Posted by: JennyRain | October 21, 2009

Progress without Opposition

Progress without opposition is a myth.

We readily buy the American-rise-to-the-top-of-the-corporate-ladder-simply-because-you-are-bright ideology. Happy-meal Christianity (you know, the one with the toy in the box and other goodies) has permeated our churches. And life here on earth always is supposed to have a happy ending.

BZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

That is your iPhone alerting you to the fact that you need to wake up, lift your forehead off the computer keyboard, and wipe the drool from your mouth – we are not in never-never land – and you were just dreaming.

If you are longing for things in your life that are good and wholesome, things that are imbued with integrity, strength, and honor – you have a fight on your hands.

I mean, have we really bought into the illusion that we can move forward without opposition?

My seminary professor Dr. Truett Gannon said something one day to our class that has stuck with me for years. He said this,

“When you discover what it is that God is calling you to do, and then you take a step in the direction of your calling, the next thing that typically happens is your life explodes.”

There is something about embracing our dreams and visions that invites catastrophe to show up on our doorsteps!

The path that is good and true and noble is fraught with so many more stones and briars than the freeway to corruption. 

I think about the church I am a part of. They are doing amazing things in the community. Offering assistance to others through things like the clothing ministry and food pantry, supplying turkey dinners to over 78,000 families in the DC area, helping non-native english speakers to learn english,  providing a support system for families with special needs children… we have so many ministries reaching out to impact the DC area, we now have a separate website to host them all!

But our church’s journey to build a facility to house all of these activities was riddled with nay-sayers who claimed we would never secure the land we are now occupying. The building process introduced us to potholes of frustrated communities and angry politicians. Construction set-backs, paperwork set-backs, and every other kind of set-back you can imagine attempted to build a fortress around our hope for an IMPACT ZONE whose fingers could reach out and impact secular washington with the gospel of Jesus Christ.

his hands

 

20080210-FL-Vision-V-_0018

Floor Signing 1

Through it all, our leaders kept believing that seeking after the next, best, good step was the right thing to do.

Eight years and two buildings later, here we stand and now have the opportunity to build a respite center for special-needs families that will be one-of-a kind in the nation.

Life lived in a way that is good, and noble, and true – is hard. But I have hope when I see things like this from the apostle Paul:

We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about the hardships we suffered in the province of Asia. We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired even of life. Indeed, in our hearts we felt the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead. He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us, as you help us by your prayers. 2 Cor 1.1-3 (NIV)

And look at what the apostle Peter encourages us with… obviously he was a man familiar with suffering:

Keep a cool head. Stay alert. The Devil is poised to pounce, and would like nothing better than to catch you napping. Keep your guard up. You’re not the only ones plunged into these hard times. It’s the same with Christians all over the world. So keep a firm grip on the faith. The suffering won’t last forever. It won’t be long before this generous God who has great plans for us in Christ—eternal and glorious plans they are!—will have you put together and on your feet for good. He gets the last word; yes, he does. (1 Peter 5.8-11 MSG)

We are in the company of others who have suffered for what is good, and true, and noble.

So what do we do?

James gives us some clues…

Are you hurting? Pray. Do you feel great? Sing. Are you sick? Call the church leaders together to pray and anoint you with oil in the name of the Master. Believing-prayer will heal you, and Jesus will put you on your feet. And if you’ve sinned, you’ll be forgiven—healed inside and out. Make this your common practice: Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you can live together whole and healed. The prayer of a person living right with God is something powerful to be reckoned with. (James 5:13-18 MSG)

 

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Responses

  1. You really must get out of my head, girlfriend. Thank the Lord that none of us is alone in our struggle. It is a hard life, but an amazing life and we are not alone. My life (our lives) exploded this summer and has yet to be put back together and yet I know we are on the right path, one painful step at a time, and as much as I hate, dread, loathe, squirm and struggle I see a light…dim as it may be…it’s a light.

  2. LOVE it! It is my prayer that these will continue to minister to y’all 🙂 Love ya girl and think about you and Jim often with everything that happened. You are never far from my prayers!

  3. […] turn I am encountering stories and sermons about how to face difficulties in our lives. Yesterday I blogged about it, this morning I heard a broadcast about it, and this afternoon a co-worker shared an […]

  4. […] Progress without Opposition (If you want to progress, you will encounter obstacles) […]


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