it’s been a long time of pouring out into lives with the hope that they too could come to know the Only One who can heal their wounds and bind up their broken hearts and give them real peace.
and no one has.
the program that we are connected with is faulty.
we want our programs to work.
the methods we use are weak.
we want our methods to work.
our prayers are genuine….if infrequent.
we want our prayers to work.
some of them have come and sat in our Sanctuary and heard the gospel preached in a beautiful way.
we want our preaching to work.
i remember sitting next to one holding my bible-that i had given to her when she said she wished she had one. and there she sat with the book that had in it all my little notes and milestones of my kids and our life and in that Bible i knew exactly where on a page the particular word i was looking for was. it pained me to give it to her-but i knew what she held in her hands was life. eventually she gave it back to me.
we want our offerings and sacrifices to work.
today, this Tuesday Emily’s gathering has my eyes looking for the gift to be unwrapped.
it’s almost 1:00 and 5 phone calls into the day and my joy just keeps growing. The first couple were from dear ones that deposit joy, not suck it away. the other 3 could have been joy suckers.
because so much of what we want to work isn’t working.
so it seems.
but as i’m filling in one of my co-laborers on the latest developments and latest ‘response wisdom’ he tells me a story. and he doesn’t even know what the Lord is planning to do with this story. it’s just a story about a golf ball and a friend and speaking of Christ and how God worked in a way that they both just stood there for a moment speechless. but the current chapter-these 20 or so year later and that friend still rejects the God who worked that day leaving him speechless.
but it hits me.
That is who our God is!
He pursues so. He orchestrates even the landing of a golf ball. and He never stops. It’s back to that story of the chess game and He still has moves left and He will continue on with His moves. He doesn’t stop.
He won’t make us choose Him.
But He will love us to the very end.
oh, our methods fail and succeed, our prayers, our sacrifices. but if we’ve been around the block a few times we know how utterly powerless we are to really save a life.
He works. He keeps working.
He doesn’t stop.
He promises that our toils are not in vain, and they will produce a harvest if we do not lose heart.
But seriously, there is every reason to lose heart. Don’t you know it too? the person you have poured love into and prayed over and before your eyes on a regular basis is all the reasons to lose heart.
the gift given today was not in an uplifting story with a happy fruitful ending. if that’s how the golf ball story had gone i would be sitting here discouraged i think. the beauty of that story (and if you are wondering why i’m not telling it it’s because it wasn’t my story and i don’t remember all the details.) the beauty is in the way it reveals the way in which our Father loves.
the gift of joy today is the opening of my eyes to how to keep heart. (find heart? what would be the opposite of losing heart??)
how to keep heart is to remember the One who works. Who loves. Who suffers long. Who is utterly faithful.
Oh the Depths of the riches of the wisdom of God…….
I’m beginning to grasp that there is a hope candle at advent and a peace candle at advent and a joy candle at advent…….because of, and only because of the last candle we light-
that comes down
linking up with emily freeman’s
the blog looks a little wonky right now. i just needed to say that. you can read more about that here.
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