II Corinthians 3:25
(excerpt from Morning Meditations by Martin Wiles)
II Corinthians 3:25 Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was pelted with stones, three times I was shipwrecked, I spent a night and a day in the open sea. (NIV)
It was one in the morning. Too early to get up. In fact, I was wondering why I had gone to bed. But if we were going to make the six o’clock flight we had to get moving.
As we flew out of Charleston, South Carolina on our way to Washington D. C. and eventually Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, the sites were tantalizing. I reflected on the verse, “The fool has said in his heart, there is no God” (Psalm 14:1 NKJV).
A gorgeous sunrise awaited us as we ascended above the clouds-a sunrise not yet visible from below. But as we descended on Washington, clouds surrounded the plane. The scene repeated itself the entire trip. Clouds, sun, then clouds again. I wondered how anyone could see such marvels and believe in chance.
“Don’t these scenes mirror life,” I mused. Sometimes bright spots. At others, angry claps of thunder. Lightning, wind. Heavy pelts of rain. All moods of life.
Paul’s reward for obeying God rarely brought applause. He didn’t gain a large following because of his accomplishments or have his name immortalized. But people knew him alright. As a onetime religious leader who had gone nuts. He left a good paying job to wander aimlessly and tell people about a man named Jesus who had supposedly rose from the dead. And they rewarded him. With persecution and attempts on his life. But he learned to be content whatever the circumstances (Philippians 4:11).
We can learn Paul’s key to contented living. The moods will change but our reaction to the circumstances doesn’t have to. Clouds rolled in? Above them shines vibrant rays of sunshine and
all is well. Winds of adversity and confusion making you dizzy? Faith in a God who has created and currently controls-regardless of how things appear, produces a peace beyond understanding.
Prayer: When the moods of life tempt us to doubt that You care, remind us Lord that Your life is flowing through us.