Summary: Dave departs from the Hearing Jesus Again series for a time of reflection, confession, encouragement, and visioneering.
Wildwind Community Church
June 28, 2008
This past week has been a really rough week for me. A lot of high emotion. A lot of personal difficulty. Ever have one of those weeks where it seems like no matter where you turn you keep coming to the end of yourself, where you keep finding yourself unable to be the person you wish you could be in all the key roles of your life? That’s really hard for me. St. Francis of Assisi prayed, “Lord, make me an instrument of thy grace.” I want to be that. But sometimes I’m not. Sometimes I hurt people I love and care about and then I don’t know how to make it right.
It’s hard to write a sermon when things are not well in your life. So what did I do? If you work in the shop installing car seats, what do you do on days when you’re at the end of your rope emotionally? You go to work and install more car seats . That’s your job. For me, when I’m at the end of my rope and feeling beat up by life, and maybe not that sure where God is, I sit down to write about God. That’s my job. So I wrote a sermon. I didn’t like it so I wrote another one. I read parts of that to a friend and I realized, the more we talked about it, that I didn’t like that one either. So this here is my third attempt. I’m not talking about the Sermon on the Mount today. I’m just doing my best to talk to you as straight-up as I can right now.
I have spent a lot of time this week thinking about my flaws and failures and shortcomings. Now before January 16 of this year, I’d be all beat up and feeling terrible about myself after a week like this. I really don’t feel that way now. God did some permanent work in my heart on that day. But I do come to you sensing a need for God’s healing and grace.
See, I’m in a dangerous position as a leader – especially a leader who teaches God’s Word. I must dedicate myself to reading, to study, and to continual reflection on thoughts and words and ideas so that I can synthesize them and bring new insights to you every week. As I continue learning, I get more and more information that jostles around in my head. And that’s dangerous.
Luke 12:48 (NLT)
48 … When someone has been given much, much will be required in return; and when someone has been entrusted with much, even more will be required.
God has given me a lot. An amazing wife and three beautiful daughters. Heck, I’ve spent most of the last two-three weeks in prayer just saying, “God, help me come to understand what a blessing it is to have people in my life who love me.” I so often take them for granted and lose touch with what a miracle and privilege it is that those four women love me. I’m trying to really understand that right now – get my arms around how huge it is that God has given me a woman who sleeps in my arms every night and I’m responsible for her well-being in so many ways. And that my girls are going to grow up with echoes of my words in their minds forever – both the good ones and the bad ones. Sometimes as I’m snuggling with Kyra on the couch and we’re watching TV, I’ll notice that she very subtly will lean over – this is going to sound very strange – but she’ll learn over and smell my arm! And I think, “that is very weird.” But later that night as I’m tucking her in she’ll say, “Daddy, I love the way you smell.” And I realize what that means. One day when I’m gone, or even before that, when they’re out on their own and making their way in the world, once in a while they’ll suddenly get a catch of that – that smell from somewhere. And it will take them back to right now – to times when they were younger and felt safer – and they had someone to help them know what to do. And they will think of me. If I’m gone, they will miss me, and they will carry that memory of me around forever. That is deeper than words can describe. Some of you know exactly what I mean, as there’s nothing that evokes stronger and deeper memories of your dad than the smell of a garage or flannel shirt, or stronger memories of your mom than something baking in the kitchen.