Reckless Pursuit: God’s Story of Relentless Love is in its final stages of production and will be made available early this Fall. As we move toward announcing its arrival, I will be posting regular teasers straight from the content of the book. Today’s snapshot look at Reckless Pursuit comes from Part 3: How We Define Normal.
Then, it was time. Time to begin moving. Time to cast vision and start building teams. Time to implement a new ministry structure. Time for change. This change was met with both anticipation and caution. Some couldn’t wait to jump in and partner with us. Others were openly afraid of where this would lead. And then it happened.
Resistance. Refusal. Rejection. Those who were previously hesitant became openly defiant. As a result, half of our ministry team became relationally distant. Within a couple of months, several families were disconnected from the ministry and a few had completely separated from the church.
For the next year and a half, struggle became a way of life. I fought to bring people together. I questioned my leadership ability and I battled with my emotions toward leaders who were pushing against our ministry. I was consumed with this conflict and fought to not allow it to overcome me emotionally. At times I felt myself check out, becoming distant and removed, even from Kristen. I felt persecuted and alone. I often felt sorry for myself, thinking “Here I am, giving my life to do the work of God, fighting for his glory and for the good of the people I am serving, while being met with nothing but pain and conflict. It’s not fair! This isn’t the way it’s supposed to go!”
Struggle! So much of our world is defined by it. So many of our plans, our dreams are changed by it. Does it have to be this way? Is this all there is?
Keep coming back for more from Reckless Pursuit.
A phone call from a friend, when you feel like you are all alone. A meal delivered the moment you realize there is nothing in the house to eat and you are out of money. A text from someone you haven’t heard from in years, asking how she can pray for you on a day that you don’t have the strength to talk to God. Has this ever happened to you? Have you ever had someone step into your life at exactly the right time? Have you ever been cared for in extraordinary ways when you hadn’t mentioned your need to anyone?
I can’t tell you how many times this has happened in my life. Every time, I am taken back. Humbled. Honored. And reminded that I am deeply loved!
This is what happens when Jesus followers say, “Yes!” to God. Indescribable love is expressed and the Father’s heart is extended. In a very real way, we become the hands and feet of Jesus.
What is amazing is that most times, the people who offer this love have no idea how important their little expression is. They just were thinking about someone and followed through. It happens in all kinds of ways. Sometimes they’ll have a dream about someone or wake up thinking about them. Sometimes a person’s face will come to mind while they’re driving down the road. Sometimes, a difficult situation will come up in conversation and there is a pressing feeling that a phone call needs to be made.
I am embarrassed to think about how many times I have missed these opportunities. When God prodded me and I excused it and continued on my day. When I have been too consumed with my agenda to stop and represent the Father. Wow! The incredible life transforming moments I have arrogantly walked right by.
But…those days when I have listened – those are days I will never forget. Days when people open their hearts. Days when freedom erupts, as much for me as it does the people I am caring for. Days that I can’t get enough of.
In the past couple of months, I have been loved by God through his people like this over and over. It has been amazing. And I want more of it. Yes, for myself but mostly, I want to offer it. To live a life, completely interruptible by God. Completely available to the movement of his Spirit. I truly can’t imagine a better way of life!
How different could today have been for us with this was our goal when we got up this morning?