Luke Harris, pastor, Crossroads Community Church
Perhaps we can relate to Samuel. We have heard the call from the Lord to trust Him and to follow Him. And like Samuel we have responded with “Speak, for Your servant hears.” In other words we have committed ourselves to “I will”. We say to the Lord, “because You have called me, I will..follow you...trust you...love you...lean on you...seek you...passionately and blindly give everything to you. I know we mean well when we covenant with the Lord this way. However, it has been my personal experience that this is often a “fair-weathered” covenant. What I mean is that when it rains it pours and our response, our reaction will expose how deep we really are committed to God. Let me share with you my own experience over just this past week.
I feel for Job. And while we each deal with our own critically bad situations in life I have yet to see any of us suffer the way Job suffered. The extent of his suffering is found in Job 1:14-19. Job, who enjoyed great success in life and was truly blessed, was visited by a messenger who relayed the troubling news that all his oxen and his donkey had been stolen by an enemy. Furthermore, the servants tending these animals had been killed. That news was bad enough, but before Job even had a chance to respond he was visited by a second messenger who relayed that all his sheep and those tending them had been consumed by fire. Blow number two. Finally, while still processing a third messenger arrives with news that his sons and daughters had all been together when their house collapsed killing all of them. Now to add insult to injury Job’s friends visited with the worst counseling advice one could imagine and his “beloved” wife gives him the advice to just “curse God and die” (It’s always good to know your loved ones care for you in times of trouble!) I’m sure in the midst of all this Job simply sighed, “enough, Lord, just let me catch my breath. Let me catch up to you with just the first bit of bad news.” Have you been there? This week I have experienced one family member going through a tough and trying time regarding his very physical safety. I have prayed with two other close family members as husband sits by his wife’s bed with terminal cancer. Just last night I had to pick up my wife from the ER where she was ministering to her family in the wake of horrible motorcycle that will have lasting and devastating effects. “Enough, Lord, just let us catch our breath.”
How do we find in these moments the same faith we expressed above when the weather was nice and we felt called by God? How do we keep our faith and our heads held high when everyone is questioning the walls that are crashing in? Volumes have been filled trying to answer the question why evil persists in this world. The book of Psalms is a vivid reminder that great men and women of faith wrestled with God when the walls came in. I don’t know if we will ever have an answer to this question this side of heaven. Even if we did have the answer we wouldn’t understand it. So what I would like to do today is simply share an encouraging verse that I cling to when the breath is knocked out of me, when the downpour follows start of the rain. At some point in Jesus’ ministry his teaching became difficult. So much that John states that many disciples walked away from Jesus. This prompted the question to his close group of 12, “Do you also want to go away?” Peter’s response is something we should weave into the fiber of who we are, he said, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. Also we have come to believe and know that You are the Christ, the Son of the living God” (John 6:68-69). When we don’t understand, why don’t we just trust. Trust that God loves us...that He called us into marvelous light...that He will send a downpour of grace in mercy in every situation of our lives.
Luke Harris is the pastor of Crossroads Community Church currently meeting in the cafeteria of Grand Avenue School located at 1415 Grand Avenue. We would love to have you join us this Sunday morning for Sunday School at 9:45 AM and Worship at 10:45 AM. Check out past sermons on the web at HYPERLINK "http://www.chickashacrossroads.com" www.chickashacrossroads.com, like us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter. You can also email firstname.lastname@example.org.