"The Lord disciplines those He loves." Hebrews 12:6
Why does God use our blackest hours to come to us with healing in His wings? That is when the great roadblock to redemption gets broken down. Sooner or later we have to face the uncomfortable fact that what keeps redemption from "drawing nigh" is the high opinion we have of ourselves and of our ability to manage on our own.
The sacrifices that God desires are not an impressive array of Christian qualities. The sacrifices of God are a broken and a contrite heart. When something breaks down in the way we handle things, when we have to cry with the speaker in 2 Chronicles 20:12, "we do not know what to do," or join the helpless man in John 5:7: "I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred," then we should look up and lift up our heads, for we will find redemption coming over the horizon. The light of God's saving love in Christ has dawned. It is morning in our lives.
That's the thing about the dark: light looks so much better in it. When you feel the earth shake, you can sing, "On Christ, the solid rock, I stand." When you are tempted to give up hope and throw in the towel, reach out and look up and lay hold on Him who is our strength in time of trouble.
PRAYER: O Christ, Light of all the world, shine out of trouble to illuminate our way. Amen.
(Taken from "Words of Promise," copyright 1996 (out of print), Concordia Publishing House. For information on other devotional materials, call 1-800-325-3040.)
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