I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the upside-down-ness of the Kingdom of God.

I remember back when I was a very young Christian and working in a Christian bookstore. The owner of the store was a grandfather and had been walking with Jesus for a very long time. He was so learned and wise that most of his conversations involved answering questions about the bible from customers, friends or fellow church members. I would stand at the door of his office and listen to these conversations – hoping to glean wisdom or understanding. A lot of his answers to others centered on the Kingdom of God. This concept was so new, and so abstract that I understood very little of what he said.

Now, I find myself thinking more and more about the Kingdom. Everything about it is upside down… Death brings life; the humble are exalted; the weak are strong. I could go on and on.

I find great comfort in these “kingdom” principles. They point forward to a future hope that will be “right-side-up.” A place where we see the glory brought about by suffering AND where suffering is no more.

But the Kingdom is not only “not yet,” it is “now.” And that is what I’ve been struggling to grasp.

Bottom-line… I want to KNOW there is purpose in the pain. A good purpose for Anne’s tragedy, for Canon & Kate’s grief and for our profound sadness. I pray that God brings spiritual renewal from Anne’s physical suffering. I want to see through the dim light of this world and see face to face…

Ahhh. But here lies the conflict. We don’t see face to face on this side of heaven. “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen” Hebrews 11:1. Here is another upside-down principle. Seeing comes AFTER believing. Waiting brings peace. Joy comes out of grief. Arrrrggggghhhhhhhh! Why does it have to be so backwards :-)

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