I have often admired people that go through prolonged illness with grace, and inwardly hoped that should some catastrophic illness such as cancer befall me, that I too, would walk through it with grace, and that it would glorify God.
Yesterday, I was jarred with the reality that I don’t need a catastrophic event of illness or loss, to glorify God; I need to glorify God in this, my own circumstance. Whether our lives be full of the mundane, or harder yet, a difficult marriage, a difficult job, a life of loneliness or any situation we find hard to bear, we can, and must glorify God in it.
“Whether, therefore, ye eat, or drink, or whatever ye do, do all to the glory of God.” I Corinthians 10:31 KJV
So, Barbara, (word to myself), I don’t have to wait for the big catastrophic event that all can see, I can glorify God in my current circumstance, that no one may see but God. Don’t waste the opportunity to glorify God in it. How do I do it?
A few years ago, John Piper wrote an article, Don’t Waste Your Cancer on the eve of his cancer surgery. In it, he lists ten ways that one can waste their cancer, with the first way being, not believing that God designed it for them. Please click on the link to see the remaining nine.
From that article, and what I am learning through my journey in the Lord, is that all things do come from God. He is sovereign over all things. The late R. C. Sproul once said: “There are no maverick molecules in the universe.” God controls all things, and will work all things out for my good, and his glory. It may not be comfortable, but it will work out for my good.
“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28 KJV
So, my prayer now to the Lord is how? How do I walk through this in a God-glorifying way?
- I must daily confess to him my pride and my desire for self-preservation. Ask for forgiveness. I John 1:9
- I must daily read my Bible with an open heart and mind, so that through the reading, my mind will be transformed and renewed to become like Christ, as I die to self. Romans 12:2 Philippians 2
- Totally submit myself to him. I am no longer my own. I belong to him. I Peter 5:6-7, I Corinthians 6:19-20
- Trust him for the outcome and keep my eyes on him. It may not happen in the time or the manner I’d like. He knows best. Proverbs 3:5-6
- Be gracious in my dealings. Colossians 3:13-16, I Corinthians 16:14
These five things are in no wise easy for me. In fact, I cannot do it in my own power, but only by the power of the Spirit of God and a great dying to self. Your list may appear different than mine. I know my struggle as revealed to me through the Spirit, prayer, and the reading of scripture.
I don’t want to waste it. Whatever trial or difficulty that comes to my doorstep, I don’t want to waste it. I want to glorify God in it, through it. What is it that you need to do to not waste God’s means of conforming you?