While we may have thought that summer would never come, it’s here. Not only has it come, but it’s come crashing down on us harder than when Moses smashed the Ten Commandments tablet into a million little pieces.
We have to be careful what we wish for in those frigid winter months, don’t we?
We are fairly adept at whining about the things we currently have, wishing and begging for the things we don’t. And, then when we finally get said things, it doesn’t seem to take us very long to find fault with our new arrangement. Now, we find ourselves complaining about the heat.
Why are we like this?
I don’t know about you, but I get frustrated with my own tendency to focus on the greener grass of my seemingly perfect neighbor’s lawn. It just seems like we have a difficult time being content with what we have. When I look at what other’s lives look like – I can sometimes mistakenly believe that they have all their stuff together, and I assume that compared to my own life, they are probably happier, feel more at peace or seem to have the secret of life all figured out.
The truth of the matter is – this is a complete lie. While that person may have some things mastered that don’t necessarily come easily to a creative person like me, there are likely other areas of struggle they face on a daily basis, and those challenges are bound to be completely different than mine. Some of those problems are not as easy for the eye to see. Some may never be shared with others but held close to the vest and maybe taken to the grave. Some may actually lead to the grave itself.
We all have “stuff.”
When we surrender our lives to the Lord Jesus Christ, that transformation allows us to be free from the bondage of sin. We can experience a tremendous life change, and literally seem to become a different person in what appears to be an instant. An encounter with Jesus can cause us to lose the desire for things that once had us bound in a path of self-destruction. I experienced some of those instantaneous freedoms when I gave my life to Christ twenty-six years ago. But traits from my temperament still cause issues in my life, and consequences to those things happen probably on a daily basis. These consequences are times of humility. They are reminders that we need the strength of God on a minute-by-minute basis, to help guide us in every decision (lest we go our own way). We need to seek God.
“Look to the Lord and His strength; seek His face always.” – Psalm 105:4
I am a flawed human being, who apart from God and His grace will do her own bidding. And, fall flat on her face pretty much every time. But the good news is, He loves us anyway. Despite all of those tendencies to go our own way, to forge ahead without even asking Him what plan He might have for us – He still loves us.
He forgives us when we ask.
He is patient with us in our failings.
He is there for us when we need Him. While others will fail us, He will never will.
One of the things we’ve been focusing on lately in our worship ministry has been to take time to share prayer requests and praise reports prior to our band rehearsal time. Now, this may not seem like a big deal to you, but I can sometimes be focused on achieving outcomes and forget to connect with those I adore. I was kindly reminded by a team member that we should connect before practicing, and I am thankful for that suggestion.
Since then, we’ve taken the time to be open about personal struggles, rejoice in God’s amazing answers to prayers and have seen His hand in our lives. I love that we are creating an environment in our ministry in which we understand that we are flawed human beings, serving a perfect God together. There is no need to come to church and act like we have it all together. We are imperfect, we hurt others, we mess up. God will still use us all if we allow Him to.
I want to remind you, there is a place for you in the body of Christ, and God will use you for His intended purpose for your life. Sometimes that is on the stage, and sometimes that is in something as seemingly simple as a kind word of encouragement that helps someone get to the next day. It is all equally important and significant.
What you do matters. He has a plan for us – even when we are broken and messy.
"For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago." - Ephesians 2:10