Saturday, August 13, 2011

Called?


In looking at patience, I came across another thought-rattler.
Read it through and think on it a little.
It may help with the ever-present 'WHY?!' that springs up in the face of suffering.

"For this is commendable
if because of conscience toward God  
one endures grief, suffering wrongfully
For what credit is it if, when you are beaten for your faults, 
you take it patiently? 
But when you do good and suffer, 
if you take it patiently, 
this is commendable before God. 
For to this you were called, 
because Christ also suffered for us, 
leaving us an example, 
that you should follow His steps... 
Who, when he was reviled, did not revile in return; 
when He suffered, He did not threaten,  
but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously."
~ 1 Peter 2:19-21

Maybe this passage sounds exactly right to your human brain and internal sense of justice.
But when I consider what it's saying, my brain shouts, "WHAT??!!"
Going back to why I began looking at these passages in the first place
(the Hebrews passage about leaving the elementary stuff and pressing on to maturity
-- hope, faith, and patience),
it stands out to me that it says, 'to this you were called'.
We were called to do good and suffer?
To follow His steps.

And in that, to commit ourselves to Him who judges righteously.
Because ultimately, that is hope.
That is faith. 
And that is patience.
Hope knows He is righteous,
and He judges righteously,
though I suffer.
Faith knows He sees me,
and He loves me,
though I suffer.
And patience waits for Him, grieving.
Patience stays under the load in hope and in faith.

Several of the words for patience indicate an expectant waiting.
A long-suffering, patient endurance.
Fortitude.
One of them came from two words: 'motion toward' and 'receive'.
'To admit, to allow'.
We naturally turn away from that which does not give us pleasure.
No admittance here.
Maturity walks through it.
Maturity leans into the contraction, breathes through the pain, lets it have its work.
And God commends it.

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