Matthew 10:24-25 “A student is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master. It is enough for the student to be like his teacher, and the servant like his master. If the head of the house has been called Beelzebub, how much more the members of his household!”
Jesus really laid it on the line for His disciples that He wasn’t leading them to Easy Street. The Church is no place for snowflakes! At the same time, He was very encouraging. This is all perfectly in line with one of my favorite Scriptures: “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33) He warned His disciples, and He warns us, precisely because He doesn’t want us to lose our peace, our joy, or our hope in what He has planned for us. It’s all a matter of perspective. When our hearts are really fixed on Jesus, His kingdom and His righteousness, then the things of this world will have minimal effect on us. That’s not to say they won’t hurt, or at times be delightful, but they won’t have the power to shake us. About 18 years ago we had a group of mostly elementary and middle school girls here from America on a missions trip, and one of their chaperons was a lady pastor whose trademark comment was, “That’s temporal.” That is to say, “That’s temporary and will pass. Don’t focus on it.” Needless to say, herding a group of girls like that she had plenty of reason to use that expression! That was a powerful object lesson that has stayed with us, and I’m grateful. I don’t want to be a snowflake, going into a panic or even complaining over stuff that happens, but rather be a faithful servant, doing what my Lord has assigned to me until He comes to get me.
Yesterday I read a heartbreaking email that was at the same time an enormous testimony of faith. A dear retired missionary friend was writing about his wife, who has a debilitating nerve disease, being diagnosed with cancer. They are having a course of radiation treatments, but he actually seemed grateful for the cancer, because it would be a much quicker and less painful way to “graduate” than the progressive disease she already has. That hit especially close to home for me, because my wife has Parkinson’s Disease. At this point it is progressing so slowly the doctor is surprised, but he is talking about increasing her medication after she gets back from her current trip. As I read that email yesterday I couldn’t hold back the tears, because medically speaking, I can see that in our future. How and when the Lord takes either of us home is His business, and I know His plans are good. In the mean time, we are to be active at the tasks He has for us, drawing others into His family and giving Him the praise and gratitude He deserves.
Father, thank You for all that You are doing. Yesterday was full of a lot of stuff and much good was accomplished, but not without stress. That applies to me and to Cathy! I continue to pray that the rest of her trip would be filled with delightful experiences and that she would return greatly blessed and encouraged. I do pray for Your physical protection for her, particularly from falling, which she did twice yesterday. May all of the plans of the devil be foiled and all of Your plans fulfilled, in Your way and for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!