Just as a nursing mother cares for her children, so we cared for you…
For you know that we dealt with each of you as a father deals with his own children, encouraging, comforting and urging you to live lives worthy of God, who calls you into his kingdom and glory…
For what is our hope, our joy, or the crown in which we will glory in the presence of our Lord Jesus when he comes? Is it not you? Indeed, you are our glory and joy. (1 Thessalonians)
Paul had so many things in his life that he could have gloried in.
He could have been excited, and rightfully so, for the miracles he saw God doing through his own hand. He could have gloried in running a good race, through to the end, and solaced in a job well done. He could have ‘retired’ at any point and simply gloried and joy-ed over his Road to Damascus. –
But Paul spent time with Jesus – face to face – and he knew God’s heart is found in the laying down of one’s life for others… like a nursing mother
like a caring father.
So much is focused on “our walk” with Jesus – and don’t get me wrong, we, like children, need encouraging and comforting and urging. We need our spiritual leaders and heroes – each other- to “supply what is lacking” in our faith.
But at some point, my focus – like Paul’s – must turn toward others. It must. Their joy, their success, their race… running along side, cheering them on, weeping with them, rejoicing with them, leading them through their valleys, across their deserts, handing them gel packs on my bended knees – seeing them across the finish line, even if that means hobbling along side them one painful step at a time…
For what is my hope, my joy, or my crown in which I will glory in His presence when he comes? Is it not lives I’ve invested in? … and if it is only “my” walk that concerns me, can there truly be any real glory or joy?
Father, Abba, I know you are stirring a deep and real work in my stony heart. Dig Deep, till true… I am willing.