Laughing Jesus by Robert Wilson, Sr.
Today’s Parting Words From The WORD is a rerun from March, 2012. I ran across it as I was searching to see if I had addressed a specific verse in a prior post. But when I found this one and read it, I was almost moved to tears…again.
I vividly remember writing the post, and even though more than two years have passed since writing it, it still stirs me from the deepest part of me.
On a day when we remember our freedoms and rights in America, are we willing to give up what we want for what He has for us to do?
What will He ask me to lay down? Will I be faithful to do it?
Most of us here are writers and speakers. It’s not only what we do, but it also cuts to the core of who we are. We often say we write or speak because we have to, that we feel God has given us the ability to communicate so we can share Him, the cure for a lost and dying world.
This past Sunday morning, my friend and writing sister, Edie Melson, posted her compelling poem, A Divine Obsession, in which she states a repeated refrain, “I write because I must.” And to that I say, “Amen, sister!” I read Edie’s beautiful post Sunday morning, took comfort in the truth of her words and God’s blessing on me as a writer, and headed to out the door to worship.
In Sunday School that morning we studied 1 John 2 and I was reminded again that God called John and Paul and Peter and James to be writers and communicators, just as He has called you and me. Of course, I’m NOT saying our words are the inspired Word of God, but I am saying He put in us everything we need to be able to spread His Great Name through the written and spoken word.
Praise and worship time brought me to that place where I want nothing more than to be in His presence, seeking Him and His will. Then during Sunday morning worship, our visiting pastor, Russ Chambers of Hingepoint Church in CA, challenged us with a powerful message about the cross.
I had had a great morning, starting with Edie’s vivid poem about writing, straight to Sunday School and the reminder that God had called me to write and speak, just as He called the scribes of His Word, right on to anointed worship before the Lord, and then to Russ’ message, to which I could nod my head and my heart in agreement.
But then Russ said, “Our personal preferences have to die.”
In that very moment, my writing and speaking and teaching and singing and acting flashed before me. A catch gripped my heart and mind. Surely He would never ask me to lay THAT down on the altar…would He? After all, He’s called me, gifted me, ordained me if you will, to be a communicator of the Truth of His Great Name!
But…what if…my goodness, I can hardly say it…what if He asked me to lay it all down?
I admit, I’ve had fleeting thoughts along those lines through the years, but it’s usually just that–a fleeting thought. After all, why would God choose us…only to later UNchoose us to be writers and speakers? But this time the possibility was real, more urgent, more in the moment.
Even as I write this, I can hardly wrap my mind around the concept. But as one who loves the Creator and all it means to call Him Lord, I have to accept that the day could come when He says,”It’s over.”
It scares me how much that thought scares me.
Oh, I can speak in my spiritual voice and say yes, we must be willing to lay everything down for Him and His sake. And I believe it with as much belief as my heart can muster. But if I’m honest–which I’m trying to be here–I hope He doesn’t ask that of me. The truth is, I don’t want to lay it down.
After all, as Edie so brilliantly wrote, “I write because I must.”
But as God clearly showed me this weekend, I cannot let my preference for and my joy in writing or speaking or acting or singing or teaching determine what I will or won’t do with my life.
I have to remember I’m merely a sinner, saved by the blood and sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross. The time He has given me to be a writer or speaker or anything else could very well come to an end. But that wouldn’t mean my life as a useful tool of God would be over.
It would simply be the beginning of another new thing.
“Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, ‘This is the way; walk in it.’â€ť Isaiah 30:21 NIV
I pray God’s blessing on the work of your hands and your hearts…regardless of what He has for you–and me–to do,
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