Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Prepared for such a time
In the Lord of the Rings Frodo states his displeasure over having to be responsible for the ring, for having to play his part in destroying evil. The path was hard and conflicting for him to travel on. Frodo was afraid and wishes he'd never been chosen to destroy the ring...
"So do I", said Gandalf, "and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time given us."
Such simplicity in Gandalf's reply yet the the repercussions are numerous. We don't have a choice at times what falls into our lap, whether hardships or blessings will enter our days. We do have a choice though as to how to view our hardships and what our response will be.
I am currently struggling with a heavy burden upon my shoulders. I am trying to figure out "community" and what that means to me, our church, and how I see myself fitting in to it all. The whole realm of worship, encouraging, rebuking and uplifting other believers in the faith. There is so much turmoil swirling about my church congregation. In the midst of it is a broken Pastor who is filled with such anguish as to how to lead his sheep. Through the chaos and confusion I find myself searching. Searching my soul to see what church should mean to me. Am I to give up a community that has been my home for 11 years because the unknowns are too hard to bear? Should I move on because my eyes are tempted by all that glitters?
I have found myself longing, more than usual, wanting something more. I weep for those who have left our small congregation. I too have had those same thoughts over the years. For many years now I have fought my own battles of the flesh, my desires, wanting to be worshipping in a place that offers me something different. I am trying desperately to separate out what I believe are my worldly ambitions so that I can recognize them as being false gods. There are days when I don't want to bend down and serve, to wash another's feet. My flesh desires to be in a place where am I served, where my needs are met.
Many questions have risen in my mind over the weeks. Just because your weaknesses and faults are finally found out by others does that discredit you from serving? How long before being given up on and others begin to call you unfit? One of my many fears over the years is that it will be found out that I have a great, great many faults and I sin, over and over again. Each time wanting it to be the last. Praying that I will overcome my sinful nature. At what number does a fellow believer come to me and say, "please don't sing again, your faults are too numerous." My heart would be shattered to pieces. Grateful, yes, that I could finally be open about the great sinner that I am but broken that I could no longer serve the God that I know with the voice that I know can only be from Him.
"Now therefore, fear the Lord and serve Him in sincerity and truth; and put away the gods which your fathers served... and serve the Lord.
If it is disagreeable in your sight to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves today whom you will serve... but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.
For the Lord our God is He who brought us up out of the land of Egypt... and who did these great signs in our sight and preserved us through all the way in which we went..."
Joshua 24: 14-17
I find that with each new trial that comes my way I can see how the Lord prepared me ahead of time. When the trial has passed I can look back and see how I was carried through by His strong hand. Even knowing that, I still don't like trials or seek them out if I can help it. My initial response is to fight my reality by lashing out at others or running away and hiding. When Andy's brother died I did not want Andy and I to be prepared to walk that path, yet we were and it happened. As are the current struggles that fill my days, I don't want to come to grips with them, but I need to. The Lord has been preparing me for such a time as this. I have choices to make. I could choose to act on my hurt and anger. I could choose to run away to that which beckons my senses or I could stay and work to love my community. I am working through what it is that I serve, whom I serve. Is He worthy of my service? Of forsaking my desires for His? Yes, and He beckons me to come...
Let me be in love with what You love
Let me be most satisfied in You
Forsaking all the world has offered me
I choose to be in love with You
I will choose to be in love with You
Let me know the peace that's mine in You
Let me know the joy my heart can sing
For I have nothing Lord apart from You
I choose to call on Christ in me
I will choose to call on Christ in me
For in the fullness of who You are
I can rest in this place
And giving over this, my journey Lord
I see nothing but Your face
Let me know that You have loved me first
Let me know the weight of my response
For you have long pursued my wandering heart
I choose to glory in Your cross
I will choose to glory in Your cross
And I bow down...
Humbly I bow down...
My beloved- here I am
I bow down to you...