“There is no such thing as destiny, without cost.”
I went through some old notes from my DTS. This one phrase stood out above the rest.
I find that so easily I am willing to trade hope for despair or self-pity when life becomes really hard. However in those hard times, I come out completely different from how I went in. I come out with more resolve and can better encourage other people in those seasons. I get humbled and learn to battle fear. I get set free from those things I let ensnare me.
I forget that there is something beautiful on the other side. This tempest is but a passing storm. Ever gale must come to an end. These things though encouraging cannot get you through the onslaught that comes. If you do not believe in something bigger than yourself, what is there to hold onto? If you do, can it really save you? What do you tangibly grab onto?
For me, I tend to grab onto the feelings of fear and rejection in a state of isolation. I hide or run. But don’t we all? When you see the storm coming what do you do?
What if we let go? Let go of the fear and the shame? Last year a movie came to theaters called Frozen. Here in Japan, you could hear the song, “Let It Go,” playing in every store every day for most of the year. Nearly every child I have met can sing that song in English or Japanese, (or both.) Why? That is the question I asked over and over. Why does this song resonate with so many people? I think that all of us in some way just wish we could let it go. Let life run it’s course without worrying or being scared. Living without having to meet expectations or fulfill obligations. To release the burdens and hurts we seem to never let go of. For me, this is the case. How funny is God, that he would send me of all people across the world to a beautiful place like this. I am the least qualified person I can think of. I am young. I have seen more than I have ever wished for, both good and bad. I have stood in the footsteps of janitors and politicians. I have carried the dreams, expectations, and fears of many. I have run in worry and stood in darkness and light. This has remained true, God has never let me go. He has never made demands of me, but always treated me with compassion. I have seen where other paths lead and I have seen the casualties of lives not surrendered. I have seen good men fall and fools rise, but never have I seen someone pursuing God not become more like him.
If you have a relationship with God, you have shelter in the storm. However, he may lead you out into the heart of it. He may lead you into the surf or storm surge. Because you will come out more like him. You might be asked to die, so that it would be him living through you. In fact, I can guaranty it. He won’t force you, but if you are truly free he will help you let go and trust him.
How is it that so many martyrs were led to their deaths, but proclaimed Christ till the end? Many people I talk to are willing to live for Christ, but Christ was willing to lay his life down for you. He endured the cross to spend eternity with you. Has he also not asked to carry your cross. I know he has asked me. And it hurts. It really hurts. But it is not the end. This is the beginning.
C.S. Lewis once said,“Hardships often prepare ordinary people for an extraordinary destiny.”
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So, what could dying to yourself ever gain you? Christ. We are daily being conformed to the image of Christ. We are being reformed into how we are supposed to be. Through Adam many sinned and were born into death, but through Christ many are reborn into eternal life. We are in the process of being transformed. And if God is our father, what father doesn’t dream of the destiny of his kids? What earthly father wouldn’t tear the world apart to make that destiny a reality. How much then would our heavenly father not do the same. Breaking sin and death for restoration and enduring torment, so he could place his glory on his kids. Restoring a broken people, so they could marry his son. I don’t think we have any real idea how much we are truly loved. Now isn’t he just beautiful? The God of the universe who is winning your heart. He is the most beautiful thing and you are starting to look like him. To live like him. To walk with him. You my friends are destined for beauty.
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