Man, this week just keeps getting...more exhausting. Not physically...in fact, I take some respite in a good run on every day I can...kind of a release of frustrations, stress...and emotions as well through trying to wear your body out.
Sometimes everyday occurrences can just...hit you right where you need to be hit.
I am reminded of a very faithful brother I know who encouraged me after I broke down in someone's house. It was a rural home, very small, very inadequate for living, but what they had. I have seen that before...it is hard. Then the woman proceeded to tell me her daughter had died recently. I asked her, for some strange reason, if she had any other prayer requests (as if that was not enough?) and she told me her mom died recently as well. I am a calloused, hard hearted man...but still thinking about her, her attitude...of desolation, loneliness...when I started to pray, it just came out a cry prayer. I was crying, she was crying, some of the group were crying. This wise brother in the faith reminded me that even though we must guard our heart from being overwhelmed...it is a good sign when it can still be broken when needed.
Some of the "bad" clothing we had sorted out from the clothing ministry that we were storing in the man cave for use in the sewing ministry got wet with the recent deluge. And when I say deluge...I mean it. The water level rose higher than any of us would have ever anticipated. So, the bad clothing is now really bad, and being all wet...it needed to be thrown away. If you thought those bags were heavy normally...try picking one up that is soaked and muddy. Then go to the local dump site to watch grown men jump in the back of your truck to attack unloading with no promises and only the hope of a small tip...plus the ability to rummage in the dumpster to find something of use. Rummage alongside the dogs, kids, and women there as well. You know things are bad when even in our little local dump site there is almost a community forming...no one living there permanently yet, but definitely more people there searching than in the past.
A brother from a Church that we work with chastised me because we do not help them enough. They have needs, and we are not meeting them. Their evangelism ministry could be doing more, we could be doing more to help them do more, but we are not. We have no commitment to that Church...it is not "our" work, nor have we made any promises...that is just the way he feels and then projected to me.
We have a member of our staff that has been found crying alone in a dark room. They have issues in their family, as well as financial concerns that are weighing on them to the point of interest accruing and threats of losing her home eventually from not being able to get out from under such outrageous interest (sometimes over 40%.)
Questions leap to your mind, demanding answers you do not have: How can we allow this? Why does this have to happen? Who is going to stop it?
Sometimes I think righteous indignation is not exactly that. I mean...I have a calling, I have a job and work here, and God is amazing at providing for that and keeping it going...but (you knew a but was coming) we can not do everything needed for those we know who have needs, let alone feel responsible to tackle things not yet given to us. There is a difference between being exposed to something and receiving a call from that to make changes, help, progress, and questioning God for His timing or demanding answers from Him.
God is equipping us to fix just one of those problems right now. So we will....now. That does not mean we forget about the others, or any of the multitude of other problems that surround us....but neither does that mean that those problems are all our calling.
Confused? Well, me too sometimes. This maturity stuff is not easy. How do you determine what you are supposed to do...and what you have to leave with God...to stay the way it is until God changes you, the situation, or someone else? Prayer, reading the Word, advice and counsel from hermanos in Christ, and the leading of the Holy Spirit. That reads like a plug and chug formula...living it out is much more difficult.
Jesus saw quite a few problems surrounding himself...and in Luke 10 he says "The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field."