My daughter lives in a quiet neighborhood with lots of trees. She has a big picture window that allows you to sit on the couch and look out over the neighborhood. Her house faces north. When the sun comes up, it’s rays hit the trees to the left in a brilliant explosion of orange, making the green even more vivid. Cup of coffee in hand, I sat on the couch reading in 2 Samuel and John this morning as the sun began this amazing wake up.
I thought, “Wow! This is so peaceful.”
Then I read this:
You didn’t choose me, I chose you…
I appointed you to go and produce fruit…
So that the Father will give you whatever you ask for…
When the world hates you… — John 15:16, 18
Maybe it was the peacefulness and the ability to ruminate on the verses, maybe it was the Counselor that Jesus referenced in 14:26 (“the Counselor… will teach you everything”), but whatever it was, it hit me like the proverbial ton of bricks.
Like a bad movie line, I asked, “Are you talking to me?”
Isn’t this something that’s supposed to apply to pastor Jeff or Daryl or maybe Perry. Why me? What have I done to be ‘chosen?’ Why do ‘I’ have to go produce fruit? Why haven’t I gotten ‘whatever’ I’ve asked for? There’s been no ‘suffering for Jesus’ in my life. Why’d you want to mess up my day?”
I’d just read the story of David and Bathsheba. I hate that story. I always want to yell out, “Don’t do it!” But he always does.
I’d seen something new there today. It’d noted that it was the time of year when kings go to war, but David decided to take a break and not go. So, he’s got free time on his hand and nothing to do with it. Additionally, he’s sleeping till the late afternoon each day. Not doing what he’s supposed to be doing and lazing around, he makes repeated stupid mistakes and ends up altering his life for the rest of his days. The line, “the Lord was very displeased with what David had done,” gets penned and sticks to David like stink on a skunk.
From there I had jumped to John 15 and came across the above. In the context of David screwing up, I find myself being asked what I was doing and was there any proof that I was.
Inadequate. That was the sense I experienced. Too much like David. Not the “good” David, but the “stupid” one.
One of the neat things about doing the One Year Bible is that you get a broad spectrum of stuff thrown at you each day. The Spirit has multiple shots at you. If you’re being dense and not paying attention, he can still get your attention as you totally change context from Old Testament to New Testament to Psalms to Proverbs. As I sat there thinking “what a mess up,” he hits me with We can gather our thoughts, but the Lord gives the right answer… Commit your work to the Lord, and then your plans will succeed in Proverbs 16:1, 3.
Sitting here, the one thing that I take away from all of this is that I don’t have what it takes, but, that is exactly where he wants me. The item that concerns me is the being hated part. I need to process that a bit more, especially in light of the emphasis that it is given in John 15.
But right now, I think I need to head back to Panera’s for a mocha!🙂