“How long, LORD? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and day after day have sorrow in my heart? How long will my enemy triumph over me? Look on me and answer, LORD my God. Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death,and my enemy will say, ‘I have overcome him,’ and my foes will rejoice when I fall. But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation. I will sing the LORD’s praise, for he has been good to me (Psalm 13:1-6).”
I walked out of my job today. I literally went and got my next contract from the boss’s secretary and left.
What I did was either one of the most stupid things I have ever done –or the smartest. Only time will tell.
The truth is, I am exhausted. Thus, when an “incident” was brought to my attention by my new supervisor,
I had no patience to deal with it. When I asked “is there anything else?” and the reply was “no”, I flew the coop.
The “incident” was just the tip of the iceberg related to an ongoing problem on my job. I have tried to get the attention of people in authority to do something about it for months, but to no avail.
Therefore, when I was being called on the carpet for my handling of an issue directly related to the problem, I just did not have the inner resources to respond with aplomb.
This begs the question,”Why not?” You might ask,”Why didn’t you just rely on the capacities of Jesus instead of your own?”
These are very good questions for which I do not have a ready answer. The issues are complicated; one might even say “thorny”.
What I mean is what Jesus said when he told a parable concerning different ways a person can respond to the message of his kingdom. Jesus, using the image of a farmer sowing his seed, said: “The seed falling among the thorns refers to someone who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, making it unfruitful (Matthew 13:22).”
The situation with my heart is not right these days. It is full of worries and trying to make ends meet.
I am not doing very well at handling the distresses and agitations produced by my concerns, nor am I producing enough wealth to support my family.
I am in a vicious cycle of bad cause and effect. I am too busy at work to fix the problems in my life and at home. The intended effect of my work i.e., the money needed to support myself and my loved ones, is also not there. As a result of these negatives, I guess you could say my life is a mess.
Before I die, I would like to be a fruitful Christian. I haven’t been very productive since I came to Christ at the age of 17. My thorns always get in the way.
Jesus had a crown of them at his crucifixion. He carried my problems in those thorns with Him on the cross.
Indeed, the Scriptures say He is a “lily among thorns (Song of Solomon2:2)”. He can take my smelly, ugly issues and make them aromatic and beautiful.
Like any human, I suppose I have developed an “enemy’s list” (a term made famous by Richard Nixon). They are thorns in my way, but they are not a problem to God.
The biggest enemy, my largest thorn in the side, and obstacle to my frutifulness for God, is Satan. He is apt to destroy me if I let him. If I get behind God and let Him fight the Evil One and his cohorts for me, I won’t.
I am tired of The Monster having his way with me and mine. God struck him down in Christ, and I don’t have to succumb to him anymore. The Scriptures say so:
“In that day, the LORD will punish with his sword— his fierce, great and powerful sword— Leviathan the gliding serpent,Leviathan the coiling serpent; he will slay the monster of the sea. In that day—
‘Sing about a fruitful vineyard:
I, the LORD, watch over it;
I water it continually.
I guard it day and night
so that no one may harm it…
I am not angry.
If only there were briers and thorns confronting me!
I would march against them in battle;
I would set them all on fire.
Or else let them come to me for refuge;
let them make peace with me,
yes, let them make peace with me.’
In days to come Jacob will take root,
Israel will bud and blossom
and fill all the world with fruit (Isaiah 27:1-6).”
Instead of God’s Word not hitting paydirt as in days gone by, I can see a future which includes good soil and fruitbearing for me and my own. I dont think I am fantasizing when I write this, even though I just quit my job.
On the surface, I have put myself and my family in financial jeopardy by floating out of my workplace today. However, there are more important things in life than money.
In the next few months there would have been more of the same: constant work. With the issues facing me and my wife and kids, the workplace is not where I need to be, I think. There are things from God which money cannot buy:
1) The ability to listen to Him in peace (Isaiah 55:1-3) AND
2) Time to seek God and His Word, and let Him and it bear fruit in my life (Isaiah 55:6-11).
This is a worthy saying:
“You will go out in joy
and be led forth in peace;
the mountains and hills
will burst into song before you,
and all the trees of the field
will clap their hands.
Instead of the thornbush will grow the juniper,
and instead of briers the myrtle will grow.
This will be for the LORD’s renown,
for an everlasting sign,
that will endure forever (Isaiah 55:12-13).”
My heart has to date has produced nothing but thorns and thistles, that prickly plant that hurts those it comes into contact with. I am tired of my life, and the pain. Really tired.
I know I am in danger and ruthless action is needed:
“Land that drinks in the rain often falling on it and that produces a crop useful to those for whom it is farmed receives the blessing of God. But land that produces thorns and thistles is worthless and is in danger of being cursed. In the end it will be burned (Hebrews 6:7,8).”
When the writer of Hebrews wrote the words above, he added a positive note to his readers, which I trust will apply to me as well:
“Even though we speak like this, dear friends, we are convinced of better things in your case—the things that have to do with salvation (Hebrews 6:9).”
Pontius Pilate presented Jesus to the mob. John paints the scene:
“Once more Pilate came out and said to the Jews gathered there, ‘Look, I am bringing him out to you to let you know that I find no basis for a charge against him.’ When Jesus came out wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe, Pilate said to them, ‘Here is the man!’ “.
Jesus is my King and He bore my worries and anguish. I don’t have to deal with them anymore. For me, here and now, Jesus is “The Man”.
Maybe now I can trust him with my future. I am banking on the truth that He remembers that I am a ball of dust and subject to mistakes, like losing my composure today.
God, come in and fix them, and me, too.
|“Man of Sorrows!” what a name|
For the Son of God, who came
Ruined sinners to reclaim.
Hallelujah! What a Savior!Bearing shame and scoffing rude,
In my place condemned He stood;
Sealed my pardon with His blood.
Hallelujah! What a Savior!
Guilty, vile, and helpless we;
Lifted up was He to die;
When He comes, our glorious King,