This is the question I've been hung up on, not because it is difficult to answer, but because the answer is paradoxical and could seem trite out of context. That being said, the beauty of suffering has been shining through. Words, especially mine, do a poor job of capturing this kind of beauty. Yet I've been blessed to see the children of God placed in the refiner's fire, His mercy displayed in patterns of restoration and redemption. He disciplines those He loves so that they will learn to let go of anything— everything— less beautiful than He. It is odd to find myself praying for suffering for those I love, yet for this reason, sometimes I do just that.
What books do you believe are "must reads"?
Tough call. I will limit myself to three (excluding the Bible):
- The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C. S. Lewis
- Abba's Child by Brennan Manning
- The Sacred Romance by Brent Curtis and John Eldredge
He has showed you, O man, what is good.What do you think your best quality is?
And what does the Lord require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
and to walk humbly with your God.
One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked Him, "Of all the commandments, which is the most important?"
"The most important one," answered Jesus, "is this: 'Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.' The second is this: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no commandment greater than these."
"A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you love one another."
—Jesus (John 13:34-35)
Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."
Struggled with this one, too. For the moment, I'd have to say tenacity/perseverence— because of the great mercy shown to me and the great joy ahead, I have a tendency to hang on no matter what and do what has to be done.
But I fail in this all the time, too. Good thing it's about His grip.
Have a question? Ask me here. I hope to get to a few more soon.