I remember the period of being engaged, (a season of my life I did not particularly enjoy) and longing for the day to be married. I spent many hours praying for the day itself, about it being a witness to our non-Christian friends, that they would hear the gospel with open ears and hearts, that people would be blessed by our preparation and by our generosity. And I spent many more hours praying for our marriage itself, that God would grow in us graceful and humble hearts, that we could live hospitably and have a desire to serve the other always, and to be a reflection of Christ and His love for the Church, and the church’s love of Christ in return.
Rebuking a brother or sister in Christ can seem like a punch in the face. It is one of the hardest parts of Christian fellowship to implement, and particulaly to implement well. We shy away from rebuke for a number of reasons, but one of the biggest is out of fear of causing hurt, or damaging our relationship with that person. We convince ourselves is actually unkind, we’ll do more harm than good, that someone else is probably closer to them and should bring it up, or maybe that the Holy Spirit will reveal the sin to them in his time, so it’s not up to us to breach the discussion.
3 years ago, my dad was diagnosed with cancer. It’s not one of the well-known cancers you would have heard of before; in fact, I had never heard of it prior to starting my medical degree. My dad had never heard of it either, until the doctor told him ‘I think you might have Myeloma’ – which meant absolutely nothing to him, until he came home and reported the doctor’s suspicions to me. I remember it so clearly, the way he said recalled the name so unconcerned, without any concept of the implications of the diagnosis placed before him, and I stared at him, shocked, confused, and uttered, “Dad, myeloma is a cancer”.
And there started our journey as a family, of blood tests, bone marrow biopsies, scans, chemotherapy regimens, and two stem cell transplants.
You are not needed by God. I am not needed by God. God is all powerful and all sovereign, He is perfect in his character and has always been, long before the creation of the Earth. Yet here we are, living out our lives to share the gospel and make disciples, spending each day aiming to glorify God in all we do, pursuing knowing Jesus and make Jesus known. We do this despite not being needed. Why?
Over the past couple of weeks, my heart has been breaking. I have seen a stream of posts and comments throughout my social media feed discussing our nation’s upcoming vote regarding the re-definition of marriage. But if I am to be honest, calling it a ‘discussion’ seems generous.
“How’s your week been?” “Oh you know, it’s been busy…’.
Without fail, no matter who I talk to, whether I ask the question or answer it, I have this conversation many times per week. And you know what this says about us? We are all busy.
In my first few years of my medical degree, I was busy. Really busy. And it got to the stage where it would annoy me when other people told me they were busy because they couldn’t possibly be as busy as me; they had no idea what sort of hours I worked, how much I had to learn, what sort of pressure I was under – they didn’t understand busy.