Every so often when I was preaching regularly, the Lord would challenge me to step into approaches to that calling that stretched me beyond my comfot zone and pushed me into a new dependence uopon His Spirit. (When I can do what I do with my eyes shut, it probably means my ears are shut to the Lord. My confidence has come to rest in my gifting rather than in the Lord.) I actually find that He does the same with my blogging. I will not bore you by going through the various stages of blogging ventures thus far, but I will share where I think the Lord has me now in this regard.
My blogging started as a substitute for preaching when illness had made it impossible to continue as a parish minister. However as I blogged from that reality as it were, I soon became aware through responses sent to me that there is a vast underbelly in the Christian world full of people who struggle with weakness beyond the norm in one form or another, for whom Church and what Church demands is often beyond the realms of possibility in terms of their phsycial, emotional or even spiritual resources. God gives resources to do His will not other people’s will or even the Church’s will, where the Church’s leadership and will has taken on an authority that has stopped listening to God and stopped being aware of people. It is easy to feel worthless when you are unable to measure up with what is being asked of you. The feeling can arise that you are not making a very good job of this Chrisitan thing.
Just a few days ago the Lord challenged me. He challenged me to believe that what was true of Jesus could be true of me in some measure at least, by the power of the Holy Spirit. In Isaiah there are several passages where we hear prophetically the thoughts of Jesus centuries before He walked on earth to think them. In Chapter 50 verse 4 we read this:
“The Sovereign LORD has given me a well-instructed tongue, to know the word that sustains the weary. He wakens me morning by morning, wakens my ear to listen like one being instructed.”
So I trusted Him to do that for me yesterday and this morning, as soon as I woke. Today, I saw someone arriving at the door of a house. Inside there seemed to be a bit of a party going on at which this shivering wrtetch of a visitor was clearly not welcome. I asked what this meant. I believe this is what was given me:
“Who is that at the door? It is “you” at your most naked, wretched, bedraggled. It is “you” that you hope no one ever sees, whose existence you have told no one about. Will you open the door of love, welcome, acceptance tender compassion and grace to “you”? Will you bring “you” in from the cold or send “you” away into the cold dark territory of rejection once more clothed with shame and panic, unwashed, unkempt? Introduce “you” to your best friend Jesus.”
I hope that may be a thought, a word, that will sustain some of you in your weariness whenever you may happen to read this.