Friday, March 28, 2014

"The Wonder of Privilege"

"The Wonder of Privilege"

    It's allergy season down South where we live.  This means sneezes, congestion (or runny nose), red eyes, and the feeling of fatigue.  The medications for histamine reactions, while much better than in days of my childhood, often leave me a bit foggy and tired.  Indeed, the blossoms and green of spring come with a price for many folks such as myself.

    This led to a feeling of lethargy yesterday as I drove to a scheduled service.  Normally, the prospect of gathering with fellow believers excites me with a sense of gratitude and anticipation.  As I often tell people who commend us for our various ministries, "Thank you.  I appreciate your encouragement.  And, I'd be less than honest if I didn't tell you that conducting services is much like eating a piece of really great chocolate cake.  It's the enjoyment of a privilege far more than the fulfillment of a responsibility."  Yesterday, however, it just didn't feel that way.  As I proceeded to my destination, I almost allowed myself to think, for the first time in a long time, "I kind of wish I didn't have to do this tod..."

    I caught myself, or rather, I trust that the Holy Spirit caught me in mid-thought.  The thought of privilege returned to pervade my ponderings.  That the infinite God would grant His children the joy of speaking, singing, or praying a word in His name bestows upon us unimaginable grace and kindness.  That people would gather to listen and participate enhances the blessing in exponential measure.  On better days, I often feel completely overwhelmed by the gift of fellowship with God and His trusting children in Christ He so often gives us to enjoy.  I remembered this, and by the Lord's leading and enabling, I thanked Him for yet another opportunity to know the Lord Jesus with those who share our faith, and perhaps with some who don't.

   I hope the meeting was a blessing for the folks who attended.  It sure was for  me.  I never feel more completely relaxed than when preaching and writing.  I hope this means I am doing what I'm meant to do, and thus experiencing the peace of Christ.  Yesterday, the tranquility meter registered off the dial in my own heart and mind.  Everything just seemed so right.  I cannot fully explain what I mean by that, and again, I hope I was not alone in the perception (the response of the people seemed to confirm that).  And all, after just minutes before feeling hesitant and unwilling.  I suspect the Lord must have been thinking, "Glen, you know you want that chocolate cake!"

    Life completely changes when we realize that the presence and working of the Lord Jesus transforms responsibilities into privileges.  This includes every calling and duty in our lives.  They're all pieces of chocolate cake if they're what our Heavenly Father puts in front of us to do.  This doesn't mean there will not be sacrifices and hardships in our responsibilities, but rather that the joy and peace of Christ will be there far more when we realize and acknowledge Him.  In simple terms, life involves for believers the faith of "I get to" rather than the burden of "I have to."  I'm so glad for the reminder and confirmation yesterday, and for a time when the Lord affirmed yet again the wonder of privilege.

"For the joy that was set before Him, He endured the cross."
(Hebrews 12:2)

Weekly Memory Verse
   The law made nothing perfect, but the bringing in of a better hope did, by which we draw nigh unto God.
(Hebrews 7:19)


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