FINDING TREASURE IN STRANGE PLACES

January 24, 2021

So, I found this wonderful quote by Martin Luther’s wife (whom I never knew had written anything).    “I had never known,” said Martin Luther’s wife, “what such and such things meant, in such and such psalms, such complaints and workings of spirit; I had never understood the practice of Christian duties, had not God brought me under some affliction.” 

It is not often spoken of.  The goodness of affliction.  Our culture today runs away from it and looks down on those who are underneath some kind of hardship or illness.  But King David understood it all too well.  Here are his words:  Psalm 119:71

It is good for me that I have been afflicted, That I may learn Your statutes.”

I have personally found that some of the greatest “gifts” from God, have been the afflictions He has allowed in my life.  It is then that I have pressed so deeply into His word, searching for a truth to comfort my soul.  It is then, in the pain of illness that the sweetest songs have been born. The most fragrant words of poetry reaching deep into uncharted depths of my soul and driving me into the Presence of Almighty God. Reaching way beyond casual devotions.  From this place have come the most comforting words that I have to give to others.

Some may scoff at this notion.  Indeed at times I have even felt “persecuted” by those who should have offered comfort.  It used to hurt me, as I have had chronic pain for many years. But now I feel sorry for those that have never experienced the pain of God’s “rod and staff”.  Though the world will soon be placed under this wisdom from above.

God is a good Father.  Yes, He is!  You may think this funny, but as one that is most likely a bit ADHD – it helps me to slow down and come away.  Like Joni Erickson Tada (a quadriplegic)  has said,  the sweetest time of day is when I am alone tucked in bed, abandoned into God’s presence and totally dependent on Him.  She has learned a secret.  

Everything we need is in Him.  All that the World tells us is necessary for a good life is passing away.  But His Word – His Presence – His fellowship,  these endure forever.  And not even death can take this away from us.  

Even the great Apostle Paul said,  “…..2 Corinthians 12:7

“And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was GIVEN to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure.”

Notice the word “given”. A gift.  If you look it up , Paul asked the Lord to remove it three times and God’s reply was “My grace is sufficient for thee”.  It kept him dependent on God and saved him from the destruction of self sufficiency.

While I completely believe that God is able to heal people and still does (I have seen many miracles and experienced Divine healing too),  we must determine if it is an attack from Satan to stop us, or if it is something God is allowing for a time as a tool to take us where we need to be with Him.

I hope you will all remember to “take it to the Lord in prayer” when you are called apart by some calamity or hardship.  Allow God to be at work.  Lean into it until you have reached a place in Christ that you have not been before.  Dig deep into His Word.  His saving grace is there.  If you do choose to meet these calamities of life with this insight, you can walk away from every one of them with a treasure given by God.

“All things work together for good, to those that love the Lord and are called according to His purpose.”  Romans 8:28

Again it is true that  “Satan comes to steal, kill, and destroy.” John 10:10  But you can always beat his attacks by leaning into God and getting the treasure that is waiting there.  This is a beautiful secret that Martin Luther’s wife discovered.  I hope you will too.

2 Corinthians 2:14

Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place.  

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