Start From the Middle
I love meeting new people while they're right in the middle of something; I'm that friend who holds your hand and helps in any way I can: with encouragement, prayer, babysitting, whatever I can do. Jesus met people right in their middle of something, as they did with Him. Paul was on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:1-19), a woman suffering with years of bleeding caught the hem of His garment as He swiftly walked by (Mark 5:20-34), a woman caught in adultery was brought into the midst of His teaching (John 7:53-8:11).
We don’t always get to see people at the beginning of their suffering, disappointments, or pain. We sometimes meet them where they are, after years spent waiting, asking, seeking, suffering. In the stories above we meet people at their peak; at the most crucial points in their lives. We catch them in their middle, but really it's the end. The end of their ignorance, their suffering, their carelessness. Each case shows a different encounter with Christ: Jesus met Paul, the woman sought Jesus, and the woman was brought to Jesus. No matter how we encounter God, He meets us where we're at and gives us what we've been truly seeking, maybe even after years of seeking.
Hebrews 5:7-9 says: "During the days of Jesus' life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with fervent cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission. Son though he was, he learned obedience from what he suffered and, once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him".
Jesus learned obedience from what He suffered. He suffered; He allowed Himself to feel pain and it was through that He learned obedience. He learned to listen and obey through all His sufferings. Are you listening to God's voice in the midst of your suffering and waiting? Are you obeying Him and His word?
Jesus is our example of what it's like to mature and grow through times of suffering. It says in Romans 5 that "suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us."
Then there's Hannah, Naomi and Ruth. When they surrendered, when their faith has finally reached to a point of true belief, they waited and received what they were asking the Lord for.
Their past just ripples of the same feelings and prayers. It’s important to know where people are coming from to then see their breakthrough. You don't want to miss it.
Where do you feel you’re at in your story? I'm reaching years of waiting and asking, but the longer it's taking the closer I feel to the promise's reveal, to the victory in the natural.
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