Saturday, May 10, 2008

Comforting Thought

I read the following excerpt from today's reflection on Word Among Us and felt completely relieved. 

"In this final chapter of the Book of Acts, we see St. Paul near the end of his life. He has at last made it to Rome, after surviving storms, shipwrecks, and even a poisonous snakebite! We might imagine that this dynamic preacher was humiliated at having to spend two years under house arrest. But that didn’t stop Paul from proclaiming the gospel. First he witnessed to the Jewish leaders, and then to whoever came to visit. And he did so “with complete assurance and without hindrance” (Acts 28:31). He didn’t act like someone who was defeated—in fact, he had never been stronger!

"Paul’s spiritual maturity was not something he achieved overnight but the fruit of a lifetime lived for Christ. To his zeal, God added confidence, as he witnessed miracle after miracle and saw how his needs were always provided for. Through his willingness to cooperate with the Holy Spirit and follow wherever Jesus led him, Paul saw his faith deepen and become steadier. What seemed effortless to those around him actually came from decades of obedience and perseverance.

"Sometimes we imagine that we need a conversion experience as dramatic as Paul’s—something that will turn us into super-Christians. But just as Paul did, we too have to take one step at a time—and some of those steps may be painful! As Paul told the Romans, “We even boast of our afflictions, knowing that affliction produces endurance, and endurance, proven character, and proven character, hope” (Romans 5:3-5). We don’t have to feel on top of the world to know that God is working out his purpose in our lives!"  (Emphasis mine)

Yes!  Yes!  Amen to that!  So don't worry about me.  I may be on my way to produce endurance, proven character, and hope.  It's beginning to take shape again.  I'm going to be back, real soon.

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