CHRISTMAS LESSONS FROM SIMEON AND ANNA 3: PAIN SHOULD BRING YOU CLOSER, NOT FAR TO THE CROSS

Problems comes with pains and with pains comes discomfort. Nearly everyone no matter highly placed or privileged has encountered their fair shares of problem, so, it is a leveler that cannot be run away from. But why do people suffer and why must there be problem in the first place? The answer is because we live in a fallen world governed by unstable natural laws and supported by human wickedness at the behest of a devil who is the enemy of all good things.

The woman Anna, described as a prophetess in our meditation of today had her fair share of problems growing up. She lost her husband in the seventh year of their marriage and it was not recorded whether she gave birth or not but she decided for reasons best known to her to remain unmarried for the rest of her life devoted to a life of prayer and worship. She is one biblical character with some of the most miserable circumstances but her understanding of channelling her pains in the right direction earn her a special place in our meditation today.

Despite what life has thrown at her, Anna did not curse God like Job’s wife would have advised, she rather chose to live in the temple praying day and night while using her life as encouragement to many others. It was this devotion that qualified her alongside Simeon as some of the people who were honoured to dedicate the saviour of the world when he was born.

It is true that life has not dealt with you the best way you expected it should have; despite putting in your best, you are still struggling at the level you currently are when those that you started the same time have gone far ahead with more tangible results to show for it. If God is good, why should it be you of all people who suffers and not others?

At eighty-four years of age, Anna’s mates are happily retiring into some of the best homes with their great grand children flocking around while consumating marriages for their grand children and travelling around the world for pleasure, yet here is Anna living off people’s offering in church but devoted and unwavering in serving her maker.

But as for you, my friend, your grouse with God that makes you neglect going to church, paying your offering and other spiritual duty is because you lost your job and you are broke. You have been wondering if God really is a good God that is being preached, why should whatever is happening in your life be happening but I can tell you as a matter of fact that it can be worse as it has been for many people who have passed that road before you unless you let that pain, that problem and that fear bring you closer to the cross where you can only find solution.

You don’t have to go about blaming everyone and everything in your life for your present predicament, there is solution to your problems at the feet of Jesus who knows about them all along. The goodnews is that Jesus who is described as our high priest has suffered the same fate you are currently going through while he walked this earth. Trust me, he knows exactly what it feels like being in the current situation you are, the book of Hebrews 4:15 describes him as one who has been “touched with the feeling of our infirmities; was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin”. That is why he is able to deal gently with us now even in our ignorance and waywardness because he himself has been subjected to the same weaknesses.

Because of you and whatever you are battling with today, he offered himself as sacrifice, why don’t you take advantage of that and draw near and find healing for your infirmities and permanent solutions to your problems. Brooding up, cursing and fighting everybody and everything will not solve the problem but commitment to the things of God will.

Concentrating on his priestly services to God even when his wife have passed the age of giving birth is what brought miracle of the birth of John the Baptist to Zechariah and Elizabeth in the book of Luke chapter 1. Anna’s devotion to God granted her the privilege of blessing Jesus for a smooth earthly ministry that the world is still benefiting from; if only you know that you cannot fight God but willingly yield to Him, you won’t have stayed this long in this situation.

Jesus declared that the devil, who is the architect of your problems comes only to steal, kill and destroy but he has come to give you life in abundance. What more do you desire than abundance of good things? Yield to Jesus, yield to the cross, let that pain brings you closer, he wants to take them away.

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