This morning I read in Ras Robinson's devotion for July 27: "Are you satisfied with how you are aging? It is inevitable that God's eternal plan for your life will demand your attention in various ways until He is satisfied that His intentions through you are complete."
I sat to ponder that a long while. What are His intentions through me? How about through you?
Aging is becoming real to me. I am only 65 - but already there are the signs of "this tent" breaking down; torn meniscus in my knee, pain in my back, so much less energy! Life has been hard the last five years since my glorious wedding - and I reflect on the three times that God brought John back to me miraculously, amid life-threatening crises. Then we watched my parents go through the dying process, their suffering still painful in my memory. But recently I watched a video of Pastor David Davis in Israel - after he came back from near-death to cancer. He said he believes - and in his near-death experience God showed him - that our aging process is difficult, rife with much affliction, because we are being transformed into Messiah's image.
Oh, how You suffered, Yeshua! Your submission and suffering was the process of sanctification - a pure and holy Sacrifice unto God. Your resurrection assured Your people of eternal life with You - but our journey to get there also includes suffering and submission. The Apostle Paul writes, "Yes, I gave it all up in order to know Him, that is, to know the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of his sufferings as I am being conformed to his death, so that somehow I might arrive at being resurrected from the dead." (Phil. 3:10)
I have now watched some people in my life - including my parents - suffer in faith and joy, never losing their focus on Yeshua and the destiny they were moving toward; eternal life with Him, where all suffering ceases and all tears are wiped away! John and I are leaving this weekend to go visit and minister to a long-time friend, who is now in what appears to be his last days here. Because he is spending his days playing his guitar and praising God, despite his grave illness, I suspect he will minister to us!
Through these lens I begin to see why believers who love Yeshua/Jesus are suffering so much right now. It is not all an attack of the Adversary! Much of what we are going through is so that we will draw deeper and deeper into God, submitting the pain and the sorrow, the disappointments and the illness to Him, knowing and believing that it is all conforming us to the image of His Son, our Redeemer-King, who first suffered for us. In this way, His intentions through us will bear fruit for the Kingdom.
David Davis' legs quivered and fought to stay upright as he delivered his message. His voice strained to be heard in its weakness. His eyes beamed Christly Light through heavy lids. Looking at his cancer-ravaged body, I thought of the passage from Isaiah 53: "...he had no beauty or majesty that we should be attracted to him; nothing in his appearance that we should desire him."
So, there he was, on the stage at Kehilat haCarmel in Israel, where he has stood for untold years proclaiming the True Gospel to Jews, Gentiles and Arabs, bringing them together to worship Messiah-King Yeshua. And he showed that he will do this until his last breath.
God's saints do not have it easy. Perfection is not attained on the road of comfort. "For it has been granted to you on behalf of Messiah not only to believe on Him, but also to suffer for Him." (Philippians 3:10).
To be inspired by Pastor David Davis' message, click on this link. The video is about 30 minutes long, and the message carries the Power of God:
Kelly Ferrari Mills