Have you ever had the same revelation over and over, and it's new every time? I'm not talking about wonderful stuff, either. It's like a recurring nightmare that I keep forgetting. A few weeks later, I have this little revelation again, and it's like I have never had the thought before. Then a deja-vu thing starts rattling around, and suddenly it dawns on my that: A) This is hardly original, and B) I am more than a little daft. :-)
It seems that every time I think about the suffering God has ordained in our lives, I end up thinking about how most of the suffering is in the waiting. We wait on answers, on events, on faith, and on deliverance. And much of that waiting seems to be done on an empty stomach. Some day, He will deliver. And so we wait, seemingly endlessly, in a dry place.
And after the long wait, a strange, unexpected thing happens.
We have to fight for our lives!
But this is exactly in keeping with the scriptural pattern.
1 Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, left the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, 2 where for forty days he was tempted by the devil. He ate nothing during those days, and at the end of them he was hungry.
3 The devil said to him, ...
At the end of 40 days of fasting, Jesus was hungry.
Then, and only then, the devil tries Jesus three times. The 40 day wait was an integral part of the trial, and there was nothing that could substitute for it. We are talking about the Son of God here! It seems like He might have better things to do with His time than growing weaker while waiting for a final battle with the devil!
But He didn't.
Waiting on God and the battle seems to be a part of the pattern of life that He has allowed in this age.
In the Army, they used to remind us that the march was only to the battle. While training, it gets to feeling like the march is the battle. It's not. After you march for 40 days, you get to dig in and prepare for the actual fight, and that is where we are truly tried.
Now, I just need to find a way to be able to remember this little lesson for more than 3 days!
9 Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.
(Uh, I haven't already blogged this, have I?)
(FTR - life is pretty sweet these days. These thoughts are not born out of any suffering :-). Just praising the Lord for the fight He waged.)