“Prescription” To Pain

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Photo by Hush Naidoo on Unsplash

Sometimes God appears obviously in my conscience mind. Satan will do everything he can to convince me I am wrong. Jesus Calling took me on a different route this morning as I waited for my Joe to brew.

I drink it now.

I drink more than coffee as you might guess, but the caffeine certainly helps my mind awaken to the truth that passes through it. Read October 21st Jesus Calling entry, and you’ll see the context of these thoughts.

I just noticed that today is October 20th, but God had in mind His purpose as I turned to October 21st. Satan will do whatever he can to thwart momentum to goodness when he’s aware it’s happening. He wants nothing more than to keep as many people as he can at “rock bottom” because when defeat in any remnant is experienced that’s less work for him. Remember Satan is not omnipotent (all powerful), so I’d argue that any angel cannot do physically what God is able to do. And I think there are varying degrees of strength and ability among the angels like athletes. It will be interesting to observe that with our new bodies. Thank God this is not all there is.

I digress.

There was conflict in the Tomlinson house last night because for some reason Friday night is hard for us. I went to bed at 8am to short circuit the work of Satan. Was Satan directly involved? Possibly. I don’t really know. There was evil at work, and I made that decision because silence is sometimes a great weapon in our battle against the unseen forces we are up against. Oh, blasting some Toby Mac is excellent spiritual warfare too, and quoting scripture from silent memory is powerful too, but sleep for me restores my ability to see love.

This morning is no exception as I prepare to down my second cup of coffee.

I don’t share this as a “prescription” for you. If it help praise God, but I share my experiences because I love to write, God is moving in my life, and your likes really drive me to write more. It feels good to be liked.

I like the replies even more, but I’ll take the likes as well. You are lovely people, and I apologize for not reading your posts, but I have intentions to improve in that area.

Our Father is a mutual presence of encouragement, and I praise His Name for bringing us together in our sufferings because our geographical locations don’t lend themselves to that sharing, but the internet is obviously a great source of good we share.

Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. (Psalm 139.23-24 NIV)

I memorized these verses many years ago, and I had to stop praying it because God was testing me beyond my ability to bear. This is one of the passages that Sarah Young listed with the October 21st Jesus Calling entry, and funny that it relates to what happened last night with my family.

Jesus Christ knew how to be with people. I’m learning from Him what that looks like. He was sinless. That means for the 33 years He lived on this earth He did not sin. He was completely man, and he could have, but his life was devoid of sin because he was the ultimate pure sacrifice whose blood cleanses us from all our sins. He had to be sinless for the sacrifice to work. And He was.

He never gloated over others that he was better than them. He sat and ate with rich and poor, and he saved and healed countless individuals who were neither. He continues to save and heal countless individuals today who believe in Him through the Holy Spirit.

I talked to one at length yesterday at a coffeehouse. There is no height nor depth that Jesus Christ cannot ascend or descend to save those from the clutches of evil. He longs for all mankind to know and experience His perfect love. Oh that each one of us would lean into that love.

Tomorrow morning when you and I are at church listening to the sermon let’s not think about the individuals who “need” to hear this sermon. Let’s absorb the words as if we were the only ones listening to our shepherd break the bread of life as if we were the only ones sitting there in the sanctuary.

He loves us that intensely.

He doesn’t compare any two of us. He knows the hurt and pain we experience better than anyone because He is God, and not only because He is God, but because he walked for 33 years on this earth with every pain we face, yet He was without sin.

This is not a fictional story. It’s the most real story we get to participate in.

I used to believe this story because my parents believed it. I now believe it and live it because God has shown Himself true and real in my life. I was baptized because of a fear of Hell, but I remember vividly the day of my baptism standing in the shower knowing I get to spend eternity with my Father.

There’s no security like that. There’s no comfort or fulfilling promise or blessing more satisfying than that. King David wrote that his cup runs over.

Indeed, like King David, surely goodness and mercy will follow us all the days of our lives, and we will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.

Father dear God we are up against so many hard things to face. There is one I know who has last his wife. There are those who I know about who have lost a son. There are others who battle cancer. I battle depression. You know that. There is nothing I pray that you do not know. You, however, have given me prayer because you want me to be in communication with you, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart. I take prayer for granted, and many times I’m not reverent when I approach your throne. Forgive me. Jesus, your son, is more real to me than he’s ever been, and I know my life’s experience has brought this to light. I need him more than ever, and I need you and the Spirit more than ever. You know the damage Satan continues to do in our world, but I know you are not wringing your hands in fear that he’s going to “win.” Sometimes it feels like he is winning, but during times like that please sustain us as we strive to remind ourselves of your presence.

Thank you Father for the free-will you’ve put in place, and thank you for not forcing yourself upon us. Thank you for the love you continually pour upon us, and thank you for sustaining Jesus to do what he did upon this earth. Your goodness is indestructible, and we cannot thank you enough for that love.

As my friend at the coffeehouse said yesterday we know that all this is just a shadow of the world to come, and we long to be in your unadulterated presence where evil does not exist. We cannot comprehend that kind of reality because everything here is tainted with impurity. Make us pure. Draw us near you and each other so that the world may see your love.

In Jesus name amen.

 

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