Remembrance and its opposite - Fourth in a series
One of the thieves crucified at Calvary alongside Christ wanted to be remembered by him. He defended Jesus against the taunts of the other thief, and Christ promised him, "Today shalt thou be with me in paradise." (Luke 23:40-43)
However, both thieves mocked Christ as their punishments began. “[…the chief priests mocking him, with the scribes and elders…] The thieves also, which were crucified with him, cast the same in his teeth." (Mat 27:41-44) And they that were crucified with him reviled him. (Mark 15:32)
But in the end, after hours of excruciating pain, the one had amended his views. At last he said, Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation? And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss. And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom. (Luke 23:40-42)
Thus did physical torture and delay in deliverance lead to eternal reward.
Have you wondered why you are experiencing torturous delays to answered prayers and painful, lengthy trials? Yet in waiting on God:
- We learn patience, endurance and perseverance.
- We gain insight to the suffering of others and become able to counsel and comfort them.
- We are led to draw close to God for strength and peace.
- As we strain to listen and he draws us nearer, we become more like him.
- We may even be led to wonder if what we are waiting for is, after all, what we really need. We gain wisdom. Indeed, if we thought he did not know us fully, we were in great need of enlightenment. Will we now pray in new ways?
Thus, as we wait and suffer, often feeling that God has forgotten us, we are made better so that God's remembrance of us might be improved, in a manner of speaking.