Use our scars to build Your Church O Lord…

Devotional thought of the day:

Listening randomly to the music on my computer, the last couple of days a song has played, and stuck in my brain.  The chorus includes these words,

use our hands to build your church o Lord, use our hands to build Your church.”

A very good friend recorded the song, and like me, went to a Bible College where we were taught to lead and minister in a manner consistent with Christ’s model.  We were called to serve, to sacrifice, not for our own glory, but simply to point people to Jesus.  It was held out to us as the way to build God’s church, to do as ROmans 12:1-9 talks so beautifully concerning.  Because of God’s incredible living kindness and mercy, present to Him your bodies, to be sacrificed spiritually – for this is the logical way to worship (parker’s paraphrase)

Last night, as Chris and I were side by side, facilitating the worship of our people, I was struggling.  A dear friend in our congregation received news that she would have to undergo chemotherapy, not just a course of treatment, but a long haul, to keep at bay cancer.  My childhood friend’s dad was in the hospital, possibly having a heart attack (his mom passed away recently) my dad had been taken to the ER. Another friend’s dad, extremely influential in helping me and so many other minister,  responded positively despite what most would see as a major setback.  As the evening progressed, I found out about others in crisis, and it began to become, well overwhelming.

It is hard to preach on Isaiah 40 when you are crushed. It is hard to preach on casting your cares on Christ, when you almost don’t have a chance for a breath as they come flooding in.  Then again, you can’t really know how much God will strengthen you, how much His power is displayed in our weakness, until you really need to know it.

So how does Chris’ song, and all of the suffering work into on theme in this blog?

I was thinking about his song, and our lessons on servant ministry/leadership and about a phrase the influential pastor wrote.  God can turn your scars into stars. When all of a sudden, the two morphed into one thought.

Use our scars to build YOUR church o Lord, use your scars to build Your church!

Use our scars to build YOUR church o Lord, use your scars to build Your church!

If we, in presenting our bodies to God to be living sacrifices, to serve and use our talents and abilities to accomplish His will (  2 Pet 3:9) then He can as well use  our anxieties, our illnesss, our setbacks, our crosses our scars.

It takes trust to lay those things down, far more trust than to volunteer to serve a dinner, or sing in the choir, or become a pastor or missionary, or even that incredible sacrifice – a children’s Sunday school teacher  ( I am not joking with that btw- I think they are among the greatest of God’s servants)   I hate my scars, I even hate more the scars and potential scars I see my people bearing.  I would do anything to see them freed from such burdens, and it bothers me when I cannot.

But I see something else at work, for I am seeing God using those scars.  I saw my friend, on the day she received such news, come to church and stay for the potluck, her strength an example of the very words from Isaiah.  Her husband was one of the men who served that meal, working besides others and encouraging them.  I see others, also dealing with issues and anxieties sharing in the same meal.  I see a church of broken people, whom God has brought together and lifted up as His church….

And I realized, what I was praying for in my morphing a song and a thought and a phrase, it was already happening…. here.. in our midst.  In a glorious-yet tragic-yet inspring-yet full of tears-yet beyond imagination way.

Lord – have mercy on us- bring healing to these lives… and help our unbelief…even as you give us strength, and cause us to rise up on wings as eagles..

AMEN

About justifiedandsinner

I am a pastor of a Concordia Lutheran Church in Cerritos, California, where we rejoice in God's saving us from our sin, and the unrighteousness of the world. It is all about His work, the gift of salvation given to all who trust in Jesus Christ, and what He has done that is revealed in Scripture. God deserves all the glory, honor and praise, for He has rescued and redeemed His people.

Posted on November 29, 2012, in Devotions and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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