Sarah Young in her devotional, Jesus Calling. has penned the words, "Do not long for the absence of problems in your life." Well, that is a great platitude, but is it realistic to think that as humans our seeking a problem-free life is wrong?
Ms. Young, using the voice of Jesus, states that "this is an unrealistic goal since in this world you will have trouble."
Well, there is no fear of us having a problem-free life, is there? We've got health insurance that may or may not support us in times of crisis. We've got a government that cannot agree to work for the people. We've got highways cracking open, delaying our driving time. We've got finals before school ends, and the students are going crazy it seems. We've got a church struggling with so many little issues that we have lost sight of the big goal. We've got problems; that is for sure, and there is no fear of us having a problem-free life.
Ms. Young again tells us that we "have an eternity of problem-free living reserved for you in heaven." But here and now, we've got problems.
We must begin each day anticipating problems. (Why not? We've got 'em, so let's name 'em.) But at the same time in which we anticipate them, we must ask Jesus to give us the strength and wisdom for whatever difficulties we will encounter. I think our biggest problem is forgetting that Jesus wants us to share everything of every moment of every day with Him. Nothing is too little and nothing is too insignificant; nor is He too busy to listen and to hold our hand through our problems. We give the problems power over us instead of believing God has got them all. Instead of seeing them as challenges which Jesus and us together can handle, we allow the weight to crush us and to kill our spirit.
Sarah Young asks us to remember that Jesus is on our side and that He has overcome the world.
Beloved, whatever your problem is today, share it with Jesus Christ. I don't know how He will work with it, but I believe He will work with it and with us to help us find that firm foundation again where our faith and love will see us through.
Yes, preachers have problems. How we handle them or how we give them to the care of Jesus Christ makes all the difference today.
I'm praying for you that your momentary problems (personal or universal) will help you lean into Jesus today and trust Him. He is faithful!
POST SCRIPT -
I am so proud of our District Lay Leaders. Laurie Golding, Dale Smith, and Joe Gaunt have given so much of their time and service to the Atlanta Emory District over the last six years.
Dale and Joe are stepping down after Annual Conference due to increasingly heavy schedules and life changes. I hope you will take the time to write a note of appreciation to both Dale and Joe, sharing your appreciation for their amazing ministry. I have been blessed to work with both of them. God provided them to help carry the problems and to share the joys. See? God does provide.
Dale Smith's contact is email@example.com
Joe Gaunt's contact is firstname.lastname@example.org
We will take some time at the May 21st District Conference to honor these two great servants of God.