It’s confession time.
I woke up this morning feeling uneasy. I’ve been battling a cold and a sore throat for about four days now, and all the orange juice, vitamin C, antibiotics, and lozenges I’ve been downing don’t seem to be working as fast as I would’ve liked them to work. My throat still feels like there’s a frog living inside it; my head feels like there’s a choo-choo train a-chugging along inside it, pounding round and round. I feel very little peace, and I’m unsettled.
Actually, this should be the ideal time for God to come and work wonders. Opening my devotional today – Jay Duque’s Pray God’s Will in 365 Days is my devotional material for 2010 – I read out of Matthew 25:23 (“His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!'”), with supplementary material from 1 Cor 14:40 (“But everything should be done in a fitting and orderly way”) and Col 2:5 (“For though I am absent from you in body, I am present with you in spirit and delight to see how orderly you are and how firm your faith in Christ is”).
Initially, I was puzzled. It didn’t make sense to me as to why this would be God’s word for me today. Then it hit me. See, I’m leading worship today at Victory Greenhills, and to do so would mean taking a leave from work today at Victory Fort (which I did). Yesterday, I did some work from home in the afternoon for VFort, rushing some materials that needed to be prepared so that I wouldn’t have to worry about it today (and just prepare for worship time this afternoon). It wasn’t the best work I could come up with, but given the time pressure, it would have to do.
“It would have to do.” That’s the wrong thinking when it comes to offering something to God. Even though my heart is to worship Him, and there is so much joy that comes with worshiping God, at the end of the day, our priorities are God-spouse-children-work-ministry, and I just flipped the last two around. The end result was this: a half-baked product for work (which is God-work!), and a less-than-fit me prepping for worship this afternoon. How can I expect God to put me in charge of bigger things if I can’t even meet His basic requirements for regular work?
This is a classic example of what happens when we put our desire to do ministry work ahead of our own day-to-day responsibilities. I saw the signs that told me I shouldn’t be leading; I should’ve just called in sick and asked another worship leader to take over, but I didn’t. I was too proud, and now I have to face the music, so to speak.
The good news is this: God is a forgiving God. While reeling this morning from the one-two punches of seeing before my eyes the results of my own pride, God sent me a glimmer of hope: Psalm 124:8 says, “our help is in the name of the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.” God is the Creator of all things, and He wants to help us! He can make beauty from ashes; surely, He can salvage the ruins of a bad decision and make things turn out for the best. To make it happen, though, we know the drill: to purify gold or silver, we need to run it through a refining fire, and my guilt from realizing my mistakes this morning is probably just the beginning. So this afternoon, I’m relying solely and completely on God for worship time, because He knows I can’t do this on my own, and afterward, I’m going to take a step back and evaluate my readiness for music ministry again. My job in Communications is a full-time job; couple that with One-to-One ministry and eventually small group ministry, methinks I may’ve jumped the gun. All in God’s time.
It’s a great, humbling way to start 2010.