Monday Reflection: Remember!
By Rae Lewis-Thornton
March 21, 2011
In September, I moved into my one bedroom apartment. Nothing fancy, but I have made it my home! So when my spirit is crushing down, I Remember that God answered my prayer. So I crawl out of my bed and open my living room curtains, let the sun shine in and turn the tea kettle on. I dare not squander this gift, because I'm waiting on another gift!
I Remember! That God has brought me through time and time again. No, it's not always the way I expect it to be, but it was deliverance nonetheless. I Remember! Like when someone I have never met donates money to my Pay Pal or I get a check in the mail from a stranger when all I had in the bank was $10.00. No, it wasn't tons of dollars were I could go shopping and buy "shit" I didn't need anyway, but I could go to the grocery store.
I Remember! That He always makes a way!
As a side note, I remember the day when I would've gotten that money and made some stupid rationalization about how to spend it. "Well, it was a gift," I would say, "so I should get something special for me." Right, with no food in the fridge and bills still unpaid, and you still waiting on your breakthrough. Sorry to say, God blessed you, but umm, you squandered that gift. You could have been one step closer to deliverance if you had used that money for it's purpose. That's a demon that I had to WORK hard to destroy.
But back to the point. I Remember, that He didn't cause my situation. We are quick to blame God for our own shit. I made choices that I must painfully live with. And the unfortunate part about consequences is that they sometimes remain a lifetime. Can't undo what's been done. So I have to suffer through this painful drug resistant herpes. It is what it is. I Remember! This situation I'm in is about choices I made!
I Remember! I made it through the last infection and the last treatment in one piece. Yes, it was painful, but I was stronger than the pain. I Remember my resilience!
In my chaos, I also Remember He creates clarity and purpose. I Remember! No, Remembering does not take away the pain in the right now. Some pain is what you have to experience. There is no life without pain; even Jesus hurt.
But Remembering provides clarity in dealing with the pain. I Remember that life is a precious gift from God and when I wake in the morning I'm still a part of God's earthly plan. And with this knowledge I dare not squander this gift. I keep working on the tangible things in my life. My Ministry! My Purpose! My Gifts and Talents that God has blessed me with, even when I hurt, even in the pain.
In this Lenten season, Remember that while on the Cross, even Jesus had clarity and purpose in the midst of His pain. Yes, He Hurt! He even lamented... My God, my God, why have they forsaken me?
But in the pain, He dared not squander the living for the dying. I'm still blown away when I think about how much goodness He did while on the cross dying. Some of us would have been so mad at both the world and God. Stuck in our misery. We wouldn't have given a damn about anyone else but what we felt at that moment.
Think about it. He conducted His ministry from the cross; He forgave the thief; He comforted Mary and John; He even forgave those who prosecuted Him; all while he had nails in His hands, nails in His feet, nails in His sides and a crown of thorns on His head, all while fulfilling His ultimate purpose. Now that's Keeping it Moving. #ForReal #ForReal.
And this is how I keep going. I Remember my own history with God in this world. I Remember that there is clarity and purpose for my life even in the chaos and pain. I find my strength in Remembering that God has been constant and ever present in my life whether it was expected or unexpected. And I dare not squander His presence in my life! I dare not squander my gifts and talents because of my pain. I dare not halt my ministry because life is hard and facing my demons even harder.
I Remember that life without fulfilled purpose is no life at all and I dare not fulfill my purpose because of the pain...
Rae Lewis-Thornton Speaks
Rae Lewis-Thornton is an Emmy Award-winning AIDS activist who rose to national acclaim when she told her story of living with AIDS in a cover story for Essence Magazine. She has lived with HIV for 27 years and AIDS for 19. Rae travels the country speaking and challenging stereotypes and myths about HIV/AIDS. She has a Master of Divinity degree and is currently working on her Ph.D. in Church History. Rae has been featured on Nightline, Dateline NBC, BET and The Oprah Winfrey Show, as well as in countless magazines and newspapers, including Emerge, Glamour, O, the Oprah Winfrey Magazine, Jet, Ebony, the Washington Post and the Chicago Tribune, to name a few. She earned the coveted Emmy Award for a first-person series on living With AIDS for Chicago's CBS News.
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