Patricia, have been our dear friends for years. So this has been hard...for everyone!
But as I've read letters from both Randy and Kim, I hear weakness made glorious in the stripping...the Strong indwelling Christ getting all the glory! And the trial being made golden in His hands.
Can I just share an excerpt of one of Randy's letters and let you see Him for yourself? Worship the One who is Able to be and do immeasurably beyond all that we can ask or think:
It is overwhelming to grasp, even a little bit, such love as only God can pass on. His Word is a comfort, His Spirit is such a great guidance, His presence is a great help, and His love is so humbling...
Both Kim and I stand here stripped of everything, to the very bones and beyond in total dependence on Him! Neither she nor I have ever experienced this. And for that we are thankful!
Right now, Kim and I are alone here in Germany, the kids are at home...in good care. Kim needs my help at all times...well, and I need her! But most of all we both need God and His strength. It is a daily battle that brings us closer to each other and closer to Christ. It is good. We rejoice and are glad. And even though it is the hardest thing to see my dear wife, who was so vibrant, who played on the soccer team with all those young girls, who was the main hub of our house and our family - to see her like this...
I want you all to know that we are happy, that we are full of joy and that we love fighting this battle together. And let me tell you that this is not a battle for Kim's body, no, this is a spiritual battle just like any other, just like the many we have fought before, except that this may be the toughest one so far...
Let me be honest with you and say something that I have learned, even though it is so obvious:
God wants me 100%. Not 84%. Not 90%. No, He wants me 100%. I have been a missionary, working for the Lord, for all my life, but did I give my heart to God 100%? No, I didn't and now I am ready to do so...
Please, be glad with us and be happy with us. Thank the Lord for what has happened to Kim. Don't be sad. Don't feel sorry for us. When you think of us and talk about us, thank the Lord for what He has done in our lives...
Kim and Randy know that nothing is wasted in God's economy. His strength in their weakness is always about His glory and their ultimate good...always and forever.
Do you too know that also, my friend? No matter what you may be going through, nothing is wasted...ever!