There are days I wonder what the heck God is doing. Why, God? Why do some days have to hurt so stinkin’ much? Then I remember, God is making all things new.
And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down. For these words are trustworthy and true.”Revelation 21:5 ESV
Some days I know all about making things new. Ask my family about my cooking skills … or my lack of culinary talent. Dinner becomes something new every time I cook.
This Thanksgiving my guys called the kitchen The Danger Zone. Baking and dinner making is a painful process for me. I usually have to start over several times. Occasionally, I do a lane change. I don’t start completely over, but I do have to work with whatever mess I have created and make it work. Look, something new! Some days go down with smoke alarms blaring in a burnt, smelly fog. I prefer to call this food “blackened.” I’m fancy like that. Some days, a masterpiece is created. Okay, that never happens when I’m cooking.
But, God. Thankfully, God is in the masterpiece business. When he goes to making new we have to only trust. Trust that while it may hurt in the process, he sees the end result. He sees what the dinner table looks like in the end. We only see the messy kitchen.
Making new. It’s not the perfect and lovely process I wish it to be. Paul said when his close friend Timothy almost died it would have caused him, “sorrow upon sorrow.” (Philippians 2:27ESV) There are days I understand this sorrow upon sorrow. Grief can pull me under like the waves this verse references. Making new; it’s always death to an old.
Paul goes on in Philippians to say he counts everything as a loss here in this life if only to gain Christ. I hold so tight to my loves. Not my purses and boots, but my people. How do I count them as loss? How do I hold them a place less than Christ? How do I let them go so I can gain more of Christ?
Paul goes on to tell us just how. Rejoice. Say it again. Rejoice. (Phil 4:4NIV) We have been given the gift of suffering. And for that we can be thankful. Thankful for suffering? Yes. We will suffer with and for Christ and this will bring us closer to knowing Christ. Counting it all loss so I can know Christ. This is the joy I seek.
At times, this kitchen mess can feel like a recipe card that got wet and blurred out all the details. It will be a new creation, but how I’m gonna get to the end result is a painful process.
Whether I am counting it all loss or counting it all joy, it all hurts this side of Heaven. Despite the pain, God tells us, “Forget the former things … I am doing a new thing … making a way in the wilderness.” (Isaiah 43:18-19ESV) In this blurry, painful wasteland, God is making all things new. And in this I will rejoice.
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