The other day, Christine (our older daughter) and Phillip bought their first house. They closed on their house, etc. on Tuesday.
How strange! To think of one of your children with a mortgage. Surely this must be some sort of passage in life. (I mean for me as a parent.) How quickly time moves along — from needing lunch money in grade school to all of a sudden (Okay, that is what it seems like anyway.) having her own mortgage!
This is reality.
So much of reality is practically ignored in this life. In fact, some of the wonderful realities are practically ignored in our churches. I am thinking, for instance, about the reality of what God is doing among us. Yet, when we ignore this reality, it is our loss.
Far too often, we get overly focused on what we are doing or not doing. We may get overly focused on what we should be doing or should not be doing. As a father or mother, as a husband or wife, we often don’t give a lot of thought to what God might be doing in our family. Being a father or mother is a ministry. As a Christ-follower, being a married person means that I see myself in ministry to my spouse. When I go to work (and it doesn’t matter where you or I happen to work), I need to see myself as God’s minister/servant. Yet, it is possible to completely ignore what God might be doing in those relationships.
This minister/servant identity is not primarily about tasks or making a list of things I need to do for the Lord. Rather, it is primarily about believing that God is at work through me, as a part of a larger community of people (the church) through which he is accomplishing his purposes in this world.
The reality of everyday ministry is that the "Spirit of the living God" (2 Corinthians 3:3) is at work on the hearts of people to whom we relate and minister. He tells these people (the early believers at Corinth), "… you yourselves are our letter, written on our hearts, known and read by everybody" (3:2). Who has done the writing? Christ (3:3).
Sometimes I feel as if I am really accomplishing nothing. Do you relate to this at all? You may go through those seasons when you wonder if you are making any sort of difference in your family, among your friends, in your church, or in your community. I have certainly felt this way at times. At times, my own self-doubt and discouragement have been completely overwhelming and defeating. Far too often this sense of defeat has been felt most deeply as I have ignored the reality of what he is doing through my life and in the church (whether I can see it or not).
Today, I want to thank God for the reality of his work and his accomplishments. While I slept, he was at work. He will be at work today. Rather than get too caught up in what I am doing, I want to center my confidence on what he has done and continues to do.