Monday, January 14, 2013

I'd have been a bad disciple

A conversation with my wife, just the two of us, while the kids are asleep and the house is calm, is one of the rare, beautiful moments of life. I love my family, and there is few things better than playing with my kids, hearing them laugh, tossing them in the sky, and so on... but there is not enough time spent, just the two of us, talking. We try to make more time, and we do well sometimes, I never know where the conversations will head, and I have to fight my urges to turn conversations with her into attempts to teach, lecture, or talking at her instead of conversing. My wife is, hands-down, the smartest person I have ever met, and it is in these quiet conversations where, if I can sit and be a good listener, I am reminded of her lovely mind.

Last night we were talking about the disciples, in comparison to our own work, and she made a comment on the length of time they had been trained for the work that was placed before them. The disciples had 3 years! Three years to go from the dregs they were before Christ called them to himself, to being sent out by the Great Commission following Jesus' ascension. For those three years, they were in the physical presence of God, learning from him, seeing the miracles and signs that Jesus performed. Soaking in all they could, the disciples went from nothing to an evangelical force, in three years. Here is the kicker for me, its not like these men had the New Testament, they had no clue what was going to happen from day to day. They didn't know, heading into different towns, what would happen while they were there. They devoted these three years to a life of uncertainty, risking everything, risking being fooled and humiliated. If Jesus had turned out to not be the Christ, these men would have been ruined, and they followed still.

Three years of intense, on the job, get dirty, make mistakes, fail, be broken, be rebuilt, be built up, worshiping, following... and then... world shattered, the man they were following dies. What would that have felt like, those three days? Three years of pouring out, to be summed up in three days of feeling that they were made a fool... these men were not perfect in these three days either, just as they weren't for the three years that they followed Jesus, but, in an amazing act of love, Jesus still comes back to them.

They didn't have the complete, cleaned-up, tucked in, nice and neat, story of Christ that I get to have in the Bible. They didn't get to know that it all ends up good in the end. They had blind, day-to-day faith that they were doing what was right. I sit here, on my couch, the whole of the Bible, books about the bible, and entire assortment of information at my fingertips on the internet, no limit to the knowledge available to me, indwelled by the spirit of God, created to do His work on earth, for His glory... having been in a growing relationship with Him for 13 years, called to the same mission as the disciples... and yet, I do very little for the glory of God.

I hope to be better at allowing God to do His work through me, and stop getting in the way...

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