This series is always a little strange. God calls me here to talk about the struggles often. Sometimes it is other things, but most often this set of pieces involves some kind of struggle I am facing. Tonight it is strange in more ways than one in that He usually doesn’t call me to write more than once in a night, and yet, I finished the other thing a little while ago, and found there was something I still needed to say. It is not so much a struggle tonight though that I feel called to share, but the aftermath of one. Last week, I wrote here in this space, very openly about some things that had been weighing heavily.
It is always hard when I do that, not so much because I worry about sharing the personal. That’s has long since stopped causing me concern. But because in the aftermath of a writing like that, especially one that reaches beyond just my own personal things, there are always lingering wiggles and things. I make my friends worry that I am sad. I cause people who love me to wonder if I am still stumbling around in those pains. I cause others to pass links along to other friends just to be sure someone who loves will see and touch base. I don’t mean to do those things. But, because I am blessed with people who love me, inevitably those things happen.
More than that, I get moving along with other things (Corey might say it’s the obsession of starting something new) and forget that it’s been a while and that the last thing I had to write was a revealing of pain. But when God calls me to share the struggles here in this place, particularly in this series, it’s always with a purpose, usually with several. And the main things it accomplishes for myself (outside whatever He does with the people He leads to read it) is to sort through all the slippery, slithery, jumbled up things in my head so I get them out in front of me and they don’t stay up there wiggling around causing trouble and distracting me from Him.
That’s never the only purpose. It’s probably not even the main purpose. I can’t really think of a single thing He’s ever led me to write publicly that was solely to get something off my chest. But it is one of the primary means He uses to help me make sense of the things He asks me to do, to help me break bad habits, to help me shed sneaking little fears that wiggle into the cracks when I’m not paying attention. So, last week, it was the end of a time. It was the end of a time of letting all the things going on around me stir, and wiggle, and bubble. Sometimes, we have to go through that kind of time before we can get to the heart of what comes next.
But, the flip side of that for me, is that once I have done that task, once I have laid out whatever strange message God wanted me to show. Once I have revealed whatever thing was hiding under the surface of my mind causing turmoil. It’s kind of like pulling out a splinter. No more hurt. No more tenderness. Truth is out in the open, and my heart is once again free to focus on God. To deal with those around me without masks. So, here I sit tonight, delighted with some of the things God has shown me this week while I’ve been busy doing the new things He’s told me to.
His purpose for me is the same as it was a month ago, a year ago, and pretty much forever, but especially since He sent me to my beautiful little church with the amazing family He gave me there. I am there to serve at His pleasure, in whatever way He chooses, and as He opens and closes doors for me there. I am there, as are all the members of any church, to make the job of my pastor and leaders a joy instead of a drudgery. I am there to encourage the hurting, teach the growing and celebrate with the faithful. I am there to be a vessel so that God can be a beacon to those who are searching for home. I imagine the how of that will change often through the years ahead. But the purpose remains the same. And the power, strength and joy of it still comes from the same place. The name of Christ on the lips of the faithful is power, Holy Spirit in the hearts of the faithful moves.
I sit tonight with joy in my heart. Excitement and anticipation of visiting my Father’s house when I wake. The delight of going to sing, and sharing worship with the gifts of brothers and sisters He’s surrounded me with. What a glorious and beautiful blessing He has given me, both in the struggles and in the answers to those wiggles n things.
I pray you all have a blessed day of worship tomorrow, whichever of His houses you find yourself in. I pray for each of you a wondrous encounter with the living Christ, a beautiful awareness of Holy Spirit in you. I pray it is a day of drawing near to God, and being transformed in the encounter.
Be blessed and be a blessing.