Have you ever had the thought go through your mind, while you are in the midst of doing something God has called you to, â€œIâ€™m crazy.â€ Well, most of my young walk with the Lord has been made up of this voice in my brain. I donâ€™t want to muse about what that voice is, but what takes place as Iâ€™m doing these things and hearing this voice.
The latest undertaking Iâ€™ve dove into headlong, in attempt to follow Jesus, is raising support to come on staff with Athletes in Action for 6-8 years in hope of getting back to the Czech Republic and seeing a country of 89% atheist worship Jesus as Lord. In the past 3 months as Iâ€™ve been on the â€˜support roadâ€™ Iâ€™ve thought often to myself that Iâ€™m crazy. This week has been one big thought of â€œIâ€™M STINKING CRAZY.â€
It has been my first real week of getting quite a few no responses which brings more discouragement to my life than it should. This is nothing new as Iâ€™ve raised support, but when these weeks sneak up on me I find myself turning to my good friends Shane and Shane. While I was raising support to go to Czech for my 18 month internship I went to my Shane and Shane CDs often, in particular Upstairs. The Lord has used â€œThe Shaneâ€™sâ€ music to carry me through seasons of my life and their rendition of the 13th Psalm is so real and has been my theme song many support raising days and trips. Here are the words; it is for the most part Psalm 13:
by shane barnard
how long oh Lord will You forget me
how long oh Lord will You hide
hide Your face from me
how long must i wrestle with me
and everyday have sorrow in my heart
sorrow in my heart
i will wait on You
i will wait on You
i will wait on You
look on me Lord and answer me
give my eyes light or i will sleep in death
i will sleep in death
my enemies say “i will overcome him”
and my foes rejoice even when i fall
i dont want to fall
for i will trust in Your unfailing love
my heart rejoices in Your salvation
i will sing to the Lord
As I look at the numbers in my weekly update, that I have to send to my leadership, Iâ€™m often torn up because it feels like Iâ€™m not making the cut. Like Iâ€™m junior varsity or something and there is no way things are going to work out. It is in these moments that Iâ€™m reminded of Davidâ€™s Psalm of hurt, patience, and hope.
We have all had a season of our life where we ask Jesus, â€œHow long Jesus?â€ You might be asking Him:
* How long until I meet my spouse?
* How long do I have to be in this dead end job?
* How long do I have to watch a friend or family member suffer from cancer?
* How long will I have to pick up the phone and ask Christians to be part of reaching a Godless country?
* How long will my spouse and I fight before we are reconciled?
* How long will it take my family member or close friend to see that Jesus is Savior and Lord and that there is so much more than some passive head knowledge about Him?
Those are just a few, you probably could add to the list, but what I want you to know is this â€“ GOD IS NOT AFRAID OF YOUR QUESTIONS! David was called, by God nonetheless, â€œa man after Godâ€™s own heart.â€ Yet he still was honest with the Lord and asked Jesus, â€œHow long will I get worked over by my enemy? How long will you hide your face from the situation?â€
Iâ€™ve often felt this air of â€œwe canâ€™t question or be real with the Lordâ€ thought within Christianity and to be honest with I HATE IT! It isnâ€™t biblical! When a season of doubt hit my life several years ago I thought I was an idiot and a bad Christian because this is what I perceived many Christians saying as I struggled with the basic tenants of the Christian faith. I dug into the scripture and realized God wants me to be real with Him and honest. It is like any relationship with a person, if we arenâ€™t real with that person the relationship in many ways is fake.
Iâ€™ve been real with God often as Iâ€™ve left a support appointment, or hung up the phone with someone that wasnâ€™t interested in joining me in reaching Czech. It is in these moments where â€œThe Shaneâ€™sâ€ rendition of Psalm 13 draws me to a God that loves me and has my back. As David poured his heart out to Jesus about how life appeared to just suck, he then closes with words that are so true:
But I have trusted in your steadfast love; my heart shall rejoice in your salvation. I will sing to the Lord, because he has dealt bountifully with me. Psalm 13:5-6 (ESV)
See God has dealt more bountifully with you and me than we can ever imagine, nor deserve. Godâ€™s mercies are new each morning as He gives us air in our lungs and a beat in our heart. Most of all His mercy has been so obvious in the fact that Jesus died and gave every bit of Himself so that we may be able to trust in Godâ€™s steadfast love and be able to live in a life of hope through him.
So where are you today? Do you need to be real with Jesus? Do you need to remember how sweet the Lord has been to you, even in the midst of the suckiness of life? I do. As I write this entry I sit reflecting on the no responses and the discouragements of the week and also how much work I still have before me and I say, â€œThe Lord has been sweeter to me than I have ever deserved or will ever deserve and I will choose not to drown in my pool of self-pity and praise Him and trust Him to show up in the mix of my struggles.â€
I encourage you to do the same, be with Him and choose to trust!