Be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage--with great patience and careful instruction. II Timothy 4:2 NIV
This morning in the doctor’s waiting room, a tired looking lady watched me as I transcribed notes from my tape recorder. I don’t remember how the conversation started or took the direction it did, but after it had started I put my pen down and told her what I was doing—writing—and about the place I write.
I would've been pleased with a prefab yard building, any place out of the wind and rain where I could focus without distractions, but God is generous in supplying what we need in order to do what He calls us to do. He gave me a real cottage, so much more that I would’ve been willing to settle for, for a fraction of what it should've cost.
She nodded at this—but when I asked, “Do you go to church anywhere?” her expression hardened.
“No,” she said. She looked away, then back again. “I can have a relationship with God without going to a church full of hypocrites.”
I nodded not in agreement but in understanding. I had no words for her. I can’t answer such a personal objection unless I have time to listen to her and find out where her pain is, assuming she’s even willing to share.
Later I wished I’d remembered to tell her about the three great humiliations of Christ: 1) taking on one of our broken bodies; 2) being mocked and rejected and dying in a humiliating manner in our place; then 3) going back to Heaven and leaving His reputation to us.
What kind of God would do this? It’s hard enough to fathom a love that would come for us, die for us—but a love that would place His own good Name in the hands of bumbling, unfinished people? How unworldly of Him!
Yes, how unworldly. How heavenly.
Avi, I cannot always be prepared. My mind is too small, too distracted, too slow to change gears out of season. Teach me to listen for Your words even in the storm, and speak through me when You will. In Your holy Name, Amen.