I haven’t blogged a lot lately. Being a freelance writer tests the outer limits of my faith. At the moment I’m not sure if those limits are growing or shrinking. From my point of view everyone would want to paint and write for a living. The paradox is that I am living, just not making the money for the living. In my anxiety, I focus on the things that are not in my power to control. Romans 8:28 woes me to my knees.
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his son…”
I couldn’t read any further than “predestined to be conformed to the image of his son.” Often when comforting grieving or hurting people, we recite this passage and stop at, “God works all things for good.” We try to turn bad situations into feel good ones. We deny the pain and grief.
Being conformed to the image of a perfect, obedient son, who always knows the will of the Father does not feel so comforting or encouraging right now. It feels painful. It feels like grief.
Presently, I feel troubled and overwhelmed by hardship. Romans 8:35 assures me that neither of these will separate me from the Love of Christ. The real question is what if these two things are the very things that will conform me into the image of the Son.
I painted this picture. It feels off. Stormy. Chaotic. Why?
Because I don’t need to be reminded that “His eye is on the sparrow,” when everything is going well for me. I need it when I’m:
- in hardship
- cold and naked
- in danger
- or facing death
What about you today? Do you feel cold and hungry? Troubled? Persecuted? Remember, none of these things can separate you for the love of Christ. He is still watching over you. Standing with you. Crying with you. Rooting for you to be conformed to the image of the Son He loves. He’s cheering us on toward Christ like obedience.
Oh, how I wish God would remove this list from the believers life, but the question I asked remains. Maybe these are the very things that will conform us into the image of the Son. They do not feel pleasant or fun or good, but in hunger I find my soul fed by the Word. In persecution I begin to humble myself like Christ, and I am astounded once again at what Jesus Christ endured to save my soul. In trouble and hardship, I’m learning to depend on the Father. Learning to trust that even hardship is good has been difficult for me.