Night Lights by Teri Mayerstein:
Each day is a blessing… A gift… Directly from God. He (alone) has the power that created us from the dust of the Earth, and He is the one that breathed precious life into our nostrils. He spoke us into existence, and He called it good! In each of our beginnings, there must certainly be an ending, and in the end we will return to the dust. Each day… Every single day… Someone will be born and someone will die. That’s a fact. God may be ready to celebrate on the streets of gold by singing the words “Welcome Home” to your loved one… Heaven will be rejoicing while here on earth…Well…The celebration could be… Well… It could be bittersweet.
Tonight could be the last goodnight, sleep tight, don’t let the bedbugs bite for someone you know and love. If we are speaking to your tender heart tonight, please know that we are praying for you… Lifting you to our Lord and Savior, and thanking Him for giving and taking away. It’s the taking away part that challenges us (with some devastating consequences) with ones that have us asking questions that seem to have no apparent answers. We all want the elusive answers, don’t we? Well, after revisiting some of the lessons learned on the darkest of days of our lives… It’s apparent that we really need to discuss somethings that cause our hearts to ache and our tears to flow into buckets…
How do we come to really know and understand all the who’s, what’s, when’s, where’s, why’s and how’s that God uses when people are chosen to share in His excruciatingly painful suffering? Knowing the great pain of what Christ endured on that cross was, is and will be (forevermore) is not pain that is unique to God alone.
Many of us have or will be called to share this fellowship with God by experiencing Christ’s death, burial and resurrection in our own difficult circumstances:
1. It will be the greatest test of our courage and faith.
2. It will be a glorious victory over Satan.
3. It will be the most difficult thing we will ever be called on to do.
After walking in the valley of the shadows of death (on several occasions), we can share that there are still questions that simply go unanswered for each of us. Today was not one of those days. Today was a day to reminisce on why being sent through the fiery furnace(in days gone by) would possibly be for any other purpose than for being the one to be called on to help someone else on their similar journey?! WOW, wrong! Totally wrong! The “aha” (the lightbulb goes on) “yea God” answer is that we need to all help each other! In fact someone in the same circumstance can be a powerful witness and a miraculous encouragement to you!
In the midst of their suffering, they bless you! What a dichotomous concept to grasp and to hold on to! In our walk through the darkest valleys we come to know God’s mercy and grace firsthand, and to experience His love like never before… We get to suffer with Him and to know His pain!
Who among us believers would want to deny anything that Almighty God would ask of us? Or, how many among us are willing to voluntarily be called to be an Abraham, and to sacrifice our Isaac on the altar of His praise? Especially when there’s not a goat caught in the nearby thicket?! Really? For those of us that can comprehend this request (because we walked this path)… We speak to your broken hearts, and it is with buckets of tears that we offer you these verses that will explain in God’s own words what we could never (ever) convey.
We send you off to sleep with 1 Peter 4: 12-19 and a song from Michael W. Smith.
1 Peter 4:12-19
Share the Sufferings of Christ
12 Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you; 13 but to the degree that you share the sufferings of Christ, keep on rejoicing, so that also at the revelation of His glory you may rejoice with exultation. 14 If you are reviled for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you. 15 Make sure that none of you suffers as a murderer, or thief, or evildoer, or a troublesome meddler; 16 but if anyone suffers as a Christian, he is not to be ashamed, but is to glorify God in this name. 17 For it is time for judgment to begin with the household of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God? 18 And if it is with difficulty that the righteous is saved, what will become of the godless man and the sinner? 19 Therefore, those also who suffer according to the will of God shall entrust their souls to a faithful Creator in doing what is right.