Are you a fixer? When something goes wrong, do you rush to scheme and devise a plan to fix it? I’m a middle child. I don’t know if birth order has anything to do with it, but I’m a fixer. I want everyone’s little world to be perfect and when it’s not, I need to make it perfect, or at least better. Maybe that’s why I receive an inordinate number of messages each one evidence of a broken spirit and aching heart, but still with a tinge of hope that their upside down world can be righted. As friends, even casual friends, when a member hurts everyone hurts, especially in churches.
We all agree that this is our desire as brothers and sisters in Christ. Hebrew 13:18 “Pray for us. We are sure that we have a clear conscience and desire to live honorably in every way.” This is our desire, isn’t it? Live honorably.
Wouldn’t we all like to take a big eraser and remove the blight of occurrences in the past that caused us pain and dissonance? In erasing the past, would we be able to prevent what we are experiencing now? We all know life doesn’t work like that. We are given one opportunity for each moment, there are no redos. We can repent, recommit, and resolve, but we don’t get a do-over. We may be devastated by the fallout of our past and tormented by what we should have done, but didn’t; or things said in haste without the filter of conscience. Our human nature is to ever seek out information and when we have it, spread what we’ve learned. We say we want the truth and there is no faulting that, but don’t we really just crave information? That makes us an easy target for Satan to claw his way into our community and destroy relationships all ready bruised and tenuous by circumstance. We claim we want improved conditions and camaraderie but we are often not willing to go through the building process. If we want God’s best we must wait patiently for His timing and for the healing process to transpire. Like wounded warriors, let’s be cautious and live out the prayer of David in Psalm 141:3 “Guard my mouth, O Eternal One; control what I say. Keep a careful watch on every word I speak. Don’t allow my deepest desires to steer me toward doing what is wrong”
Relationships are fragile and can be easily torn apart because of so much conversation, too many assumptions, and few facts. Sound familiar? Don’t we label it gossip? What starts out as a half-fact takes on a life of its own and grows to become a sliver of truth shrouded in false assumptions. Engaging in fruitless postulations and suggested hypotheses result in turmoil which is not pleasing to God. God is a God of order not of chaos and I, like you, want to live honorably and orderly before God. Speculating and feeding each other’s anger is not honorable to anyone, especially to the Lord. In fact, one way to produce more wounded warriors is to engage in the proliferation of sharing unsubstantiated information. It happens among families, it happens among friends, it’s rampant in the workplace and even in churches. There’s something specifc to this in Ecclesiastes along about chapter 10 verse 20. Here’s the red flag “Don’t bad-mouth your leaders, not even under your breath, and don’t abuse anyone, not even in the privacy of your home. Loose talk has a way of getting picked up and spread around. Little birds drop the crumbs of your gossip far and wide.”
If you want a fact, here is one guaranteed to be 100% truth. In your family or organization, Satan has gathered his minions and they are waiting to have a victory party at your expense. While God is seeking followers wholly committed to Him, (2 Chronicles 16:9 “For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.”) Satan is running a strong interference to distract you from the light. 1 Peter 5:8 couldn’t be more clear “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy Satan prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” Do you feel chewed up, devoured, bloodied? Those fangs and claws of a lion are real. We all must guard our minds and hearts, we have to open our eyes and close our mouths and wait patiently for God to lead each of us through the process. Psalm 141:3 “Guard my mouth, O Eternal One; control what I say. Keep a careful watch on every word I speak. Don’t allow my deepest desires to steer me toward doing what is wrong”
We live in a microwave world. Dinner in an instant. Take it from the freezer, run it through the microwave, and eat in under 10 minutes. Instant nourishment, instant satisfaction, instant contentment. There is no instant in God’s world. True, time is nothing to God and we get so impatient for results. Could that be why God wrote stories in His word about the seasons and how we have to plant and wait for the harvest; why we are told the children of Israel wandered for 40 years; why it took Noah over 7 years to build a boat? When there are physical wounds, there is no instant cure and this pain we are enduring now is the result of deep wounds of the spirit and emotions. Healing will take time, even as factual details become available. We are instructed in Deuteronomy 6:18 “Do what is right and good in the Lord’s sight, so that it may go well with you…”
That all may go well with you . . . Isn’t that what we all want? For things to go well with us? You know there is so much wisdom in scripture. Recently I highlighted this verse in my quiet time. Proverbs 16:93 “We plan the way we want to live, but only God makes us able to live it.” I was in a completely different frame of mind at the time, but how well that applies to our story today. Our plans, as well meaning as they are, will come to nothing without God. He makes us able to live under any circumstance, achieve any goal, forgive any offense, find something to be thankful for in every day – even when we are helplessly lost.
Are there answers now, opportunities to help a current situation come to a successful end? Yes! We can corporately and individually take an oath of quiet and stop obsessing about what has been and start praying for what is to come. Next time you fall into the trap of wondering what happened to cause such dissension, go to prayer and ask God to guard your heart and mind and give you peace in the waiting. Ask God to show you an act of service you can do to serve while progressing to the new normal. Silence – keep silent, quiet your thoughts, and pray. When you feel so burdened you don’t know what to do, pray and lay that burden at the feet of Jesus who is power and as it says in Psalm 145:17 “The Lord is righteous in all his ways and faithful in all he does.” And in Psalm 146:6 the Bible says “He remains faithful forever.” Forever, that’s longer than any of us will live on Earth.
My prayer for all those friends who have emailed, texted, messaged and called is that this will be your new experience. Psalm 119:57-64 “Because you have satisfied me, God, I promise to do everything you say. I beg you from the bottom of my heart: smile, be gracious to me just as you promised. When I took a long, careful look at your ways, I got my feet back on the trail you blazed. I was up at once, didn’t drag my feet, was quick to follow your orders. The wicked hemmed me in—there was no way out— but not for a minute did I forget your plan for me. I get up in the middle of the night to thank you; your decisions are so right, so true—I can’t wait till morning! I’m a friend and companion of all who fear you, of those committed to living by your rules. Your love, God, fills the earth! Train me to live by your counsel.”
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yzejd6r9DwE / Kari Jobe – Healer