In my last blog, I shared an analogy about our need to be like coffee when hitting hot water – that when we are going through long-term trials, we need to allow Christ’s aroma to change our circumstances just at coffee changes the flavour of hot water (2 Corinthians 2:14-16). This is all well and good in theory, but what does it look like in practice?
To be honest, I can’t say particularly how this could look for you. God may call us to respond differently to someone in a very similar circumstance to us – and often what He asks of us individually will look different from one season to the next. I can’t say what the practical living out might look like for you, but I can give some thoughts on where we can start.
As I’ve been praying on how to share His aroma, the words of John continuously came back to me. Apostle John was famous by the end of his life for saying simply: “Little children, love one another”. In the epistle of 1 John, he says this 5 times – 5 times in a 5 chapter book! And this from the man who once asked Jesus: “Lord, do you want us to tell fire to come down from heaven and consume them?” (Luke 9:54). John was changed by Christ’s command that we love God and love others (John 13:34). This command needs to transform our lives too.
For me, the busyness of life has once again taken my eyes of the reasons behind my tasks. In completing administration for Redefined Ministries, I had lost sight of the people in the Congolese community I am trying to serve. When I lost sight of the individuals, the tasks stopped giving me fulfillment. In all the running around to get a wedding sorted, I had lost the beauty of what we’re leading up to – marriage before God and the witness of our cherished friends and family at the event. When I lost sight of God’s gift to me in my hubby-to-be, the wedding work became draining and joyless. In learning the fine points of self-publishing and formatting my documents to fit the different publishing requirements, I became stressed, tired, and a workaholic. In the details, I lost the sight of why I write – to make Him and His ways known.
God desires us to seek intimacy with Him, and rest in His love. He calls us to seek His presence, be refuelled, and give out from this place. I’ve been challenged by several friends this week all going through rough times. In the midst of their personal trials, they have not become stuck on working harder to achieve or fix the situation. They are living out the two greatest commandments – loving God, and loving others. They are spending time studying His Word in small groups, reading it alone, listening to worship music, and feeding off their time with His Spirit. They have also been offering themselves to their church body, serving as they are able. They are welcoming new people into their circle to love, and are seeking out time with friends who can love, support, and encourage them.
In Christ, we are a body. We are many in members, and we need each other to function healthily. Rather than trying to do it alone, seek out God and seek out others. Focus on worship. Focus on loving and giving, just as you allow others in the body to love, serve, and encourage you too.
Let us be known for loving others even in the midst of boiling pots of water. What does this look like in practice? Which of the following elements of love stands out to you as needing application in your current situation:
1 Corinthians 13:4-8
- Love is patient and kind;
- love does not envy or boast;
- it is not arrogant or rude.
- It does not insist on its own way;
- it is not irritable or resentful;
- it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth.
- Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
- Love never ends.