Life has its joys and sorrows. Today, I received an international phone call from my mother and heard that my dear father was hospitalized because of the myocardial infarction.
When we face sorrows and difficulties, what do we do? Do we sit down, crying and lamenting all day? Yes, I did cry this afternoon, but the Lord stirred up my spirit and taught me the important lesson; that is, we can be an encourager in every circumstance. When the wife of Ezekiel died, he continued His work the very next morning (Ezek 24:18). And the Lord said, “Thus Ezekiel is a sign to you” (Ezek 24:24 a).
From this verse, I learned that we believers are “a sign” to the people around us. When people see us, they must see Jesus—our heavenly bridegroom―. Our words and behaviors thus must reflect some unearthly beauties. In order to be so, our soul must be full of heaven and heavenly anticipations in the real sense.
When we see our current circumstances from the viewpoint of eternity, everything takes on different meanings. When we really believe that we actually died, and that our lives are hidden with Christ in God (Col 3:3), then the rest of the things on this earth have merely relative meanings. When our minds and hearts are above where Christ is, we are not only able to endure earthly sorrows and trials but also use even our saddest moments for the encouragement of our fellow human beings.
Driven from his church and home, Paul Gerhardt (1607-1676), was wandering as a homeless with his wife and children for two years. One evening when staying at a wayside inn, Gerhardt went out, and under the starry sky pondered deeply over his misfortunes. However, he did not stop there. With all his heart, he poured his faith and hope into poetry and so was born the world famous hymn we know as “Commit thou all thy griefs (1656)”.
1.Commit thou all that grieves thee and fills thy heart with care to Him
whose might and glory the starry skies declare.
He shows the winds their courses and points the clouds their way;
Will He not guide thy footsteps and be thy staff and stay?
3. Hope on, then, weak believer, in trouble undismayed;
The gloomy night is waning, Thy fears shall be allayed.
Possess thy soul in patience, be firm in God’s employ,
And thou in radiant beauty shall see the Sun of joy.
If we surrender to Him, we are no longer our own. We are His “sign” in joyful times and in tearful times. We keep seeking first the kingdom of God and His righteousness even in our lowest season. Let us declare with Paul; “,,one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” (Phil 3: 13-14)