Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Needy People

We are in a strange time as a TBC Church Family.  While it is exciting, it is also stressful and a myriad of other emotions, all rolled up into one. God has blessed us as a body in abundance. There are so many changes in front of us...and even today we will have a meeting with group to possibly negotiate with in regard to a new facility.  We have had changes in our schedule, in the way we conduct our events and, this Sunday we will vote to approve our new statement of faith (1833 New Hampshire Baptist Confession)  along with our new church covenant. 

Change can be exciting but it can also make us feel uneasy at best, or down right terrified at worse. Many people are more panicked over change in their daily lives than over life ending!  Over the last year - actually over the last 3 years I,  as well as most of the people in our church, have run the course of all of these emotions. In the midst of this we have met, searched, prayed, talked, stayed awake at night and a whole of lot of other things... but in the midst of this, here is what I realized:   the fear or anxiety I feel can serve as a portal to a wonderful spiritual reality. The reality is that I was never intended to be self-reliant. By design we are all needy. The idea of me being "independent" is foreign to the Word, in fact real maturity is becoming MORE DEPENDENT on Christ and less independent. Independence only works during good and peaceful times and it falls apart when “life” hits. The reality is that tough times and bad things are going to happen. Things that I dread may actually be a reality for me, my family and this church body... even as I write this, a knot has formed in my stomach. In his book Fear, Worry, and the God of Rest, Dr. Ed Welch says,
“Another way of expressing our personal vulnerability is through our experience of need. There is a close connection between what we fear and what we think we need. If we need comfort, we will fear physical pain. If we need approval from others, we will fear being criticized. If we need love we will fear rejection….Whatever your need is a mere stone’s throw from what you fear.”

The bottom line is I have watched our fear and faith grow at TBC. During this time we have even watched some people leave, and much of that was admitting that it was just being unsure of what would happen. We all value security. What I value I love, and what I love I have a tendency to put my hope in. Some of our greatest problems are when we put our hope in the wrong things and it can cause fear to override all other voices, even the voice of truth. Sometimes fear is good, it can actually keep me from danger. When I see a 200 pound dog coming at me when I am on jog, it is natural to fear and even healthy for me to fear. It can lead me to protect myself.  But when fear grips me over “what could be” or “what might be,”  I must learn how to stop and figure out what issue of the heart my fear is displaying. When I see the dog, the truth is that dogs can bite and one that size could kill me so I better do something. However, when I fear something that could happen, I need to ask myself two questions: (1) What do these fears say I trust in?  (2) What do these fears say I really love?  Sometimes those questions reveal that my trust is not in Christ who is really my only help in my time of need, and it displays that I love me more than anything. I love my comfort, I love my way of doing things, I love the way I see church more than I love anything else. It may reveal the heart of sin, which will work in my sanctification. After all, when I look back at the things that have kept me up at night and all the predictions I have taken - when I think of all the horrible things that could happen in certain scenarios, I realize that my track record of correctly guessing the outcome of situations is pretty poor. My reasoning ability fails me and my power of logical conclusions often isn’t logical at all - but in truth even these are dictated by fear and doubt. In truth, I must understand that I have to go outside myself for an answer and seek the God who is in control. This doesn’t mean than everything will turn out perfect, but it does mean that I can trust the God who IS perfect and will never leave, forsake, or fail me. And that is a truth I can rest in... even when the situation doesn’t feel very restful.

No comments: