In my head, numbers fall in place. Tumble as they might, they land upright and where they belong. Letters, on the other hand, jumble and bumble and get all up mxde (smile). With great effort do I get them out of my head, and rarely get them out right. Communicating, whether written or verbal is like sludging through a bog in the swamp. Even my thoughts often swirl around in confusion.
Under normal circumstances, writing is the last thing I should be doing, but what is that in the big picture of things? I am a pastor, and, in all seriousness, under “normal” circumstances, the pastorate is the last place I should be. In the life of a pastor, letters and words multiply like popping popcorn. I have to create messages and then deliver those messages.
Words, words, and more words.
Not only that, but I have to speak to people, actually, TALK to them, horror of all horrors. I can feel the letters buzz in my head like an agitated hornet’s nest. Where are the numbers? I LONG for some numbers.
When God grabs a hold of someone, though, circumstances run from normal like a gazelle from a cheetah. Living life for God as a Christian is not about focusing on our strengths but walking in the way that He says walk. God has called me to speak for Him, with words, through all the means at my disposal. Running is not an option. Jonah tried it, and God fed him to the whale.
Actually, I am happy to do it – most of the time. A life full of words unsettles my mind and heart, but when God calls, He also moves the heart and mind in His ways. The call of God rests upon me. I don’t understand it, I can’t defend it, and I can’t justify it. All I know is that it is there, and so I feel like Jeremiah,
“9Then I said, ‘I will not make mention of Him, nor speak anymore in His name.’ But His word was in my heart like a burning fire shut up in my bones; I was weary of holding it back, and I could not” (Jer. 20:9).
God moves in this world by using people, and when God chooses a vessel to use, He does not necessarily pick the best ones among us. 1 Corinthians 1:26-29 explains a little about whom God chooses, which invigorates my heart,
“26For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called. 27But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; 28and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, 29that no flesh should glory in His presence” (1 Cor. 1:26–29).
The work, then, burdens not the heart. Actually, it is a joy. The last verse conveys particular import. God chooses the weak and the deficient so that all the glory moves toward Him. What a truth to consider! Without doubt, if any sermon I preach, or conversation I have, or document I write goes well, it goes well because of what God has done, and not because of what I have done.
Praise the Lord! I rejoice in it! Any value and any worth and any usefulness derived through preaching, conversing, and writing rises out of the movement of God in my heart, and in the hearts of those on the receiving end of my words. All the glory belongs to Him.
Now, I wish I could say that when God called me to preach that I became good at it, but I didn’t. It takes me a long time to write and to think about it. I am slow. The letters move around my mind with painstaking sluggishness, and they still don’t come out write (see? Haha). The call of God accentuates my duty to work hard, very hard, at it.
Therefore, I work and struggle and fight and kick and scream and pray to get those words out of my head and convey the message of God to His people and to whomever will listen in the world. Ultimately, I have a passion, and that passion is to build up the body of Christ by communicating His Word (see Ephesians 4:11-16).
That’s what I am doing here in the world. I wish it hadn’t taken me so long to get going, but going I am. My prayer is that the Lord will work through me to put something here, and that He will bring it to you, and that you will move closer to Him as a result. God is gracious. To Him be the glory.