God, Do You Really Want Me to Go Through THIS?!!?
Devotional Thought of the Day:
16 Yet preaching the Good News is not something I can boast about. I am compelled by God to do it. How terrible for me if I didn’t preach the Good News! 1 Corinthians 9:16 (NLT)
4 I replied, “But my work seems so useless! I have spent my strength for nothing and to no purpose. Yet I leave it all in the LORD’s hand; I will trust God for my reward.” Isaiah 49:4 (NLT)
902 I didn’t think God would get hold of me the way he did, either. But, let me tell you once again, God doesn’t ask our permission to “complicate” our lives. He just gets in: and that’s that! (1)
As I look at my life, there is a strong temptation to question God’s wisdom, or perhaps His sanity.
Not that doing so is a good practice, please note, I said temptation. And like Jeremiah, and Isaiah, I sometimes struggle with why God would lead me the way he has, and like Isaiah, I wonder if I will ever get to see the results.
I preach about God’s faithfulness, and I know it is true. I have seen it over and over in my life. Yet there are times where the attitudes of Jeremiah and Isaiah aren’t just interesting passages, they are words I think, and say. Lord, really? Couldn’t you find someone who could do this better? Couldn’t you find someone with a stronger faith, who was more patient? Couldn’t preaching about the peace of Christ be more… peaceful?
Those times don’t last for months, but they can flow from one day into another. They never get past Sunday, or the Wednesdays during Advent and Lent where we share in the Eucharist, where we receive the Body and Blood given and shed for us.
I wonder what would happen if every pastor was honest about those times where God “complicates” their lives? How would their congregations react? Would they be supportive? Would they dismiss the pastor? Would they work harder in the harvest fields? Would it strengthen their faith, or weaken it? What about their peers in ministry, how would they see them?
Looking back, after most of those days when I feel like a Jeremiah, or an Isaiah, I find that God has been at work in ways beyond anything I can share here. I can see why being brought low in Spirit is a blessing, why being humbled is part of the cross we bear.
I’ve learned to just let the emotions run for a little while, and then remember the hope we have in Christ Jesus. That He will sustain us, that the peace and sustenance we’ve been given. That is why the Liturgy fo the Lord’s Supper becomes so much a blessing.
As we sing the sanctus, to realize we are singing of His holiness with the whole company of heaven, including Jeremiah and Isaiah. God proved faithful to them, and the promises He made through them, and He will be to us.
As we sing the Agnus Dei, to realize the Body and Blood of Christ is there, so He has been given for us, to take away our sins, to have mercy on us, to grant us peace…..
As we hear a welcome to the table, as we take and eat, and take and drink, we realize again that we dwell in Him, and that He has bound us to Him in the New Covenant.
As we (a Lutheran practice) leave the altar, we sing the song of Simeon, and realize that He is our salvation, that He is our light and life, and the glory of His people.
I can’t stop the days like Jeremiah’s, I can’t diminish the feelings like Isaiah. Not on my own. Yet walking with Christ, there is hope, and there is a peace so blessed, I can take the time to pour out my heartache, to give Him frustrations and my doubts. His peace allows for such blessed times.
I pray this for you as well, that you would realize the peace, and let it strengthen you to do so, whether you are ordained or not, for we all are His priests. We all serve, and He will use us in places beyond anythings we could imagine, or want.
(1) Escriva, Josemaria (2011-01-31). The Forge (Kindle Locations 3193-3195). Scepter Publishers. Kindle Edition.
Posted on February 5, 2015, in Devotions, The Forge and tagged Abiding in Christ, anxiety, apostolate, brokenness, cHesed, comfort, Communion, Eucharist, Will of God. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.