Genesis 50:1-Exodus 2:10
Today I did half the reading on my lunch break at work...on the dirty table at the back of the kitchen with a cup of coffee feeding my headache...and I was encouraged.
Then I did the other half of my reading when I got home...sitting in the hot jacuzzi recovering from the aches and pains of standing all day and from whatever faith in humanity was lost in a day of customer service.
Reading the Bible every day and working in the world and living with the ups and downs of life is all just solidifying one thing for me: I want to become more stubborn.
Yes, I want to be gentle and kind, I want to bear goodness and be patient...but I want to believe in a stubborn way that nothing is impossible.
I'm tired of putting my faith in boundaries and limitations...I want to embrace the REALITY that God can do anything. From saving Joseph's life and making him a household name for a foreign nation....to preserving the life of an infant boy against all odds in an oppressive and bloodthirsty country. From choosing the uneducated and the insignificant fishermen to be His followers...to "On this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it."
UM. Did you hear that? The gates of Hades will not overcome it. The gates of Hades WILL NOT OVERCOME IT.
The image of the gates to Mordor come to mind...the scene in the extended version of "the Return of the King." The guard with the helmet covering everything but his mouth full of sharp black teeth. (If you find this reference impressive, note that I watched this whole scene and most of this movie between the cracks of my fingers). (But I did read the books so allow that to restore whatever impressive-ness was lost). Everyone says that the trip to Mordor is a suicide mission, it's insane, it's impossible. Saruman says "against the power of Mordor there can be no victory." It's one of the reasons I love "the Lord of the Rings" so much because of how it portrays the reality of our situation as Christians, victors with Christ. BECAUSE GUYS. The gates of Hades, the gates of the symbolic Mordor, the gates of actual Hell DOES NOT STAND A CHANCE.
Take the ring to Mordor. Heal the sick. Preach the gospel. Give up your desires for the will of God. Sing loud for all to hear. Write, pray, draw, create, WALK ON. Keep faith. Whatever it takes...whether it's opening up the Psalms during your lunch break, talking to a faithful friend, listening to praise songs...whatever it takes...remind yourself to stubbornly believe something: nothing is impossible.
I want to stop believing that Joseph, Peter, Moses, Moses's mom or any of these Bible characters are victors to any extent more that me. I want to remember that these people were people just like me. These people were the type of people who at some point probably didn't realize that nothing is impossible...just like me. I want to remember that Jesus in me can be and is just as powerful as he was in these Bible characters' lives. I want to remember that as I live and work, for me and for those around me, because Jesus dwells within me, because Jesus WINS, nothing is impossible here and now no matter where I go, who I talk to, what happens, nothing is impossible.
Lord, make me gentle, make me kind, make me good, make me patient, make me stubborn.