Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, from everlasting to everlasting! Amen and Amen. Psalm 41:13
As we were driving through town, I noticed a sign that had a funny oxymoron. I love an oxymoron because I feel like life is one BIG oxymoron – that and I always remember what they are unlike other types of grammar. I commented out loud and the kids quickly picked up on this new and strange word – oxymoron. I explained it was a two words that are put together but mean the opposite thing. That was still a little confusing so I took the example route: bittersweet, pretty ugly, freezer burn, alone together . . . Then they began coming up with their own. It was a fun game and as we continued I began to consider all the Biblical oxymoron’s that we encounter.
Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from him. Psalm 62:5
The two biblical oxymoron’s that require the most work, faith and obedience for me are: resting in God and finding joy in your suffering. Rest is defined as “ceasing action, inactivity or sleep”. I don’t know about you, but it takes work for me to rest in God. It takes a very active trust, it takes effort on my part to go to Him in prayer, study His word and seek His peace. When I look back at that sentence I see a lot of verbs – go to, study and seek. Those actions bring me rest, but let’s never forget we find rest through a working relationship with God – not an stagnant one. When we feel like God has abandoned us, we can’t hear His whisper or feel isolated from His truth we are to blame – not Him. We must look to ourselves.
“Count yourself blessed every time someone cuts you down or throws you out, every time someone smears or blackens your name to discredit me. What it means is that the truth is too close for comfort and that person is uncomfortable. You can be glad when that happens—skip like a lamb, if you like!—for even though they don’t like it, I do . . . and all heaven applauds. And know that you are in good company; my preachers and witnesses have always been treated like this. Luke 6:22-23 (The Message)
Find joy in your suffering. OK, this is certainly an oxymoron, but I want to argue the case that the closer we grow to Christ and the more we practice “skipping like a lamb” during times of trial the more we take the oxymoron out of this one. And let’s face it, there is no way I can forgive those who talk about me behind my back, survive the grief of losing loved ones or endure any hardship with a smile without God. However, when I face the challenge with God and endure with grace and hope it makes heaven applaud and makes Christ shine through my life. I can’t think of better win-win situation!
Father, may we all take on the challenge of resting in You and finding joy in our suffering so that Your light shines in this dark world through us and the hope only you can give. Amen.