I had a dream, a few weeks ago. Two large lofty buildings stood soaring skyward at either side of a narrow walkway. A majestic type of architecture. One on the left and one on the right. Suddenly, there was what sounded like chaos. I heard a rumbling loud sound, and as I looked straight ahead at the buildings – they were collapsing. One half of the building on the left side of the walkway had fallen, leaning on the building on the right. And likewise, one half of the building on the right side of the walkway had fallen, leaning on the building on the left – altering it’s grand appearance. I felt God highlight to me that even though this superstructure had fallen and taken a new shape, it was that much more fascinating in it’s new form.
2 Corinthians 4: 8 – 12 TPT:
8 Though we experience every kind of pressure, we’re not crushed. At times we don’t know what to do, but quitting is not an option. 9 We are persecuted by others, but God has not forsaken us. We may be knocked down, but not out. 10 We continually share in the death of Jesus in our own bodies so that the resurrection life of Jesus will be revealed through our humanity. 11 We consider living to mean that we are constantly being handed over to death for Jesus’ sake so that the life of Jesus will be revealed through our humanity. 12 So, then, death is at work in us but it releases life in you.
2 Corinthians 4: 8 – 12 NIV:
8 We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; 9 persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.10 We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. 11 For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may also be revealed in our mortal body. 12 So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you.
Often we have this expectation that life needs to be perfect, and when it doesn’t turn out that way, we taunt ourselves with questions like, ‘why me?’.
I’ve recently had to challenge my ‘why me?’ thinking and instead replace my ‘why’ with ‘what’ and ‘where’. So instead of wrestling with the ‘why’, I have chosen to rejoice in the ‘what’ and the ‘where’ and ask myself the question – what can I do to glorify Jesus in my response to imperfection? And, where can I better my reaction in the face of fear?
When we begin to replace our ‘why’s’ with the wonders of ‘what’ and ‘where’ – we begin to refocus our attention on the Lord and not on our immediate circumstances.
A few days ago my two year old was diagnosed with a rare bone disease. A condition that, according to google, only affects one in six million children. My child is that one. It’s so easy to adopt the ‘why’ attitude. Our basic human instinct is to fight infirmities with bitterness and belligerence, hopelessness and hostility. Neither are helpful in winning the fight against frail humanity. Instead, the ressurection life of Jesus needs to be revealed in our response to affliction, by choosing to glorify Him with our ‘what’ and our ‘where’ and to dismantle the dominion of our ‘why’.
The questions on the forefront of my thoughts are now; what can I do to bring glory to Your name, Jesus? Or where can I serve you in this area, Lord?
Often, in our obedience to responding well in the face of fear – God shows himself faithful. He comes alongside us in our attempts to fight off fear and frailty and He bestows us with His favour. His grace guides us, and His love leads us. We are more beautiful in his eyes than ever before. In our new form, we begin to overflow in abundant life. When death is at work within us, we begin to live in the abundant life of Christ.
We are bruised but not broken.