Our Future Glory
On the evening of February 17th, 2022, my lovely bride Shanda looked at me and recited those familiar lines we’d been anticipating for months: “I think it’s time.”
Approximately 18 hours later, after intense pain and suffering beyond anything my wife had encountered before—a big statement all its own, as pregnancy and birthing have never been easy on her—Shaw Levi Ratcliff entered the world and rested in the loving arms of a very grateful mother.
“Intense pain and suffering” really don’t do justice to the physical and emotional pain my wife battled for hours on end. As I stood there watching her hold him close, seeing the joy, the love, the victorious glow, that only a new mother can truly understand, radiating from every pore of her battered body to the praise and the glory of the Lord our God, I knew what even a fool can recognize in a moment like that: this was worth every bit of pain and suffering endured. Sure, for me of course (we dads get the easy job when it comes to these things), but even more grandly, especially despite the immensity of the suffering endured, this glorious moment, and all the glorious moments that will follow with Mr. Shaw, was worth every ounce of pain and suffering for Shanda herself.
This provides for us a picture, a metaphor, a window into the deep, spiritual reality that we find ourselves in as adopted sons and daughters of God.
Paul writes, “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God.” (Romans 8:18-19)
That is, just as the very real suffering my wife endured leading up to, and culminating ultimately in the birth of our son is in no way comparable to the reward of holding him in her arms, of being able to raise him and watch him grow and mature into the man of God he was created to be, in that same way the suffering we endure throughout our lives in this world is in no way comparable to the reward of standing in the presence of God, glorified fully as His sons and daughters, for all of eternity.
What’s more, is that not only that our future glory is worth whatever trials and tribulations we encounter along our way, but discovering there is even purpose in the hurt, purpose in the heartache, that even the most challenging battles of our lives are in fact being used to produce good.
Join us Sunday at 9 and 10:45 as we continue our series, Romans: The Book of the Power of the Gospel, with a lesson on Romans 8:18-30; a message of hope in the face of suffering in this life, and the glory of a God who truly is working "...all things together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28) We look forward to seeing you there!
“Help Wanted” Thanksgiving Dinner Clean-up crew needed. Two scoops of ice cream bonus awarded for every additional hour to every thankful soul helping to clean up on Sunday! This offer is only good for Thanksgiving dinner on Joel Ave.  This does not apply to your home thanksgiving dinner, states, or territories of the USA.  Three scoops may be arranged if you recruit others. Click here to contact Alan if you are willing to help.
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First Christian Church · 150 Joel Ave · Union, Mo 63084 · USA

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