A Tough Day

There’s a prayer on my heart and mind today.  It’s the prayer
that Jesus prayed in John 17 just before he was arrested.  It’s a
prayer that he wanted us to hear so that we (and they) would know that
we were on his heart and mind as he fulfilled his mission in the
world.  He wants us to know that He intentionally poured his life
and mission into us.  He entrusted us with the continuation of
that mission and he longs for us to rejoice with him when the journey
comes to an end.  But he also knows that pain is on the
horizon.  He prays for protection, but not for isolation.  He
prays that His Father will oversee and comfort and protect in His
absence.  And he prays that they become what they were meant to
become — holy.

I’ve read this passage over and over for years now.  I’ve heard
and taught lessons on this passage.  But today…I feel this
message.  I feel the anxiety of allowing someone that you love go
into a world that may or may not love them.  I feel the sadness of
knowing that pain is on the horizon — it’s a given, but I don’t know
where or how it will come.  I feel the loss of days gone by that
we will not be in close contact but will only share reports of the
journey that we’re on together (but separate).  And I feel an even
deeper desire for the One that can protect those that I love to do just
that when I’m not there.

Today I read Jesus’ words not as a lesson or a sermon text but as
words of one that loves His own and words that are said with a tear in
His eye.  This morning we dropped our baby off in the gigantic
world of public education (yes, I’m a sap).  But even now I’m
reminded that we did this on purpose.  We made the decision to
drop off a five year old boy in a world that doesn’t necessarily know
the Jesus that he knows in order to help him depend on God and to allow
God to work in that world through him and his family.  I feel a
bit like Abraham offering Isaac, but I must also remember that Isaac
walked away from the altar that day.  God is faithful and He’s
still working out his Story in this day as well!

I hear a great deal of talk these days about the church needing to
get back to its mission, and I agree with much of what is said. 
But I fear that in our insulated and isolated version of Christianity
we’ve forgotten that being missional is painful.  There is
sacrafice.  There is fear.  There are tears.  There are
days when that fragile five year old faith will be tried by fire just
as there are days when his father’s faith is tried by the same
fire.  On those days it’s good to be reminded that Jesus is still
doing what Jesus is so good at doing.  He leans to his Father,
points at that little blonde head on the playground and says, “Take
care of that one today…He’s one of ours!”

Enjoy the Journey (even on the tough days)!

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~ by Chris Green on August 17, 2004.

One Response to “A Tough Day”

  1. Ok you wanted me to post so i am posting! It is totally uncool to make me bawl like baby! But, you knew you would, didn’t you?! But, as usual, you are so right. I am so thankful that my Father(s) are watching over my towhead on the playground today. I couldn’t do it without Him!

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