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Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Hard Painful Lessons

Some time ago I was nearly praying constantly for a group of people.  They were facing a difficult situation, decision, and I was deeply concerned about their choices and welfare.
Hard Painful Lessons
In the process of working through this with them I approached some of the members of the group for an update on their progress toward a solution.  The people I asked questioned my motives for asking.  It seemed that they thought I was going to use that information against the group.

Their response both shocked and hurt, hurt deeply.

I found my zeal to pray for the group and the difficulties they were facing impacted.  It was if the air had been let out of my passion to pray for them.  When I turned to pray for them the questioning of my motives laid like a pall over my halting intercession.

A few months later I was reminded of Christ’s interaction with His disciples in John 13:1 – 4.  The context and reality of what Jesus was facing there is stunning.  He knows what is about to transpire.  He knows that those whose feet He is about to wash are going to betray and abandon Him.  With that certain knowledge He gets up, girds Himself, and engages in menial service to those who in a few short hours will fail Him.

I was filleted.

The desperate weakness of my heart was in full display.  The group was not responding to me in any form that would even remotely compare to the disciples abandonment and betrayal of Christ, yet my feeble prayers for them were hindered.  I was and still am ashamed of the shallowness of heart revealed.

I would love to report that I have fully repented of the weakness of both my faith and the practice thereof, but that would be disingenuous.  My prayer increased.  But there were still vestiges of my poor reaction to their rebuff.

I am so grateful, so completely overcome with gratitude that our Lord does not respond to us the way I respond to others attitudes and actions toward me.  It has become one of my prayers that I become more like Him.  Like John said in John 3:30, it is a must for me, He must increase, I must decrease.  My only hope is for His life to fill and overwhelm mine.

3 comments:

  1. We all are prone to take personal offense, even in the doing of God's work, when our own plans and expectations are interrupted.

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    Replies
    1. Yeah, good observation. Wonder if the key is "our plans and expectations". It may be that the frustration and hurt is caused by not pursuing His plans and expectations.

      Larry Crabb observed that a goal that is from God, a Godly goal, cannot be blocked. Apparently, I was pursuing an ungodly goal. Ouch.

      Thanks for your thought. Good reminder.

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  2. It seems like it always takes pain, disappointment and/or the revealing of our own sin that brings us to the conclusion of your last paragraph. Thanks for sharing. You're not alone.

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