Sunday, August 3, 2008


Emotions flaring. Anger, sorrow, sadness, joy, happiness, contentment, all mingling in one tangled swarm rushing over me like microbursts: cloudless skies suddenly pouring down rain and then blue again.

And in all of this, God is King. He is great, mighty, awesome, the savior who will redeem, who has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.

This past week has been one of frustrations, slowly being submitted to the King. Work was difficult. Life was topsy-turvy. Emotions that I set aside came flaring up when I least expected it. And in all of this, the steadfast love and faithfulness of God abounded. Rightly so - that is who He is! He is a God gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness. I see that a bit more every day. Most often I see it in the times and places that are trying.

As with seasons I've had before, I have no major trials at the moment. Instead, I have a flurry of small to medium-sized difficulties on my plate. And that can be far more discouraging and even debilitating than large struggles. Quite simply, we take each one too lightly in general because they are so small, instead of realizing that as with every trial we face they require not our strength but that of Christ. Our own strength will ever and always fail us - but we are more likely at stages like the one I am currently in, somewhat reliant on God's strength but not entirely there - to trust ourselves for the small stuff.

When we do thus, we find ourselves tired, falling apart, unable to press on and wondering why. Ultimately, it's for that simple reason: that we are not to operate even in these smallest things out of our own strength.

And in many ways it's far more difficult to surrender those small moments to Christ. We are far more tempted to think our own strength sufficient to handle a small emotional letdown after a rough day at work than to think it sufficient to deal with cancer. (The latter takes an entirely different set of graces working in our hearts!)

We find, however, when we are willing to admit our own utter insufficiency - not merely a partial or incomplete insufficiency - that Christ's strength is indeed great enough for the small things. I say "great enough" intentionally, though it might seem the opposite of the normal understanding: it takes a truly great strength to deal with the smallest issues of another, instead of brushing it off as not worth one's time. One of the many amazing ways in which the greatness of God is revealed is His passion for what we often see as banal and meaningless.

He calls us to be faithful in little if we wish to be faithful in much. He calls us to be holy as He is holy. He is faithful equally in the little and the great. And when we are not faithful, still He ever is, for He cannot deny Himself, cannot be other than He is.

And in this we put our hope: not our own strength, but in the work of Christ, the future but so-solid promise of a city with foundations and a Lamb for its lamp.

Grace and peace cover you.

- Chris

1 comment:

  1. Pretty amazing isn't it, the things (tools) that God uses to form and fashion these vessels of clay to make them suitable for His use?
    It often seems that the implements of His workmanship are those things which impart some type of violence to the comfortableness of our being... Yet for all this, we know that He is working in us His perfect plan for His glory.

    I am sorry it was a tough week, but I am grateful that you are able to see God's work in your heart in the midst of it.



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