This week, I’m reading Transforming Grace: A Study of 2 Corinthians, a short 42-day study by the Rev. Dr. Michael Thompson. He’ll be speaking at St. George’s Episcopal Church here in Nashville on Saturday, April 5 from 9am-11am. Will you join me at 8:30 for a cup of coffee and conversation before his talk? His book is available FREE here at this link.
Day 2 of Transforming Grace has us exploring Chapter 1:1-3, God’s Consolation. Rev. Thompson comments that Paul’s challenges were not abstract as Paul openly discusses his hardships in great detail later in his letter. Rather than whining about life’s imperfections, Paul saw their divine purpose of causing him to rely on God rather than himself. In verse 10, Paul points out that when he remembers how God has saved him in the past, it gives him the assurance that God will continue to save him in the future.
I was reminded that just as with any relationship, we superficially trust at first, testing how the person will react. Over time the relationship either dissolves when our trust has been misplaced, or deepens as we continue to love and be loved.
A friend shared a keen observation recently of two twin sisters who were getting on in years. Both girls were raised in a loving middle-class home but their adult paths were strangely divergent. The one woman had lived a comfortable life marrying in her 20’s, raising two children and having a successful career as an interior designer. The other twin had experienced many of life’s hardships including two husbands who had left her widowed, an alcoholic son and a mini-stroke that necessitated her walking with a cane. My friend loved both these women dearly, but commented that the one who had the easier path didn’t have time for church activities and attended only a few times per year. The woman who had endured many earthly trials is a committed Christian, reading her Bible daily, and attending worship services multiple times per week.
One woman learned to trust God through her adversities whereas the other had learned to trust only herself.
My friend’s question was thoughtful: “Which of these sisters is better prepared for the intimate relationship that we will have with God in eternity?”
A great question.
Blessings, my friend,
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