So… apparently the sky is going to fall.
Sunday, a guest told me, “God used you to speak to me today.” It was a very basic Law-Gospel sermon. This is why we praise God: Because we know who we are. We are sinners. We know what Jesus did for sinners like us: Die. When we put those two together, we have to praise.
Apparently that deeply touched this guest.
Sunday a prospect told me, “God has used you to make me a more mature Christian.”
Today my church president told me, “We called the right man. Pastor, I am so glad you’re here.”
This is… this is so much encouragement that I want to hear. This touches my heart so, so much.
And it makes me nervous as hell.
Why am I getting all this encouragement poured out on me? What’s about to happen? I’m finding myself bracing. After all, I don’t need this encouragement right now. I’m not terribly down right now. (Yes, I was last week. This week? Another story.)
I think I have experienced so much brokenness in my life – between hard ministry and depression and weeping with those who weep – that I have a hard time accepting encouragement from other people. It makes me suspicious. Not of them, mind you. I accept that they mean what they say. But it makes me feel that something must be coming. I must need this shoring up before the storm hits.
And I don’t think I can weather another storm right now.
No, that’s not true. Well, not entirely. God is Lord of the Storm, and he will bring me through however he wishes.
I don’t want another storm.
Since coming to my new ministry, I have had some new struggles, yes, but… but I’ve been able to relax. To enjoy ministry. To revel again.
I don’t want that to stop.
I don’t want another storm. I don’t want the rain to lash my face and the wind to blast away my comfort. I don’t want to experience that sorrow again. I don’t want to face enemies that I love.
I don’t want to live in a broken world.
And so I struggle, even when all is good, even from a human perspective. And so I receive encouragement… and I wonder what’s wrong.
It’s not just the world that’s broken.
I think this is what it’s like to be abused, at least a little. Even after escaping the abuse, the scars last for… so, so long. And here I’m waiting for the beating to start again.
Father, heal me.
I still live in a broken world. I am still broken.
Father, take my heart. Please. Let me trust you.
You are good. What you plan is for me good, even when you plan a storm. Even when you destroy me, you do it, because it is good.
Forgive me for not trusting you. You died for me. Take my sins, too. Take my brokenness. Nail them to the cross. Leave them there.
You have adopted me. While still I am still a sinner, you love me.
Remind me of your goodness, even now.
Teach me to trust you.