Verse: Philippians 3:10-11
I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead.
Figuring out our wants can be a time-consuming thing. Ask any child (and some adults!) beginning in October or so when the toy catalogs and Christmas decorations start coming out what they want for Christmas and you are likely to either get a lot of ideas from a child who has it all planned out or a look of panic from a child who doesn't have the all-important list down yet. As we get older, we all have a different list of wants. What do I want for dinner, what do I want to watch, what do I want to do today, what should I buy with my raise?
When I read this verse with Paul saying he wants to take part in Jesus' suffering, it reminded me of something a friend told me when she received her remission diagnosis after battling cancer at the age of 20. She said she was a little sad to be in remission, which seemed surprising to me. I asked why and she explained she had never felt closer to God than during the previous years when she received her diagnosis, did chemo, lost her hair, all while planning her upcoming wedding. I doubt those things are on the "want list" of most brides to be. But my friend had seen something even better. She knew first hand that suffering that Paul wanted a part of and knew how much better it was than anything else, if it meant being close to God along with it.
Paul flips all our wants upside down here. Above all, he wanted to know Christ, no matter what hard stuff came with it. Most of us wake up in the morning wanting a nice, easy day laid out in front of us. But what if we flip that upside down and change our mindset? What do our days look like when we take our wants and replace them with what God wants for us? What do our families look like? What could our churches look like?
What want has been consuming your time that God might be calling you to put aside so that you can know Him more? Reread this verse, asking God to show His power in your life.