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Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Paul and Me

I learned some things about Paul and me last week.  I do not have the same commitment to prayer that he did.
Paul and Me

I mentioned yesterday that the past couple of weeks have been physically challenging.  Those days were not filled though with beatings, imprisonment, torture – well maybe a bit of that, stoning – non pharmaceutical, or being left for dead.

In my case I found most of my prayer focused on relief from pain and discomfort.  When I look at Paul’s prayer in the midst of all that he endured.  I find a completely different focus.  He is praying for those whom he has equipped to blossom to their full potential in Christ.

I am challenged and rebuked.  All too quickly when under pressure or pain, my focus turns inward, toward my needs, my wants.  But with Paul 2 Corinthians 11:22 – 29 clearly describes his focus even under pressure or pain.  He is praying for the gospel to spread and grow through the churches he has served.

I have a lot to learn.

1 comment:

  1. It is easy for me in reading Paul to consider him the superman, Captain Marvelous and all-around Super Hero of the Christian life (next, of course, to the Lord Jesus in His incarnation). Especially in the realm of "always giving thanks in all things" (Eph.5:20). Singing hymns at midnight would not have been my response after a brutal beating and being chained in stocks in a Roman prison. I would have skipped that lesson in the school of faith. He seemed virtually untouched by the physical/emotional assaults of his life.

    We know of course, this is not true, and there are indicators in his writings of struggles he fought and endure (and presumably at times even fail in). But to the greatest degree he obviously sought to cultivate and live these deeper responses of the Spirit into His life and practice. He knew and believed God was His strength and Lord, and that He was still unlimited and on task.

    For me this is a terribly difficult journey. Learning to think beyond the pains, inconveniences and limitations of human life takes an seemingly immense about of energy from a paltry supply - when it is really an unlimited flow from an infinite supply.

    Thank you for your honesty, Mike, and helping me on the way in my own journey of faith.