December 16, 2008
My Misery, His Majesty
GOODBYE MY FRIEND, LEN!
Sometimes there is a part of me that would prefer to sit in the crow, instead of stand on the platform...that would rather be a griever instead of a comforter...that wished I could be the listener instead of the speaker...that could be poured into rather than pour out...that would rather simply be the weak one instead of be the rock.
But note the words "sometimes" and "part of me" which start the above sentence. I feel honored and fulfilled to lead, to speak, to reach out, to lift up, to be able to point people heavenward.
Yesterday was a mixture of MISERY and MAJESTY. My friend, Len's funeral was the hardest one that I have ever led. Len was a close friend, a partner in dreaming about kingdom building, still a young believer whose spiritual trajectory was just really launching upward, a man with a profound influence, brilliant intelligence and fearless generosity. Saying goodbye was MISERY.
Today I am simply exhausted fromr carrying the grief of so many people on top of my own grief. Questions, fears, doubts, sorrows flood my soul.
Last week I literally touched death 3 times in 5 days. 3 friends and church members died in one week. All had something wonderful to offer, something that will be profoundly missed in the days ahead. It has been MISERY.
"YET"..."YET" what a great word...the word "YET" does not negate what has gone before it, but rises above it to declare what is true.
Consider the Christmas song, "O Little Town of Bethlehem":
YET in they dark street shineth,
The everlasting light
The hopes and fears
of ALL the years
Are met in thee tonight!
It is TRUE...into the darkness of my MISERY a brilliant light dawns...the light of Jesus' love and truth and promises and comfort penetrate my misery and visit it with undefeatable MAJESTY!!
MY hopes and my fears are met in the CHRIST of CHRISTMAS!
MY MISERY is overwhelmed by HIS MAJESTY!
His MAJESTY is the reality that lifts my humanity into glory, into hope into certainty.
The apostle John wrote, "This is the victory that overcomes the world, even our FAITH!"
The misery the world visits upon me, canNOT overcome or defeat me, IF I take my stand by FAITH in His MAJESTY!
So here I stand today by Faith!...Faith in the babe of Bethlehem who is now the KING of heaven!
Merry Christmas is a shallow holiday greeting, UNTIL we realize the reason we can be "MERRY' in the midst of MISERY is the MAJESTY of CHRISTmas!!