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Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Listening for God's voice

Friends,

Today has been a day of resignations and losses.  I never saw it coming, and yet it still came. One after the other, things started falling apart.  And, I was tempted to get down. I was saying that I was not affected. I was noting that people make choices and that I could not change any of those choices. I was doing a good job of putting on the mask of "whatever". 

But, on the inside I was torn. I was hurt. I was sad. I was mad. I was mad at people for doing what they did. I was mad at people for hurting others to the point of sadness. I was mad at myself for not listening to friends and just staying where we were with the family that we had and the peace that was ours. I was retracing my actions and trying to figure out where I made my fatal error.  What was I doing on this mountain? Why was I subjecting the people that I loved to this? Why was I subjecting my children to this? Maybe they were right; this is too much for any one person to do. I was praying for a Machine de Grace, and secretly hoping for a Coup de Grace. And, then I was really hurt. I remembered that it was God that directed me to this point. It was God that told me to stand on this mountain. Really!? I was not in a good place.

And so this morning I prayed to my God, and this is what happened.  The earth shook as one of my friends said they were done with the ministry. And, the voice of God was not in the shaking of the earth. The fire rung loudly with a phone call that another member was leaving our family. And, the voice of God was not in the fire.  The wind of hatred blew at my soul as another friend claimed I was no friend at all and that I had hurt them and their children. And, the voice of God was not in the wind.  I was almost ready to give up. I was standing in the cave of my own discontent staring into the "stuff" that is the service of God. And, all I could think of was how comfortable it was "before we took on this venture", and how easy it would be to find a nice dark spot in the cave and hide. It was at that moment (literally) that there was a still small voice speaking.

Sara, thank you for your note. Thank you for including me in that note. Thank you for reminding me that the service we do is important and it is worth whatever price we have to pay. God is everything. I will not abandon that which has been set before me. I will not give up. I will not give in. For, today God has again assured me that He neither slumbers nor sleeps. And so, as God spoke through Sara's still small voice, I heard what I need to hear. No! It was not a great proclamation that all was going to immediately get better. No! It was not a notification that everything was going to immediately right itself and we would sail off into the sunset of "easy" church. It was not even an affirmation that all I had did was correct and I therefore could rest in knowing that at least I was "right." It was none of these things.  Instead, I heard God ask the question "Jesse, what are you doing standing here?".
 
I heard God's gentle reminder that I need to get back to "running with a purpose". The race is not given to the swift, nor to the strong, but to the one who endures until the end.

I love you Sara. I am praying for you. Thank you for being the voice of God this morning.

Now, each of you go out and run for the purpose that you have been given. I love each of you.

Jesse