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"For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal." (2 Cor 4:17-18 ESV) - Photo by Susanne Schuberth

“For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.”    (2 Cor 4:17-18 ESV) – Photo by Susanne Schuberth

Last Thursday in the afternoon as I was hurrying to another appointment with the dentist, I briefly checked the station clock which told me that I had two or three minutes, still. I was a bit late and kept hastening toward the subway which runs below the rail tracks. The dentist’s office was on the other side of the station so that I was able to arrive on time. Nonetheless, having had toothaches for about a half year now (on and off, but more on than off), I also kept asking the Lord about my future decisions regarding the dentist and these problems with my teeth. It was not the first time that I had raised these questions, but as you might know, God sometimes gives you no answers and then again He might tell you something out of the blue which you do not really understand.

“Meet Me in the Spirit!” was all that Jesus said to me as I had just checked the time. Immediately I felt great joy and peace, knowing this would also be the title of a new blog post. However, was THAT an answer to my questions??  🙄

How often do we want to see our problems fixed before we want to spend a longer time with God? As for me, I can tell you, “Always!”  😉 Sitting in the waiting room of the dentist, I felt that Jesus did not want to answer my question yet, instead, He drew me closer to Himself. Being touched by and enwrapped in His overwhelming love, I was no longer able to worry about the pains. Somehow that made me grin. God does not want to see us stuck in our thoughts, fears, and worries about circumstances. In fact, it is only through writing these things down that clarity comes out of my former confusion regarding this particular issue that has plagued me since 1995 as I had come to know God closer. Although the toothache afterwards was worse than before and although I could not really sleep from Thursday to Friday, once again, I was happy, since at the same time the presence of God got stronger and stronger during the night, without taking the pains away! Thinking about it more closely, I experienced similar things as for a twisted tendon and my continual back pains lately, too. At times, I took painkillers, but they did not help every time, either. It appears to me that this has been another lesson God wanted to teach me here. Jesus promised us,

But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” (Mt 6:33-34 ESV)

Honestly, I always stumbled over the last words in these verses here, over this daily trouble thing. Why didn’t God promise us days without any troubles? Does anyone like troubles? Do you? I don’t. I recall it was about a week ago as I would be really wrung out by increasing pains that I all of a sudden felt nudged to stop asking God to heal me. Sitting there in my emotional mess, I heard me speaking these words in my mind, “This has been His will.” Without being able to explain it, I knew that this condition I have been in which was beyond my control happened because God wanted it… for my good. For the first time in my life, I realized that God did not want to punish me with physical pains in any way. Instead, these pains should turn out a hidden blessing according to His will (see Jn 9:2-3). Dear brothers and sister, I can tell you that my soul was immediately at rest and I began to look forward to the things to come. If that was not another gift of faith from God, I don’t know, because my old nature has never been able to think that way. If God does not take pain and suffering away at once, yet simultaneously increases our share in His glory, we will wholeheartedly agree with apostle Paul’s following instructions, prayer and promise,

“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise prophecies, but test everything; hold fast what is good. Abstain from every form of evil. Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it.” (1 Thes 5:16-24 ESV)

Do you know when the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ will happen? I did not think of that day when He appears before all mankind. Rather, I was thinking of meeting our Lord in the Spirit through prayer, not on a day that lies far ahead of us, but in the eternal here and now, just as it is written,

“But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus.” (Eph 2:4-6 ESV)

May God give us His grace and make us fully alive so that we can live and walk in in the heavenlies where our true home is. Amen.

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