Given the choice between a can with dents or a can without dents; which would you choose?
Sometimes I opt for the can with dents, knowing that it will be more difficult for the store to sell it. In the food business, dents in cans often equal profit loss. Yet in the Christian walk, dents are inevitable and even trademarks of a life sold out to Christ.
“But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.” 2 Cor 4:7-9
I have walked with Christ for close to 36 years starting with 8 years as a missionary kid living in Asia. I’ve lived almost 4 decades sold out to Christ with the many dents that come with such living and the countless blessings that come with unthrottled, passionate following of Christ.
Of the past 35 years, I would say this past year has been one of the most dent-full of any of those years combined. I and my husband-to-be have been “hard pressed on every side, perplexed, persecuted, and struck down” over and over again.
Attacks on every side and in almost every form have come our way like tsunami waves of health and financial trials, hatred, grief, abandonment, betrayal, mocking, verbal attacks, and cold, aloof stares from once close friends. At moments the waves have crushed our heads into the sand as if we were flimsy rubber bands. Our chests have heaved time and again with the weight of getting back up from the quick succession of the attack waves.
And yet, God remains faithful in sustaining our strength, our faith, and our joy. We have found victory when our focus is on the blessings that are inevitable based on the truth found in Romans 8:28.
The song, Blessings, by Laura Story powerfully portrays this truth.
Do you find yourself being hammered by the surf of testing trials today? My prayer for you is that 1 Peter 5:8-9 would be true of your time of testing.
Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings.
For your victory lies within the focus of your heart and mind’s focus:
2 Corinthians 4:8-9, “We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.”