The apostle Paul wrote this in the book of Romans: "It appears to me that whatever we suffer now will show up only dimly when compared to the wonders God has in store for us. It is as though all creation is standing on tiptoe longing to see an unforgettable vision, the children of God being born into wholeness" (paraphrase by Macrina Wiederkehr, Seasons of the Heart).
This serves as a reminder that God is at work, even now, bringing healing to the world — for all of us. Consider now the ways that healing might have already started all around you.next >
But his servants approached and said to him, “Father, if the prophet had commanded you to do something difficult, would you not have done it? How much more, when all he said to you was, ‘Wash, and be clean’?” So he went down and immersed himself seven times in the Jordan, according to the word of the man of God; his flesh was restored like the flesh of a young boy, and he was clean.
2 Kings 5:13-14next >
Zoom in. Zoom out.
When I feel overwhelmed, I am usually zooming in with my high powered lens on some aspect of my life that feels like it is about to boil over. It is at these times that I am grateful for the profound gift of someone who speaks truth into my life. This voice helps me zoom out, see the bigger picture. When I can see more of the landscape of my life, then I gain a new perspective on my location in it. I can see more clearly what the next few steps should be when the end goal has come back into view.
For a moment, Naaman lost sight of his hope, his potential. In that moment, he almost walked away from healing. But he didn’t. To Naaman’s credit, he recognized the wise counsel of one close to him who has the big picture in his lens. He followed the prophet’s prescription and was made new.
Valerie Burtonnext >
In my stubbornness, I chance missing your blessing.
Soften my heart to your will.
Soften my ears to voices of truth.
In my weakness, your strength is made known.
Come in your power to make all things new. Amen.
Paul also wrote this (in 2 Corinthians 12:9-10): "...but he said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness.' So, I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities for the sake of Christ; for whenever I am weak, then I am strong."
Go now confident even in your weakness, in your sorrow, in your shortcomings, knowing that even in the middle of it all, Christ remains powerful within you.
Valerie Burton lives in Birmingham, Alabama, with her husband, Allan, their sons, Carter and Marshall, and dog, Byrd. She is the minister for Christian formation at Baptist Church of the Covenant. Life is good when there is coffee and a fire in the fireplace.
O Love How Deep