Thursday, February 13, 2014

Gracious Experience of a Christian

Burn out.  I could define it for you, but I don't care, I don't have the time, and I cannot think clearly enough to process it all.

I vacillate as of late suffering what people in this sort of job blanket label "burn out."  I saw some posts online that offered tests for stress and such...according to such test I will be dead or suffering from a major ailment within two years, and am severely depressed.

That was news to me. 

Sure, I have bad days.  Sure, sometimes life seems overwhelming and that no one can relate.  And to be sure, the enemy is working on me to give up or just be apathetic.  Sure I feel overworked, and need a vacation.  Sure sometimes I work until 11:00 or later, and sure sometimes it feels like I never get a day off.

I share all this not for sympathy or seeking you to send me Bible verses (although go right ahead...I do not read my Bible enough if we are being perfectly honest and forthright, more encouragement to do so is always welcome.)

Sure our stress level, and work hours might be more and more difficult than what we might have were we to live in the USA or elsewhere...but I could not be happier.


I mean...I think about where we live, what we get to do, what God is opening doors to do, what a blessing He has given us in shepherding this ministry for now, our kids, our family, the groups we get to encourage and be encouraged unworthy, dirty and just plain wrong we are to be here.  It is the true sense of the word.  God working with worldly considered substandard materials so that He may be more clearly glorified. 

Not convinved?  Read I Corinthians....I am thinking specifically 1 Corinthians 1:

27 But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. 28 God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, 29 so that no one may boast before him. 30 It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. 31 Therefore, as it is written: “Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.”[d] 

I won't falsely claim I have it all together...that I do not struggle.  By all means I do!  Paul already claimed he was the worst of sinners...but I am right there with him, and I would be ready to admit to any and all that ask that I am probably the worst of missionaries.  I see not the value in my life, in my ministry...but rather the flaws, the hurtful things I say and do, the opportunities I miss.

So even though I am in love with the work (who else can say they like working until 11:00?), with what we get to do...sure at times it is more than I can bear, more than I can stomach without crying, being the answer man without any seemingly good answers, the man to make things happen that has not the means to do so.

He who says God does not give you more than you can handle has not read a Bible...nor lived in the real world.  The whole point and I....can not handle it at all!  We need God, powerfully, needfully, every hour, every second of every day. 

So how can we carry on? wise, take care of yourself, step back and rest when needed/possible...but ultimately I am reminded of the powerful words of a hymn:
    1. My hope is built on nothing less
        Than Jesus' blood and righteousness;
        I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
        But wholly lean on Jesus' name.
        On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
        All other ground is sinking sand.

        2. When darkness veils His lovely face,
        I rest on His unchanging grace;
        In every high and stormy gale
        My anchor holds within the veil.
        On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
        All other ground is sinking sand.

        3. His oath, His covenant, and blood
        Support me in the whelming flood;
        When every earthly prop gives way,
        He then is all my Hope and Stay.
        On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
        All other ground is sinking sand.

        4. When He shall come with trumpet sound,
        Oh, may I then in Him be found,
        Clothed in His righteousness alone,
        Faultless to stand before the throne!
        On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
        All other ground is sinking sand.

Edward Mote wrote that hymn (which he added a bit of a subtitle...see the title for this post.)  I read that those in the Church where he was preaching wanted to give him the deed to the Church building.  Mote replied "I do not want the chapel, I only want the pulpit; and when I cease to preach Christ, then turn me out of that."

One line from one of the additional two stanzas now eliminated really struck me as a good way to sum up all these feelings....

"Midst all the hell I feel within, on His completed work I lean."


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