Wednesday, December 06, 2006

My Dad has always said "bitter providences" and it has always intrigued me. I decided to look up online today who else uses this term. Surprise surprise... John Piper uses it too. And since I love John Piper so much I thought I would post a little bit of what I had found. This comes from a sermon called, "To Be a Mother Is a Call to Suffer." Hmmmm, makes you want to rush off into motherhood doesn't it? I love my mother and I don't know how she raised all of us kids. I respect her a lot, we have her a lot of grief. I miss my parents (only 14 days). :)

"Elisabeth Elliot ended with a poem by Martha Snell Nicholson (a "mendicant" is a beggar):

I stood a mendicant of God before His royal throne
And begged him for one priceless gift, which I could call my own.
I took the gift from out His hand, but as I would depart
I cried, "But Lord this is a thorn and it has pierced my heart.
This is a strange, a hurtful gift, which Thou hast given me."
He said, "My child, I give good gifts and gave My best to thee."
I took it home and though at first the cruel thorn hurt sore,
As long years passed I learned at last to love it more and more.
I learned He never gives a thorn without this added grace,
He takes the thorn to pin aside the veil which hides His face.

That's where we have been in Romans 7. It isn't law-keeping that justifies us before God. It isn't first law-keeping that sanctifies us. It is the lifting of the veil so that we see Jesus for who he is, dying in our place and rising again so that we receive him as the treasure of our lives.

And if it takes a thorn to pin aside the veil – if it takes disappointment and loss and heartache and calamity and bitter providences – then, for Christ's sake, and for the sake of our eternal joy seeing and savoring him, let it come. Amen."

Romans 7:4-6
4 So, my brothers, you also died to the law through the body of Christ, that you might belong to another, to him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit to God. 5 For when we were controlled by the sinful nature, the sinful passions aroused by the law were at work in our bodies, so that we bore fruit for death. 6 But now, by dying to what once bound us, we have been released from the law so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit, and not in the old way of the written code.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

thanks faith! miss you! elisabeth e is GREAT!!

Sue said...

Thanks for the encouragement, Faith. I love you so much. so proud, too. Praying for you and missing you and can't wait to see you! Love, Mom

ukrainiac said...

Just read this post to a friend who has been going through a very rough year. So encouraging! Thanks.