Thursday, July 17, 2014

Discipleship Matters

I don't know who was more excited about the new film showing at the science center, me or the kids (I would guess, me). This National Geographic lover was swept off her feet by the newest 3-D movie playing, Pandas: The Journey Home

I absolutely adore pandas. They're cute, cuddly and hey, they rhyme with my name. 

Though some may beg to differ, I believe pandas are the most lovable bear on the planet. They have that sophisticated tuxedo look with little beady eyes that say, "Take me home with you."

The film takes place at the Wolong Panda Center, deep in the heart of China. The rescue center was designed to train pandas to survive in the wild.

In order for that to happen, all the baby pandas born at the center were to have no human contact. Then they would be trained to live like a wild panda before being set free.

Although it was a harder life, it was one worth striving for.

No human contact. That reminded me of times in my walk of faith. 

Lonely times when I didn't have a community of believers to come alongside me to encourage and support me. 

It wasn't that I was trying to isolate myself. I would have preferred to be in a fellowship of friends, but I was stuck in a wilderness sort of place and I didn't know when it was ever going to end.

At the same time, I don't think I've ever felt closer to the Lord.

In the wilderness, I've learned to lean on Him like never before. 

I know that He meant those times to train me. To teach me. to disciple me. That I might have a more closer walk with Him.

“Therefore, behold, I will allure her,
    and bring her into the wilderness,
    and speak tenderly to her.
15 And there I will give her her vineyards
    and make the Valley of Achor [trouble] a door of hope." 

Hosea 2:14

Sometimes our friends have to be taken out of the way so that we might see Christ better.

It's not punishment, it's discipleship. And, it's meant for our good and for His glory.

And, one day, those times will bear fruit to share with others going through hard times.

When you have learned to lean on Christ, you can help strengthen others in their faith. 

It's always good to be in fellowship, but in those alone times, know that God will shine through. 

He will use this time to draw you nearer to Himself and teach you that 

He is our strength, our satisfaction, our salvation.