DayBreaks for 01/09/15 –Life and Expectations
St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland, was a very devout Roman Catholic evangelist. One of the stories that grew out of his ministry concerns a time when he was baptizing new converts in a river. He would wade out waist-deep into the water and call out for new Christians to come to him, one by one, to be baptized.
One day as he was baptizing a mountain chieftain, Saint Patrick was holding a staff in his hands as the new converts made their way into the water. Unfortunately, as he was lowering the chief down under the water three times, he also pressed his staff down into the river bottom.
Afterwards the people on the riverbank noticed their chief limp back to shore. Someone explained to Patrick that, as he pressed the wooden staff into the riverbed, he must have also bruised the foot of the chief. Patrick went to the chief at once and asked, “Why did you not cry out when I stuck you in the foot?”
Surprised the chief answered, “I remembered you telling us about the nails in the cross, and I thought my pain was part of my baptism.”
When I read that I could not but think how many of us would have been baptized and become Christians if we had known how much pain was a part of the process. There is an insidious and deadly belief that once we accept Jesus our troubles and trials will just go away. There are those who go even farther and suggest that God wants us to be wealthy. What’s the problem with this type of thinking? It’s wrong…that’s the problem.
Just Thursday morning I was reading an interview with Fernando Ortega (one of my favorite Christian musicians) who was talking about his own life struggle with pain of many kinds that at time is “insufferable.” He said that rather than making life a bed of roses, perhaps it is even harder to deal with pain as a Christian precisely because of what we believe of God: that He is good, loving, does only what is best for us. It does seem to be a sharply honed dilemma.
But the evidence is clear in your life and mine. One only needs look at the lives of the apostles (who were most assuredly Christian!) and ask if they experienced hardship and pain.
Still, in the midst of it all, we cling to hope for precisely the same reason that we struggle with the pain: we know a tiny bit of the full nature of the Father, and we trust that He will make good on His word.
Romans 8:18 (NLTse) – Yet what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory he will reveal to us later.
PRAYER: Lord, in the middle of our pain we don’t pretend to understand how such suffering, at times totally inexplicable, can be good for us or even how it can exist in a world that we believe was created by a good God. And so we struggle, Lord – we may at times struggle to believe Your goodness and concern! Help us to also remember the hope You have put into our hearts and may we all see that hope fulfilled. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
NOTE: Galen is a missionary with Medical Ambassadors International (MAI) and must raise his own support. DayBreaks is free – but if you wish to help support his mission work, you may donate (one-time or recurring) by going to this link, then scroll down until you see SUPPORT MISSIONARIES section. Below that header, on the left, scroll and then find and click on “Galen Dalrymple” and you’ll be taken to where you can make your donation. If you prefer to donate via check, you may do so by writing your check payable to Medical Ambassadors International and put S090 in the “memo” field. Mail the check to Medical Ambassadors International, P.O. Box 1302, Salida, CA 95368. MAI is a 501.c.3 organizations so all donations are tax deductible and Medical Ambassadors takes NO administrative fees of any kind out of your donations! Your support would be deeply appreciated!