April 26, 2012

fight the Lord's battles.

Wayne and I are at a beautiful place in our lives. We're almost six years into our relationship, and we've been married for nine months out of the total 72. We've settled into our wee little home well and spend our Sunday afternoons playing catch, our Saturday mornings eating pancakes, and our Friday nights watching British period drama. During the week I go to work so that we can keep buying groceries and filling up the gas tank, and Wayne goes to seminary so that he can keep learning about missional ministry and ancient Hebrew.

It's a comfortable little world. Sure, Wayne's homework gets to be overwhelming at some points, and like any other seminary couple in the world, we'd feel better if our bank account was a little more full than it currently is, and obviously we miss being close to our families, but all things considered, we're in a really lovely place. But, like Proverbs says, there's a time for everything, and I'm pretty sure that it won't always be this way.

Our future lies in The Ministry. When I think of life in The Ministry, my mind cycles through a variety of scenarios. Sometimes I see us in a church in Manitoba standing beside a bunch of weathered old farmers singing Charles Wesley hymns in a clapboard sanctuary. Sometimes I see us in in a Toledo suburb making flowers out of coffee filters with a bunch of 6-year-olds in a red brick church, circa 1965. Or we could end up in some ghetto of Atlanta, getting our southern accents on and working with hardcore gangsters. Or we could even end up in Toronto, wading through the seas of atheism and relativism and pluralism and apathy... so many possible roads to take.

But sometimes I see something completely different: Wayne and I, hand in hand, standing on the edge of a cliff, white-knuckled and wide-eyed, looking out into an enormous valley in which a fierce and bloody battle rages. There are moments when I feel a little thrill to think of jumping into the mess of this world, but a whole lot of the time I feel... how shall we say... a leeeeeetle freaked out.

Charles Spurgeon always makes me feel better. He writes,

"We may feel in these days that we are losing the battle and unless the Lord Jesus shall lift His sword we do not know what may become of the church of God in our time; but let us be courageous and bold.  Seldom  has there been a time like this as biblical Christianity trembles on the brink of capitulation to pluralism and empty religious routine... The Savior is, by His Spirit, still on earth; let this encourage us. He is always ever in the middle of the fight, and therefore the outcome of the battle is not in doubt... Turn your anxious gaze from the battle below, where, enshrouded in smoke, the faithful fight in garments rolled in blood... The battle is not yours but God's."

I am not a brave warrior. The girl who shudders at the sight of a spider is not a warrior. But thank the Almighty that Jesus is... and that's what will give us the courage to jump off our cliff of seminary life comfort and into the chaos below. 

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