Fish in a Barrel

“For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God” (1 Corinthians 1:18).

Foolishness??? So many words used to define it. I think you’ve “heard” me say this before: a great mathematician once said (not a perfect quote),”If I deny myself, live my life for God and at the end of my life find that God is not real, I have lost nothing. If, however, I deny God, live for myself THEN get to the end of my life and find out He IS real…I have lost everything.”

As Heavenly Dad and I have been hanging out this morning he took me back to a draft that He’s been saving for me. Sometimes He gives me nuggets, verses that explode off the page, but they don’t seem to go with the randomness of my everyday life. I log into my blog and pop those into “draft “ because I know that’s a God wink, Heavenly Dad saying,”I need to talk to you about this later.”

It’s now later for one of these nuggets:

“I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love . . .” (Ephesians 4:1-2).

“How the heck do these two verses tie in, Dad?”

I’d best get my attention focused, tune in my listening ears and warm up my coffee. Done, done and done.

Coming clean (Watch out! I wouldn’t want to get any of MY crap on YOU!): I’m struggling with where Heavenly Dad wants me to be. Some of what I have learned or am learning from the last two and a half years is that life isn’t about me, I can not chase or wish for happiness (it’s a side effect—who knew???), and the only real reason to be here is to share the gospel/tell others about what HD did for me on the cross.

Butterfly: when I was a kid and people used to talk about “sharing the gospel” I was so confused! I knew Matthew, Mark, Luke and John were called the gospels but I thought,”Dogs! It’s going to take FOREVER to read through all of THOUGHS with them!!!” I never claimed to be the sharpest tool in the shed. Now I know it’s about the ABC’s

Back to my struggle (and more coffee, ahhhh). Yesterday I went to church and had a “strange” morning. I texted “Amazing Grace” about it so I’m going to share a revised version of how I explained it to her:

“So, weirdest morning ever😳.
I’m sitting in 1st service, enjoying my coffee and singing the praise and worship songs(a very happy camper) and feeling a bit guilty about even thinking of trying another church…when it happens.
All the sudden my abdomen started aching. I took some Aleive. The pain kept getting worse though, and then the sermon started. I kept adjusting my position, continuing to take notes, waiting for the pain killers to kick in, but they didn’t   . I was checking my time and it was nearing the time to leave for the kids but I just couldn’t sit anymore, so I got up and left early, knowing the children’s ministry was a definite no-go and I needed to get home.
As I was walking to the children’s department I realized that if I made it home and had a real emergency, I wouldn’t have a clue who I could call as the Taylor and Kristian were still on their honeymoon. I was standing in a building of about 2500 people, ready to serve around 100, not including the parents of all of these children, but would not feel comfortable/like I wasn’t an inconvenience  to call even one.
It was a shocking thought/revelation.
I went in and quickly told the leader and promptly left. I’ve been home for about 2 hours, more pain killers and I’m feeling better. I’m thinking it might be a bug but honestly, I think it was the only way Heavenly Dad could get my attention and open my eyes.
Anyway, thank you for your prayers. My vision is a little more clear right now than it was this morning.
I love you, girl!”

Grace prays for me and I am grateful and humbled.

This realization brought self reflection. Why do I continue to go to a church that is so full of people that no one sees me? I get involved: volunteer, attend small church (not the parties outside as I travel and have house repairs), but I could meet at other times…hmmm.

This morning after some time with HD, HE opened my eyes to a different truth that I shared in a message with a friend this morning (revised):

“I think I attend a large church because it’s like fish in a barrel when it comes to those who are thirsty and seeking living water. My life is not about me so it’s sometimes easier to disappear into the ministry than feel any pain of rejection because with HD, I’m never rejected and I know people are broken and can’t help hurting each other with the sharp edges caused by their brokenness. I long for the intimacy of Small church but fear the loss of opportunity to share Dad’s unconditional love and acceptance, inspite of ourselves. Maybe I’m a Missionary at heart and never realized it, lol.”

The two verses: Heavenly Dad’s beloved Instruction Manuel is just another book of words to those that don’t believe. The second verse is  my reminder to make sure my walk follows my talk, love on people, walk with them through their struggles and the accountability that I desperately  need. When He threw in the reference to a calling it was a reminder that if He places the urgency in my soul to reach others, I need to trust that He’ll either lead me to where those “others” are located or bring them to me and neither may happen in a barrel.

Praying about it and trusting Heavenly Dad for direction and clarity.

Until next time: Blessings!

 

Author: Tracy Cook

Widowed one week before our 27th wedding anniversary, Heavenly Dad continues to carry me, now blessing me with a second chance for love.

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