In The Midst

I like difficult problems. I mean, I must. I go after them, I strive to be in contact and relationship with those who are in the midst of difficult situations, and really, most sincerely, I must have an idea that I can take on whatever comes to me.

If there is a bigger problem, then I just really may not be able to get there on time. That’s the only reason I haven’t taken it on.

Clearly, it is ridiculous.

There are some things that I just shouldn’t handle. Or, if I propose to go after them, then I truly must have support behind and along with me for the rough journey.

But, as I tackle the difficult problems, in my life, in my congregations, in my community, in my world, I am not doing it alone. Not ever.

Perhaps that is what gives me the strength to take on tasks, issues, and problems that seem so difficult at the outset that I don’t even know where the completion and exit point may even end up. I know that some days the task looms so large, that rising takes an act of God.

Isn’t that what it should be anyway? Anything that we do, should work into the task of God. We work into the call of God, and we respond by faithfully attending to the most difficult problems. Because we can. With God’s help.

And even so, sometimes I feel that I can do it all myself. I did this. I did that. I raised this up. I created this without any help from anyone else. Go on. Call me on it. You really should.

My imperfections show most brilliantly when I am caught up in trying to be so terribly perfect. Sometimes it is impossible to get around. Sometimes my desire to be perfect, to be able to say that I was creative and was able to do this really cool thing, it gets in the way of receiving Grace.

Think about it. If you are always saying that you need to be perfect by yourself, then you are never opening yourself up for the Grace that you can receive from those around you, or from God.

Sometimes, the way to receive Grace, is to open yourself up. Reveal the faults and fears that you have spent so much energy hiding, and allow yourself to receive grace from those around you. Yes. it is scary. Yes, it is not something we do around here. Yes, it is against our culture. And yes, it will help you, and those around you heal.

As Christians, we are called to live at a counterpoint to the world’s culture. We have a better witness, we have a better message than what they are trying to sell. We have a space and an opportunity to come together. To build each other up in love. To prepare each other to be sent out into the world, helping others discover God’s grace.

Truly, the most difficult problem is the world, caught up in what Christians call sin, what we see most often as the powerful becoming more powerful, and the least, the last, and the lost being shoved more and more to the margins, to the side, away from any new hope.

But our hope is in Christ, in the way that leads to life. Our hope stems from the promise of Life, from the knowledge of the Word of God. Our joy comes from seeing and being a part of the community that Christ has established on this earth, as we see glimpses of the kingdom to come.

And for that, I’ll tackle any problem that comes my way, no matter how difficult. I’ll keep on the path, and continue on this journey, because even though I don’t always know where I’m headed, I know that my goal lies with the place that Christ is preparing for me, and for you.


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