The goal of our life, our Christian life, is maturity. It is NOT personal peace and prosperity. It is NOT happiness. No, the goal of our life and the goal for our husband's life and our children's lives and our friend's lives and our church body's life is spiritual maturity. And whatever God deems needful to bring us to maturity, that He will do.
For us to understand this we need to "eat the mystery" as Ann Voskamp puts it in her book, 1000 Gifts. "When we find ourselves groping along, famished for more, we can choose. When we are despairing, we can choose to live as Israelites gathering manna. For forty long years, God's people daily eat that which is baffling. They fill on that which has no meaning. More than 14,600 days they take their nourishment form that which they don't comprehend. They find soul-filling in the inexplicable. They eat the mystery. and the mystery, that which made no sense, is "like wafers of honey" on the lips." (see pages 21-22 of Ann's book)
Here is some of my mysteries, that which is baffling and makes no sense to me:
---a faithful woman of God, who is elderly, and God gives her a husband who neglects her care or nurture, a man who chases off around the world to spread his "Christian" book and its message, and does not lay his life down for that woman
---faithful daughters who honor and obey God and their parents, who God still leaves without mates; while many unfaithful daughters, man-hunting daughters are given husbands, children, and homes (and they still complain)
---Christian parents with huge covenantal blessings and material goods, refusing to bless or share with their children what God has bestowed. Who demand that their 13 year old pay for everything or send their 16 year old out to fend for themselves, while the parents continue to enjoy God's blessings and kindness.
---church bodies that have reverent liturgy and true doctrines but are cold, inhospitable to others in their midst. Who hold the truth in unrighteousness yet pat themselves on the back for their spiritual maturity.
---God giving children to those who don't want them and either disdain children or kill them in the womb; while many who desire them cannot conceive or lose children.
---a godly man, father, husband, son, who labors around the clock to try and provide basic needs for his family struggling daily to do so; yet his ungodly, heathen brothers lead debauched lives and have more wealth than they can hold.
---faithful parents who live to see one of their children grow up to leave the faith
---Christian brothers and sisters in China, Indonesia, India, Africa, and the Middle East being killed, dragged to prison, raped, beaten, and persecuted. While we American Christians get fat and fail to build the kingdom of God fervently with what freedoms we have.
---that God loved Jacob and hated Esau.
---that God loved Jacob, Abraham, Samson, David, Solomon, Peter, Paul and even me.
---that God is mindful of us sons of Adam in any amount when He is glorious and made the stars and moon and earth and heavens and all that is in them.
---that Christ died for me, a miserable sinner.
---that Christ opened my eyes, and not those of many I know and am related to.
These are the mystery that I am to feast upon: those things which I don't comprehend, that are inexplicable, in which I am to find Christ, my daily bread. "Therefore let us go on and get past the elementary stage in the teachings and doctrine of Christ (the Messiah), advancing steadily toward the completeness and perfection that belong to spiritual maturity." (Hebrews 6:1, Amplified Bible) This is the goal: maturity.
---posted by Queen Lucy