Posts Tagged ‘religion’

Recently, my family underwent a pretty big change.  After months of seeking the Lord’s wisdom and direction, we arrived at the conclusion that God was done coddling the Covingtons (that’s us, by the way).  He was ready to take the drawer out of the cabinet, tenderly and carefully disengaging the drawer from the drawer guides, and then with great care and a watchful eye, flipping the drawer box upside down, and dumping out all of the contents onto the floor.  And then falling to the floor, like a toddler, He stuck his hand into the pile and with seeming random abandon, began moving stuff around.

 

So it would seem.  But I observe- there is simply nothing that is “random” about the actions of God.  I think that is part of what makes it so exciting.  And so acceptable.

 

My good friend and mentor, Jay, when I told him we’d reached a conclusion, told me

 

“That doesn’t make any sense…”

 

We just about had a moment there.  But he explained himself well enough.

 

“… unless you’re following Jesus.”

 

For eleven years, Laurie and I and our growing brood have been part of a family of believers at Westview Church.  Amazing years.  I won’t say much about it, mostly because where would it end?  And beyond that, I couldn’t do justice to the weight and significance of our time there adequately enough.  Let it simply be said that “family” is more than an apt description.  Even falls short.

 

But through many “signs and wonders” God answered spoken and unspoken prayers, leading us, and guiding us to a new beginning.  We have taken the first steps out of our home.  And they really don’t make much sense- unless we’re following Jesus.

 

We are following Him.  He has led a band of faithful followers to plant a new church on the southside of our town, and over the past three months, as we’ve gotten more and more acquainted with these dreamers, we’ve felt that growing kinship that causes you to  panic a little bit.  The kind that tells you somethings that you never really thought were going to change are about to go all pear-shaped on you.  It’s exciting and sinking all at the same time.

 

What’s been interesting is how thoroughly it doesn’t seem to make sense.  I keep saying that, don’t I?

 

I have no idea what I’ll be doing at Southside.  I’m not a small group leader.  I’m not the worship leader.  I’m not even on the stage as a musician.  It’s kind of weird.  For a long time, I thought I’d eventually end up in some kind of position of ministry at church.  But not today.  Today, everything seems to be covered.  Today, nobody there really seems to need me to do anything.  The only reason we’re there is because we have a strong sense that God wants us to be there.

I’ve been reading in the book of Acts recently.  Another friend mentioned that he has a theory that the whole book of Luke and Acts combined could well be a legal document, composed for the purposes of defending the Apostle Paul before his trial in Rome.  So I was reading through it.  At the beginning of the book of Acts, Jesus is with his disciples, eating and teaching “about the kingdom of God.”
On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.” 

So when they met together, they asked him, “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?”

 

Those dunces.  Still waiting for Jesus to kick those imperial Romans out.

He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

And then he was taken up to heaven…

We always want to know the plan!  I was so struck by this passage- it was so fitting for me.  So comforting.  They were nowhere NEAR to getting what Jesus had been talking about.  All this discussion about the kingdom of God, five weeks of walking around in a daze after three years of being part of a revolution!  For five weeks, Jesus, whom they’d seen crucified on a cross, and dead in a burial shroud- for five weeks he’d been showing up in locked rooms, on distant roads, invisible to people who he’d been walking with for years, speaking and eating and … miracles.

And they still didn’t quite get the plan.  They were still looking in the wrong direction for the wrong kind of king.

And he reminds them of this.  “It’s not for you to know!”  That isn’t to say that no one does, though.  I am comforted by the reminder that I’m not going to know everything, but that doesn’t mean that nobody does.  The Father does know- the dates are set.  And they are known.  Just not by me.  I don’t need to know what I’m going to do at Southside, or what will become of all my ambitions.

And then there’s the “but.”  And it’s a preeeeeeeeeeeeeetty big but.

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

Jesus says, do what I tell you- you won’t understand all the time, BUT- you will receive more than you need when the time is right.

I can work with that.  It’s good.  I know that even if I feel like I don’t have the mission and purpose that I once did- I probably had it wrong anyways.  And God is still on the right track.  And He gives me what I need, MORE than I need, no later than RIGHT when I need it.  Even if I am a dunce.  And THEN I will be exactly what He wants me to be, in all the right places.

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