Today is Adam's last day of Radiation! Praise Jesus!
Now I’m sure of this: the sufferings we endure now are not even worth comparing to the glory that is coming and will be revealed in us.
John Piper writes:
Life is not a straight line leading from one blessing to the next and then finally to heaven. Life is a winding and troubled road. Switchback after switchback. And the point of biblical stories like Joseph and Job and Esther and Ruth is to help us feel in our bones (not just know in our heads) that God is for us in all these strange turns. God is not just showing up after the trouble and cleaning it up. He is plotting the course and managing the troubles with far-reaching purposes for our good and for the glory of Jesus Christ.
John Piper mentions four stories from the bible:
A poor guy sold by his brothers, turned into a slave, imprisoned for years, falsely accused, forgotten, and in the end turns around and says to his mean brothers, "What Satan meant for evil, God meant for God, for the saving of many lives." (Genesis 50:20)
A blameless man who Satan decides to pick on, to test to see if he really did love the God who had blessed him so. God allows Satan to have all of Job's family fall dead in a storm, all of his possessions lost. He is left with a terrible disease, a sorry wife, and friends who blame him for his literal destruction. However, the end of his story reads, "So the Lord blessed the latter end of Job's life more than his beginning.....Job lived an hundred and forty years, and saw his sons, and his sons' sons, even four generations. So Job died, being old and full of days." Job 42:12,15,17
A girl who is taken from her home and comfort to be ONE of the kings mistresses. The King actually picks her to be his wife, but doesn't realize she is of the line of people he is about to kill. So, she has to literally put her life on the line, and ask him to spare "her people," the Jews. The end of the story reads as such: "The Jews had light, and gladness, and joy, and honor" for the Jews who were to be exterminated were been saved because of God's providence through Esther's life.
A young woman left widowed, follows her mother in law to a land known for disliking people like her. She works hard labor for food and meets a man who can actually save her from all her and her mother in law's hardships. The end of her story reads as such: "So Boaz took Ruth into his home, and she became his wife.... And gave birth to a son, and his name was Obed." The great great grandfather of baby Jesus who came to save the world.
John Piper mentions each of these stories because they are incredible stories of suffering, hardship, and sovereignty of God. Yet, In each of these stories, God gives us a glimpse of redemption. I'm absolutely positive none of these "characters" would have pictured their lives going the way they did, or could foresee the incredible hardships they would face. But, they also couldn't envision their lives the way God did, everything about their stories coming full circle, God unquestionably using them to fulfill His divine purposes.
I don't know about you, but I find this scripture, this quote, and these stories remarkably encouraging. It invokes my soul to remember, God is plotting carefully our stories; He is in control, He knows, He sees, and His ending is far greater than we can fathom.
Thank you for the examples of suffering you left in the bible for us to read giving us hope and providing peace. Thank you for your unending grace. Thank you for carrying us through the last few months; you have been ever so faithful. Thank you for your promise that the sufferings we deal with here on earth won't even compare to the glory that is to be revealed later. Jesus we long for the day that we get to see you face to face, but until then Jesus we beg you to use us for your kingdom's sake. Amen.
"This is My Story" Big Daddy Weave
"Of the grace that is greater than all my sin. Of when justice was won and when mercy wins. Of the kindness of Jesus that draws me in. Oh to tell you my story is to tell of Him.
"This is my story, this is my song, praising my Savior, all the day long....."