On The Wheel
Two weeks ago a healthy sixteen-year-old young man would have complained to keep up with my pace. This past week was a different story. A virus, bronchitis. Yes, every day demanded putting my feet out the door.
I write this on Saturday before the 4th of July. By God's grace. The coughing has eased. Fever has gone. There is healing.
Benefits of this trial:
1. Sickness is humbling.
The inability to do normal tasks in normal time: eat, sleep, talk, rest, think...ad infinitum, is chastising to the human spirit. Pride takes a beating. Independence succumbs to the helping hands of others and a cry for mercy from the Lord. Dreams are reduced to immediate needs. Motion slows. Thinking is reduced to expediency.
In this newfound humility needing God and others to help us becomes a premium value. We recognize that we cannot reach bold goals without a team. Love takes fresh wings in our heart to fly us into His presence and leads us to the schoolyard where we first learned that others come first.
We have renewed our passion for finding people who are lonely, lost and hurting.
2. Sickness shuffles priorities.
With bodily affliction, the mind begins readjusting to focus on what is really important. Normal tasks get deferred. Fanciful notions about what could be are reframed into what MUST BE. Want-tos are churned through life values to determine validity to totality, not existential context. Ambitions are biblically refined to guide us as servants. Hope for recognition yields to a burning desire for glory to be given to our Lord!
Yes, sickness adjusts our priorities.
I write with a sober heart. In the midst of my personal week of challenge, Laila was there for me. My family was there for me. Pastoral staff was there for me. God was there for me.
In spite of my weakness, God gave us great favor as we dealt with crises that could have been very disrupting. More than once we witnessed the sovereign hand of God mitigate situations that would have been impossible for me even if I had been in perfect health.
One morning, during the past week, while needing rest I left home saying to Laila: "The challenge facing me as a pastor is in the Lord's hands. It is bigger than I am. I have no power to correct it. We must trust him."
What could have resulted would have been great opposition to the work of the Lord. God gave us favor. We saw the hand of the Lord prove himself. The challenge faded. Victory came. (Read II Kings 19:35-37 for an example of supernatural intervention).
This week we celebrate the Declaration of Independence of the United States of America. We celebrate our civil freedoms. We celebrate freedom to worship and freedom to speak.
This week we will with great resolve ask ourselves what our responsibility is to help move our country back to God. We will also ask ourselves whether we are living lives that make a statement of the power of the cross to guide our feet in paths of righteousness. Humbly we will seek our God. Humbly we will seek God's favor. Humbly we will offer ourselves to serve.
We accept that it is day. We are on the stage. It is our turn to make an eternal difference for Christ's Church. We commit and willingly offer ourselves in the footsteps of our Lord!
Whether you are a Life Group leader, Bible teacher, member of the music team, minister to our children or youth or have not yet found your area of ministry, why not consider helping keep facilities clean and functional, visit the sick, work with the construction team, minister in jails, on parking team, ushering team, greater team, etc. You are valued. You are vital to function and flow. We can do so much more together.
Thank you. Thank you for giving and praying for the building fund. Thank you for serving Christ's Church in whatever manner you do, wherever you may be. We are all clay in The Potter's hands!
Let us believe God for a powerful week!
Jude 1:24-25 "To him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy, to the only God our Savior be glory majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen."