October 5, 2009

Comfort in My Loneliness

Posted in Uncategorized at 4:26 pm by Dan Barnett

I remember asking my Jr. Highers, one night, to list all they were thankful for in their lives.  We scratched everything off their lists leaving Jesus on them.  We asked them if that would be enough of a reason for them to rejoice.  The answers were mixed, but most said yes.  Of course they would.  We were in a church.  We then talked about Christ and how if we aren’t content in just him, we don’t know him. 

I’ve looked back over past lessons I’ve taught and recent sermons and wondered who was speaking in those times.  With the feelings I’m experiencing and the longing for answers I have, I can’t see how it was me at all.  I then remember, that many times the speaker is being taught more than the listeners.  One of the most common prayers of anyone speaking to a church or youth group is always that God would speak through him, and that God would be heard.  How simple of a prayer that becomes when it becomes a formality, but how deep it is when God answers it.  I look back at the 2 sermons I was allowed to give at church back in August and September, and I see God telling me to listen.  He’s telling me that he was teaching me to prepare me for what is happening now. 


The first sermon was about how God places people in our lives to draw us closer to him and to build a stronger faith in him.  That one spoke to so many people, and I was able to share about men in my life who shaped me as they allowed God to work through them. 


The second one was how God uses pivotal circumstances in our lives to do the same.  This one was so hard for me to get through.  I don’t know if my eyes dried up once during the sermon.  But God spoke, and as I talked I listened.


This past week I looked at those 2 sermons, and I looked at my life.  I started seeing people in my life how God has intended all along for me to see them.  I started to look at my list of things to be thankful for.  When I take all the material things off, I’m still content.  God has provided so much through this season, that it isn’t my focus anymore.  I know that he will provide what is physically needed.  Then I come to those who God has placed in my life as pictures of himself.  I have to be honest that right now I don’t know how thankful I could be if they were gone.  I lie to myself that that day will never come, but I can’t bring myself to imagine the pain that I would feel.  I know I would make it, but would I feel joy in Christ?  It’s so hard to say.  My biggest struggle right now is finding my joy, my security, and my significance in Christ alone.  These people are very few and, for each of them, I could quickly list what my life would lack without them in it.  I sometimes find myself feeling like a failure, a loser, or a disappointment to them when I wonder if there’s really anything their lives would lack without me being here.  The struggle I face is living in such a way that my departure would leave a hole, however leaving enough room for God to fill that hole instead of me all the while looking to God to fill those holes in my life I have filled with those I love and look too.  I believe that when I can begin to achieve this goal, these relationships will be stronger than ever before.  God hasten that day. 


Phil. 3:14 …I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

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