I’ve been having a lot of shoulder pain for the past few months. It started to be very bothersome and interrupt my activities of daily living. Someone who knows a thing or two about shoulders has told me I have a weak shoulder. Yes, a weak shoulder. I never thought it could be possible—that I could have a weak shoulder—as I am always active. The problem is the particular area doesn’t do the work as other muscles and it has become too weak to support itself.
So now I am in a lot of pain and lately I find myself with eyes filled with tears as I try to sleep. I find myself having to do exercises to work out the weak area. This therapy is painful. This therapy can be draining or overwhelming. This therapy is necessary.
As God chips away at us, helping to mold us into we are meant to be, we might feel some pain. Change requires loss. We grieve. We drag our feet. We don’t understand. To move along with God and walk alongside Him doing our part, we find ourselves making adjustments to our lives to make room for Him and that can appear overwhelming. We say things like, “I have to wake up earlier so I can get my morning devotion read or it won’t get done” We find ourselves stepping out in faith in small and big ways. Turning down jobs. Traveling to unfamiliar areas. Changing direction. But just as I need this therapy to strengthen my muscle again, so we need God’s Word, His direction, His prodding. I pray today you allow yourself to be molded by our Maker, rejoicing as you trust His perfect plan. Praise Him. Trust Him. Embrace Him. Dig into His Word—not just here and there, but every day. Take it with you. Write it down. Remember it. Cherish it. Eat it. Speak it. Love it. No one who trust God like this – heart and soul – will ever regret it.
“With your whole being you embrace God setting things right, and then you say it, right out loud: ‘God has set everything right between him and me!’ Scripture reassures us, ‘No one who trusts God like this – heart and soul – will ever regret it.’” – Romans 10:10-11 [MSG]
In Ephesians 5 we are told to “follow God’s example” and to “walk in the way of love.” Paul writes, “Just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God” (Ephesians 5:1-2 NIV). When I read the Message translation of this passage, two words pop out—“Keep company.”
Keep company with Him. Keep company with God. Well what does it mean to keep company? It means to be with, to stay with, to spend time with. It also means to associate with or be connected with a person. So how does one keep company with God? Through prayer. Through worship. Through reading God’s Word. Through serving God’s people.
Each of us can walk in love better, each of us can walk in Christ better by keeping company with God. Every so often I am given a glimpse of something that reminds me of where I once was in life. People pass me by, a song comes on the radio, I see something on the news, or something happens and it reminds me of where I used to be in life. Then I thank God for where I am now. I know I’m not where I’m supposed to be, but I know that I have changed so much because I continue to keep company with my Father. I pray today you’ll do the same.
“Watch what God does, and then you do it, like children who learn proper behavior from their parents. Mostly what God does is love you. Keep company with him and learn a life of love. Observe how Christ loved us. His love was not cautious but extravagant. He didn’t love in order to get something from us but to give everything of himself to us. Love like that.” – Ephesians 5:1-2 [MSG]