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Posts Tagged ‘1 Corinthians 13:12’

imagesSovereign is a word that Christians use in relation to God.

When a Christian says that God is sovereign, what we are saying is that we abdicate our control to Him, not just because He holds the position of a sovereign (king), but because we believe that His perspective is broader, bigger than our own and that He will only allow that which will benefit us, that which will be good for us.

That does not mean that we always receive all gifts from God with open hands. There are times that the gifts God gives are not what we wanted. They might disappoint, they might reduce the quality of our life, they might even hurt to the point of tears.

The person who has just been diagnosed with a terminal disease.
The person who has just lost their job.
The person whose spouse has said they no longer love them.
The person who is separated from someone they love.

I heard the story of a woman who was celebrating the birthday of her son. She was sharing with me how, when she was enroute to the hospital, if God had said to her, “I’ve decided that I will give you a healthy son, and he will be born with a disability affecting him physically and cognitively” she would not have opened her hands to receive that gift, but might have tried to negotiate with God. Yet, now, a dozen years after her son was born she cannot imagine all that she and her family would have missed out on without this gift, potentially received with a closed hand. She now can see that the gift God gave was good (although she does still mourn the difficulties for her son).

Hindsight does that, it gives us a better picture of our life, it is a picture that we do not see until it has past. God, though, sees the picture even before we are born. He sees our lives, and how they interact with others, in their whole entirety. When He gives us His gifts, He knows how they will be used to bring good to us … in the end.

How often are we handed gifts from God and we close our hands in receiving them? Or even turn our backs on them? We do this because we only see this very moment. We do not see the gift from a perspective of hindsight.

We can be certain of God’s care for those of us who are his subjects because He has proven to us that He loved us in sacrificing His only Son, for our good, future and life.

God is sovereign.

“We don’t yet see things clearly.
We’re squinting in a fog, peering through a mist.
But it won’t be long before the weather clears and the sun shines bright!
We’ll see it all then, see it all as clearly as God sees us, knowing him directly just as he knows us!”
1 Corinthians 13:12

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156148312051762778_tvv1QTVo_bJanuary is (finally) at it’s end. A dark month, both physically and emotionally.

There has been one thing that I have been reminded during of this month of ebony … we aren’t there yet.

There being the life that waits for us once our life here on Earth has come to an end. There being that place where the streets are paved with gold (Rev. 21:21), where there will be no more death, or mourning, or crying in pain … no more tears (Rev. 21:4), where there will be no more night (Rev. 21:25), where we will dwell with God (Rev. 21:3).

There being the existence that we were originally created for, back in the garden.

I am no detester of this Earth, or this life we live. This IS my Father’s World …

and He created all that is good in it. But the world He created changed in it’s totality when sin came into His perfect, flawless, self-sustaining creation, and the effects of that sin are all that weighs us down in this life … sickness, floods, starvation, money, lies, hurts, death.

In the absence of the perfection that God intended for us to live, is the longing for … more. That more can only be found there.

“There’s a day that’s drawing near
When this darkness breaks to light
And the shadows disappear
And my faith shall be my eyes”
Chris Tomlin “I Will Rise”

As we trod this earth as believers in the Triune God (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) we wish that we had such great faith that it is our eyes. We wish that we could see those around us with the faith of full belief, but we cannot. It is only in the presence of our Creator that our faith specs are able to see fully.

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Walking on my favorite trail with my beast, I came to this realization.

A few weeks back I took the photo above and to the left. It was a chilly, bright, clear day. If you look really closely you can see the snow covered mountain in the far background. It was a beautiful view!

Then, this past weekend I took the photo above and to the right. It was a cool, damp, cloudy, rainy day. The walk was equally beneficial, but not so beautiful. There is no mountain in sight, as it was hidden from my view by those rain-filled clouds.

You now know, because I shared my pictures, that behind those gray clouds are beautiful mountains. If I had just told you about them, you might have trusted my telling, and, with faith, believed that the mountains I shared with you are truly there, and beautiful. But, because you are able to see them for yourself (albeit with a magnifying glass), your faith has been made sight!

“For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face.
Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.”

1 Corinthians 13:12

And that is what awaits us. Faith that has been made sight!

“For instance, we know that when these bodies of ours are taken down like tents and folded away, they will be replaced by resurrection bodies in heaven—God-made, not handmade—and we’ll never have to relocate our “tents” again. Sometimes we can hardly wait to move—and so we cry out in frustration. Compared to what’s coming, living conditions around here seem like a stopover in an unfurnished shack, and we’re tired of it! We’ve been given a glimpse of the real thing, our true home, our resurrection bodies! The Spirit of God whets our appetite by giving us a taste of what’s ahead. He puts a little of heaven in our hearts so that we’ll never settle for less. That’s why we live with such good cheer. You won’t see us drooping our heads or dragging our feet! Cramped conditions here don’t get us down. They only remind us of the spacious living conditions ahead. It’s what we trust in but don’t yet see that keeps us going. Do you suppose a few ruts in the road or rocks in the path are going to stop us? When the time comes, we’ll be plenty ready to exchange exile for homecoming. But neither exile nor homecoming is the main thing (OR, in the NIV: “for we live by faith, not by sight”). Cheerfully pleasing God is the main thing, and that’s what we aim to do, regardless of our conditions.” 2 Corinthians 5:1-9 (MSG)

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There is a verse from 1 Corinthians 13 that has been (partially) marinating in my brain cells this week, and it has nothing, and everything, to do with love (as 1 Corinthians 13 is known as the “Love Chapter” of the Bible).

The verse that I have been pondering (and taking out of context) is verse 12; “now we see a blurred image in a mirror. Then we will see very clearly. Now my knowledge is incomplete.”

I found myself thinking of my mom, back when I was a single adult (barely an adult, since hubby stole me away so young 😉 ), and she was … about the age that I am now. I found myself trying to remember what I was like as a young adult, and what she was like as a VERY YOUNG woman (remember, I was remembering her when she was the age that I am now).

Then out of the blue the verse above came to mind, and I thought of our relationship back then.

My mom and I had a great relationship when I was a child, and even when I tortured her through my teen years. Many times when my friends came over, they were as eager to sit and chat with her, as with me. My mom had a fantastic gift for listening, and what more could a teenage girl want than to have an adult actually listen to them when they speak?!

I also remember the post high school years, and how there was more distance between us. I remember that I started to notice flaws in mom. I started to watch her more, and I started to see that she did not do things as I might have thought the ‘right way’ to do them. It was in this stage that I no longer agreed with all that she said.

This was the stage of me growing away from my mom. It is normal, it is predictable and it is good. It is a stage where a young adult begins to become more independent of their parents, in actions and in thoughts.

I also now know that it must have been hellish for her. To go from such closeness to growing distance must have eaten at her mother heart.

“Now we see (like) a blurred image in a mirror …”

I remember that stage of life. I remember the independence that I was feeling. I remember how very eager I was to grow away from my parents. I remember feeling wise and worldly.

What I know now, that I did not know then was that I was seeing the life before me as a blurred image in a mirror. As clear as life and the future seemed to me then, now I know, looking back, that what I saw was often not reality. I saw things as I wanted to see them.

I was living in the idealism of youth. Now idealism is not a bad thing, as a matter of fact, I wish that I could get some of that idealism of youth back in my mind and heart, but idealism is often not seeing things as they are, but as we wish to see them … it is blurred reality.

I judged my mom, based on my blurred vision. I guess it is a common happening in most young adults lives, with their parents, but now I “see very clearly” how blurred that vision was, way back then. I can not say that “my knowledge is incomplete” quite yet, but I am now at the stage of life of seeing my mom as a whole, not just the parts that I thought I understood as a young adult.

I now understand that some of my mother’s actions and inaction, things she said, and refrained from saying, were responses to the decisions she had been making since she was a young adult herself. I now see that she did the best with what life had thrown at her, and with the consequences (good and bad) of her young adult decisions, when her vision was still blurred.

I do look forward to the day when “my knowledge is incomplete.”

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