He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Psalm 40:3a

Monday, July 31, 2017

God Can Work In This Place

         A friend of mine faced a battle of low self-esteem for years.  She was convinced she could do nothing right and found herself hiding from the reality of life.  She wanted to run away and hide; walk away from all that seemed torture to her, but no one knew about.  Even with the “world” she lived in, she wanted to have a ministry in the church she attended.   Yet even here, she doubted.  She was certain God could not work within the bad place she found herself. 

            I think we all do that sometimes.  We make a bad decision and find ourselves in the middle of something we’d rather not deal with.  Sometimes it isn’t even a bad decision, but circumstances beyond our control.  Regardless, we attempt to figure out our worth based on our situation and ways we can fix our problems.  It often just seems an impossible state of affairs, causing an already frustrated person, to feel depression and despair!  In the process of all this discouragement, we miss the most dynamic answer to our problem: ----including God in the equation.

            That seems to be the human way.  Even the disciples wrestled with these feelings when Christ asked them to feed the large crowd of people who had gathered to hear Jesus speak.  They knew they couldn’t provide food for the crowd, and only thought of their incapability and weakness at that moment.  They weren’t considering that God could work in that place.

            If Believers can feel like this, an even greater likelihood of this self-doubt burdens the non-Christian, who is sure they’ve led such an awful life, God can’t possibly forgive them! 

            What keeps us from considering God’s power as the primary means to accomplish anything?  What makes us believe God’s “arm is too short,” or that the location is just too tough a setting for The Lord to work in, through or from!?

            Sadly, when this happens we are demonstrating faithlessness.  In a world that seems to have turned on itself with a seemingly deliberate act of violence, hate, injustice or understanding, it’s easy for Christians to stand aside quietly without rebuking the evil and go along with the crowd, even when their heart is breaking and conscience quaking, because they barely recognize their vulnerability.  Over time our senses are dulled, as we inadvertently conform to the world, rather than standing strong in the Lord.

            It’s not a deliberate act of disobedience, but our “store of faith” is depleted as we attempt to fit in our individual circles.  In addition to this element, add our work and career demands, along with family responsibilities, and it seems to leave very little time to reach for security in Christ through His Word or through prayer.

            Our priorities are skewed and it affects every area of our lives…..even the testimony of our faith life.  I encourage you to look beyond “the place you find yourself.”  Know, without a doubt God can work in this place---no matter what the 'place'!  Open your heart and mind to Him and watch your world take on new meaning.