Weekly Devotional 010223

Worth the Wait

by Christopher Cook

“I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.” –Romans 8:18

An act. That’s what it all felt like, anyway. Walking into church every Sunday and feeling like I was missing a click that everyone else seemed to have…like I was the only one this ‘God’ didn’t seem to care for. I figured if knowing the Bible and going to church didn’t count for anything, I wouldn’t be able to give my Heavenly Father whatever He wanted from me. But to love Him? How could I love a God who wouldn’t say a word to me; a God who, despite the good things people said about Him, didn’t seem to grace me with a minute of His time? If this God made me broken, how should I be blamed if I give into temptation? Not that God would answer those questions, either.

It came to the point where I even wondered if God existed, where the only reason I ‘believed’ was for fear of what would happen if I didn’t. I was beginning to build my identity around self-pity instead of Jesus. I knew I needed to change, but was scared that if God let me down I wouldn’t have the strength to come back to Him. Hearing all the accounts of people enduring pain and grief in their lives and still coming back to God was disheartening. I knew I could never be that strong on my own. But when I recognized the problem might be me—not God—the problem was clear: I felt like I was entitled to His love when I didn’t even deserve it.

That’s when I started to see God everywhere, not just when I was looking. I saw Him in my friends, my family, in the world; and I realized that God wasn’t something that I should add to my life, He is my life. And if the God who created me also created mazes of stars, deep blue oceans, and even the people whom I love, surely He also has a beautiful plan for me. Coming to terms with reality has been realizing that a life in Christ does not necessarily mean an easier one—but struggles in life are infinitely small in the grand scale of God’s plan. God is my shepherd, and I will mess up, stumble, and fall—but I will also learn and repent through His guidance. In the end, I trust that whatever plan God has for me, albeit full of struggle, is more fulfilling than anything I could ever accomplish on my own.

Life is full of struggles, challenges, and hurts. We can’t live perfect lives, but Jesus not only died for us, He lived for us. We should honor His sacrifice by giving Him our entire lives, because what’s in store for us is much greater than anything we can imagine here on earth.

Dear God, may we know that it is through Your mercy and grace that we have eternal life—not through our own actions. We are undeserving of Your love, and sometimes we may even forget that we aren’t entitled to it. We pray that through the many struggles in life, we remain faithful to You; and that we always return to You no matter how far we stray. May our emotions not cloud the fact that You are the center of our lives, and that any way we live should put You before anything and anyone, even ourselves. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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