Monday, March 19, 2007

“Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” 2 Corinthians 4:16-18

Heart-Shine

Just this afternoon, I received a phone call from a dear friend who is going through a turbulent struggle, one that is threatening the very life of her beloved son. After months of caring for the needs of this young man, she is tired; emotionally exhausted, physically depleted, and psychologically worn. Still, the cheery voice on the phone this day is filled with joy and strength as she relates how God is caring for her soul; that at the core of her very being, her heart is overflowing with renewed strength and hope in spite of anything that is happening outwardly. In the face of a life and death struggle, she is a living, breathing example of living from your heart.

There are many examples of people just like my friend; perhaps you are thinking of someone like her right now. How do they do it? How do they not lose heart in the face of desperate suffering? In our fast-food-society of quick fixes, how is it that some endure the long haul with such grace?

Here are just a couple of things that I see in my friend’s life that seem to make the difference for her. However, it is not a matter of things to do—it is a response from her heart. Her heart seeks:

The “light in the darkness” (2 Corinthians 4:6).

God’s promises for our suffering! (2 Corinthians 4:8-12)

The glory in suffering (2 Corinthians 4:17; Romans 8:17)

An eternal perspective (2 Corinthians 4:16-18)

When we are faced with a struggle of the heart, we are tempted to respond with our own strength or ability. We analyze, we theorize, we categorize. Our minds race to find relief from our pain. Each is in vain, if we do not engage our heart; for it is there that we willfully surrender our struggle to our Victor; the One who understands our pain and displays His glory through our sufferings (2 Corinthians 4:12b).

Reflections

Reread 2 Corinthians 4, begin this time with Verse 1 and don’t stop until the last word of verse 18. Take a moment and listen with your heart. Are you in a spiritual battle right now? What are your eyes “fixed on (v. 18)? What are you seeking? Have you engaged your heart? Let His light shine through—it’s there, He placed it in your heart “to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.” Let your heart so shine!

Written by blog/author, Published In LifeLine Devotionals, March 19, 2007

12 comments:

great2beme said...

Let me just say I so needed that. I always know in my head that as long as I focus on Jesus and not the problem I will be okay, but occassionally I need words of encouragement and inspirations like your friend. Thanks for sharing.

eph2810 said...

What a wonderful reflection, Diane. Some times it is hard to stay focus with all the things life throws at you. I have down in the pit before too, but He is faithful to guide us through the valleys...

Blessings to you and yours.

Linda said...

I can't tell you how this ministers to me. So beautifully written - straight from the heart.
Thank you so very much.
I have also learned - in the struggle - to simply trust. It seems to make room for peace and grace to flow in.
A wonderful devotional.

Sharon Lynne said...

Thank you. I'm so glad I stopped over here today. I'm going to take the time to read those scriptures. I really needed this post tonight.

Grandma Cathy said...

Wow, this was very encouraging, I just wrote a post about wanting to keep running the race I'm in, but some days just seem like I have to run longer and jump more hurdles than other days. Why, can't this race be easy? I posted it, came over here and thought isn't this just like God, he gives us just what we need, at just the right time. Thanks!

Grandma Cathy said...

I just had to share again how God works, I went and visited a couple other sites after I commented here, then I decided to do one random on the Christian women online blog ring, and guess where I ended up. I guess God wants me to read your post, not once today but twice. Thanks again for the encouragement.

Dawn said...

Wonderful, timely words. I love your mind!

I can picture you in the lilac bushes with your hands over your heads, reveling in the scents. We planted lilacs when we first moved here and they have never produced as we hoped. Scripturally, I guess they ought to be pruned and cast into the fire, eh?

Have a wonderful day.

Kathleen Marie said...

What a great list. I worked in hospice for years and greatly admired so many who helped family and friends.

God Bless You!

Mike said...

Very inspiring.

Mike
http://somethingaboutparenting.typepad.com/

Nadine said...

Thank you for sharing such a wonder relfection.

jillbeth said...

Thanks for this inspiring post. It is so easy to get caught up in our problems and forget that He is there beside us always. Thanks for the reminder.

Lisa said...

Food for thought! *Yum!*

Thanks for dropping by! Welcome any time! :o)