What do you think?

Brace yourself.

For the first time in a while, I’m making some time to write something somewhat meaningful here.

It’s strange. Although these past couple of weeks have had me busier than ever (lots of driving back and forth between Greensboro and Creedmoor and working really hard to get up to speed at work, plus focussing a little bit more on church stuff), I seem to be experiencing more clarity than I have in a while.

I don’t know. Maybe it’s just ’cause of the John Mayer song. Actually, I hope not. (Isn’t the point of that song that as soon as you realize that you’re having a moment of clarity it’s too late, because that realization will take away the clarity?)

But I digress…

To be honest, it’s not nearly that complicated. I think the bottom line is that I’ve had at least 2 1/2 hours a day to sit in a car and think and listen to some fantastic teaching from guys like Mark Driscoll and Francis Chan. And at least equally importantly, God has been doing some amazing things in Stephanie’s life too. She might not even realize it, but she’s more beautiful than ever — in every way. I feel more encouraged and supported than ever, and that makes more difference than any woman will ever understand.

So, all that rambling because I want to ask for some feedback. I had a rare moment this week when a Bible story became completely new to me — the meaning and value for my life right now came through in a way it never has before.

In our ‘Spiritual Gifts’ Bible study that our men’s group is studying through at work, the author makes a point using the life of Moses, and he focusses specifically on the story from early in Moses’ life where he kills the Egyptian. The author challenged me to consider the question: “Why did Moses kill the Egyptian?”

It seems like a simple enough question, but the answer is powerful for me: I think Moses killed him because he was beginning to get a grip on God’s calling for his life. God put in Moses’ heart a burden for His people. Moses felt God’s compassion and righteous anger towards the conditions of the Israelites.

And before he probably realized that God had put this in his heart, and certainly before he consulted God about it, he did something rash and chalked it up to passion.

The result: a man died, and Moses spent 40 years hiding out in the wilderness.

And I got to thinking: Did it really have to be that way? If Moses had realized that his passion came from God, and asked God for direction on how to act, and then waited, could it have played out better? What if God was ready and willing to lead the people out in 1 year? What if those 40 extra years of toil and death that God’s people experienced weren’t necessary?

But then again, God is sovereign. Someone in our discussion put it this way: What if God planned for everything to happen just the way it did? What if He wanted Moses to go out to the wilderness so that He could mold him into the redeemer of His people that He wanted him to be?

This definitely seems reasonable. Think about all the people who spent time in the wilderness before God really fulfilled His calling in their lives. There’s Moses, David, Paul, John the Baptist… even Jesus it seems to some extent.

So all that leaves me in a funny place because I have such an overwhelming passion for God’s church. I seriously feel the Gospel like fire in my bones and everything in me screams to give my whole life to see the world changed by the Gospel. I want to spend my life being poured out for the Bride of Christ in America until She is a true reflection of Him, and truly cares about His bride around the world. And I try to wrap my head around the story about Moses, and how God seems to send His servants into long seasons of waiting where He prepares them, and I try to think about how that applies to me, and I just don’t know what to take away.

In the sermon I listened to this morning from Francis Chan, he said that in Uganda alone (I think — that part wasn’t clear), 43,000 children are orphaned every day, and 29,000 orphans die every day.

Every day.

Part of me fights God about that.

“What can You teach me in 5 or 10 years that is worth so many wasted lives?”

I know. It’s an audacious question to ask the Creator. I ask it respectfully. I know that I have so much to learn that I don’t even know how much I have to learn.

But what’s the balance in the meantime? How do I stir up the passions God has put in me and take full advantage of what’s available for me to do in THIS season, while simultaneously resting in God’s sovereignty and just waiting for His leadership?

I guess I already know what I would tell someone if they asked me those questions… but all the same, what do you think?

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4 Responses

  1. Good post! Good question…
    God seems more about waiting and deepening than doing sometimes.
    Just wondering — Have you read Corrie ten Boom?
    See ya on the twitter!
    Lisa J.

  2. Hey Zack. I often wonder the same thing about the wasted lives. The shear numbers and tragedy of it overwhelms me. Especially so in the lost world. The song “Tears of the Saints” (Leeland) does a wonderful job of declaring the plight as an emergency. GFA Founder, KP Yohannon, often prays for us to have eternity stamped on our eyes as a way to remember and pray for the lost that die every day…
    I’m so thankful to Him that He is drawing our hearts to this situation. Have you seen “God Grew Tired of Us” It’s the lost boys of Sudan documentary? I have it. Would love to let you and Steph borrow it. Very touching…

    Your blog: In the sermon I listened to this morning from Francis Chan, he said that in Uganda alone (I think — that part wasn’t clear), 43,000 children are orphaned every day, and 29,000 orphans die every day. Every day. Part of me fights God about that. “What can You teach me in 5 or 10 years that is worth so many wasted lives?”

  3. Lisa: Thanks for stopping by and for your input! I have heard quite a bit about Corrie Ten Boon, but never read her story. I should look into that!

    Charlie: Thanks for your thoughts bro! I’m looking forward to catching up this Wednesday!

  4. Sorry I haven’t posted in response until now.

    I know this is probably your gut response in the first place, but the sermon I heard last night really is pertinent. Dr. Schreiner was at Sojourn Community Church preaching on Romans 9. Dealing with not only God’s election but on worldwide suffering is hard. Essentially, there are two ways to ask these questions of God. One way is humble. The other way is rebellious. One way says, “God, I don’t understand this. But I trust that you are good. I TRUST you to run the world.” The other way says, “You don’t know what you’re doing. If this is really the God of the Bible, I want nothing to do with him. He is unjust and unfair.”

    At the end of the day, we mourn for the toll that sin has taken on the world. We give and go and send others to reach those people with the Gospel, for that is their only eternal need. We pray and BEG God to show them mercy.

    It may be telling to remind ourselves that not only are those people in such awful human conditions, but millions more will leave this temporal realm today and enter eternity without knowing Christ as Savior and will go to hell. It is only by mercy that ANY of us are saved.

    The global problems of poverty and injustice ought to be fuel for us to share the Gospel with people in our office, in our classrooms, in our neighborhoods, in our apartment complexes. These people need the Gospel. These people need to repent and believe and surrender their lives to give and go and pray for God’s mercy to fall on orphaned children in Uganda.

    So today: PRAY and share the Gospel in hopes that God might be gracious and merciful to a few more.

    It’s His mercy all the way.

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