One thing that God has been teaching me recently is dependence. It’s something I have known intellectually but this past year I have been learning through experience. Physically, emotionally, spiritually, (basically as a whole person) there are things that have been tough and continue to be a struggle for me. Nagging pain, loss, and struggle begin to eat at you and the refinement process that God offers us through them is not often enjoyable, but it is for our good. God is good and God is working for our good in the midst of the peacefulness and the chaos of life (Romans 8:28). Lamentations 3:21-23 reminds me to hope in God in the current day, “But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” (ESV) To look for God’s continued mercy, the gifts He gives to me/us every morning when we don’t deserve it, is difficult sometimes. To see in the middle of pain how God is working for our good is hard. Those verses though are of great encouragement on those mornings when you just don’t want to get out of bed, on those days when you want to give up, because you feel the weight of your inabilities.
In those moments I think of the need I have to abide in Christ. Apart from Him I can do nothing of eternal Kingdom significance. (John 15:1-11) We can do nothing that will bear fruit without a firm connection to the source life. That is encouraging. I have nothing to offer but Jesus has everything. So let me encourage you on those mornings when you have the pain of life thrust in your face, in the middle of joyous seasons, and in the face of your own lack of ability; learn to see the need of abiding in Christ for everything, looking for God’s mercy daily, and know that in the middle of it all God is working for the good of those who He called and who love Him. This gives me the strength I need to get out of bed, start my day, and rely on Jesus to do in/through me His good and perfect will.
-Mike Flannery, Student Ministry Pastor