On Wednesday morning for devotions, we watched a video of John Stumbo – telling the story of his disease, recovery (up to this point at least) and then showing him sharing a bit of a message the first Sunday he was able to return to Salem Alliance and stand (with a walker) in front of the congregation for a few minutes. It was a great lead-up to what you had to say because what he had to say was also along the lines of, “This looks evil, but God means it for good.” He repeated over and over, “God is in this, and God is good.” Since John was a marathon runner, he repeatedly used the metaphor of running a long marathon and compared his experience to whatever emotional, financial, physical or relational challenges other people in his congregation might have been facing. Regardless of the situation, the fact remains: “God is in this, and God is good.”That, my friends, is a true gift from the Lord.
As I reflected afterwards on the sum of John’s video, it struck me that he said several times, “I don’t like this; this is not fun; this hurts; I don’t know why this is happening...but, God is in this and God is good.” The remarkable thing to me is that he was able to express his “I don’t like this” without sounding like he was chafing against the hand that God had dealt him. I don’t know if that makes sense, but it was very profound to me because I’m not good at submitting to things I don’t like (and I guess it’s not really submission if I like it). Of course, I go through them because I have to, but I’ll grumble the whole way if I have an ear listening to me! I saw in John a restful, peaceful submission to your current call in life; acknowledging that it is hard and even distasteful and unpleasant, but not chafing or growing resentful of God’s hand.
Friday, March 27, 2009
Something I've been thinking about...
... besides the fact that I don't seem to have the time/take the initiative to post the things on my blog that I think, "Gosh, I should post that!" Anyway, here's a portion of an email I sent to a friend earlier this week: