031307 Finding God in the Mystery of every day
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Hebrews 12: 7 Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children. For what children are not disciplined by their father? 8 If you are not disciplined—and everyone undergoes discipline—then you are not legitimate, not true sons and daughters at all. 9 Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us, and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of spirits and live! 10 They disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share in his holiness. 11 No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.
There seems to be a regularly recurring cycle of prosperity and hard times, easily observable over the course of the last several years. Just as Jesus talked abut “wars and rumors of wars,” (Matthew 24:6) so too there have been times of well-being, and times when it seems we are beset on every side. I think Paul, or whomever you believe was the writer of the letter to the Hebrews may have been (although stylistically and grammatically the evidence seem to point to Paul as the author) had experienced the hardship and difficulty of living in those times.
What the author is trying to convey seems a seismic shift from an attitude of complaining and resisting to accepting and coping, making the best of whatever circumstances we find ourselves in. Certainly, this seems to be what Jesus was trying to communicate to the disciples. Don’t lose sight of the mission when things get difficult. Look for creative and innovative ways to go forward rather than complaining or retreating altogether. In the coming economic “hard times” there is an opportunity to share the love of Jesus and to tell of His wonderful grace to forgive.