Complaining; May 13, 2019

Philippians 2:5 In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus.

The verses that follow are a truly anointed description of Christ, so this verse presents an impossibly high standard. The fact that it is impossible to our human nature should drive us to our knees to ask and allow the Holy Spirit to work this in and through us. Jesus was just as human as we are, even while being fully Divine. We often lose sight of that fact. He performed no miracles (despite some “Christian mythology” about His childhood) until the Holy Spirit came on Him at His baptism. It is clear from the story of His Bar Mitzvah (Luke 2:41-52) that He had an awareness of Who He was, but as the verses that follow this one make clear, He willingly accepted our limitations when He came to reside in Mary’s womb. That’s why Paul can say that our attitude should be the same as that of Jesus. Something that comes across very clearly here is that Jesus didn’t complain. One of the many striking details of the movie, The Passion of the Christ, is how Jesus, having been driven to His knees by His scourging, then struggles to His feet again to receive more. The director rightly has the actors playing the Roman soldiers express amazement at this. We need to remember that the same Holy Spirit who empowered Jesus has been given to us. We tend to think of that in terms of miracles and the like, but it also applies to all the little mundane details of our lives. If Jesus could endure scourging and crucifixion for us, we can endure anything for Him. (Philippians 4:13)

This is intensely personal at the moment, with my wife just having undergone back surgery while also having Parkinson’s Disease. She wrote me this morning that she had intense pain from the Parkinson’s (not the surgery) in the night, and only one nurse seemed to believe or understand her. That’s not too surprising, since that is a surgical unit of an orthopedic hospital, but it’s still not easy to deal with. My tiredness from three hours of driving to get to and from the hospital is building, but that is certainly minor compared to what my wife is experiencing. Yesterday had a number of really nice blessings in it, and we need to focus on those rather than all the junk. This is indeed intensive training in having the same attitude as Jesus!

Father, thank You for this Word. Help me communicate it to Cathy in a way that will encourage her and not put her down. Thank You that I was able to go yesterday, and that I can go this morning as well. I ask that you keep me safe on the road, but especially that You keep Cathy from any unnecessary pain, and give the nurses understanding of her situation so that they can give her the support she needs. In all of this may we accurately represent Christ, drawing those around us to You for their salvation and Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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