Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Guest Preacher

This from a dear friend, Jack Brooks, who is minister of an EFC church in Kentucky:

"A brief thought...

There will never be a time on this planet when we don't stand in great need of something. Heaven is the only place where all needs are continuously met, and no needs exist. Nobody's sick in Heaven, nobody dies in Heaven, nobody sins in Heaven. Everything's always fine there.

Our world, however, is one massive, constantly-rolling, boiling globe of problems and needs. And when needs spring into existence here, it doesn't matter why they come into being. Example:

During the massive downsizing of the early 1990s, Kodak in upstate NY shed thousands of workers. I spoke with an Evangelical Free Church pastor by phone during that time, while I worked for Columbia Bible College. That church was getting more than bumped around by Kodak's massive layoffs -- that church was really hurting. The pastor said churches up there were having a hard time keeping their doors open.

It was nobody's fault . It wasn't anyone's fault that so many people got laid off by Kodak and had to leave. Even Kodak was only responding to factors in the national economy that it also couldn't control. The bottom line was, a big need opened up in all the families of upstate NY, and along with them all the churches, and only God, God alone, could possibly answer the call.

Last week I asked for prayer on behalf of a church in Maryland that freakishly lost two key people in two weeks. A newly-installed elder died from injuries he sustained in a car wreck, leaving behind a wife and a two-year-old daughter. Within two weeks their youth pastor (a young man in his twenties) died from a heart attack, leaving behind a young wife, a toddler, and the wife expecting their second baby. Both these sad events happened to the same church.

Point being, these two shocking events not only caused a lot of sadness, they also create very great material needs -- needs that didn't even exist days before the events. It doesn't matter whether the car wreck was caused by a drunk driver, or just icy, slick roads. It doesn't matter if the youth pastor had a congenital disability, or was taking Vioxx. Needs now exist; only God can answer the call.

God has pledged to be there for us whenever and however we need Him. As long as we trust Him and walk in obedience to him, He will do what we ask for in prayer. Now, He might meet our needs by putting us in a palace, which He did for David the shepherd boy. He might meet our needs by feeding us bits of meat dropped by ravens, as He did for Elijah the prophet (but who later got to go to heaven without having to die). But He solves our problems, fills our holes, puts fresh ideas into our minds, energizes our emotions, and rolls over our adversaries, as long as we are doing His will and praying.

Don't despair over today's needs. We all had "unsolvable" problems yesterday. You had them weeks ago, years ago. So did I. You had them back when you were unconscious in the womb (you didn't even know about the Soviet Union, air
pollution, or mutually-assured nuclear destruction bacl there in the womb, did you? Your mother was the one worrying about those things. Now you get to worry about Islamic terrorism).

When all your currently needs are handled by God, guess what you'll have next week? That's right: more needs, more "unsolvable" problems, more gaping holes. And then there will be more after that. Then more after that. They will never stop coming, as long as Jesus waits to return. Need I remind us that we are all heading toward the ultimate "unsolvable problem" -- the end of physical life? We need to deal with life's kaleidoscope of needs now, by faith.

Lord Jesus, we are weak, small, sinful, and foolish. Please solve all our problems -- fill all our holes -- put fresh ideas in our brains -- energize our flagging emotions -- and fight our battles. Amen."


Blogger The Clinging Vine said...

That was definitely one of Jack's best, wasn't it? And it's a valuable reflection on multiple levels.

12:42 AM  
Blogger The Clinging Vine said...

Oh, and TAG!

If you care to put your oddities on display for the world to see, list six odd things about you. ;^)

12:43 AM  

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