Saturday, April 11, 2009

God's Promise in the Burial Clothing

Chapter 13
I Can Turn Your Tragedy Into Triumph

Most folks don't discuss grave clothes.

The apostle John, however, was an exception. Ask him, and he'll tell you how he came to see burial garments as a symbol of triumph. He didn't always see them that way. A tangible reminder of the death of his best friend, Jesus, they used to seem like a symbol of tragedy. But on the first Easter Sunday, God took clothing of death and made it a symbol of life.

Could he do the same for you?

We all face tragedy. What's more, we've all received the symbols of tragedy. Yours might be a telegram from the war department, an ID bracelet from the hospital, a scar, or a court subpoena. We don't like these symbols, nor do we want these symbols. Like wrecked cars in a junkyard, they clutter up our hearts with memories of bad days.

Could God use such things for something good? How far can we go with verses like this one: "In everything God works for the good of those who love him" (Rom 8:28)? Does "everything" include tumors and tests and tempers and terminations? John would answer yes. John would tell you that God can turn any tragedy into a triumph, if only you will wait and watch...

When you're in John's position, what do you do? When it's Saturday in your life, how do you react? When you are somewhere between yesterday's tragedy and tomorrow's triumph, what do you do? Do you leave God- or do you linger near him?...

Remember the second half of the passage. "God works for the good of those who love him" (Rom 8:28). That's how John felt about Jesus. He loved him. He didn't understand him or always agree with him, but he loved him...

If God can change John's life through a tragedy, could it be he will use a tragedy to change yours?

(Excerpt from He Chose the Nails page 119, 120, 122, 125)

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