Posted by: tucsonjefe | November 8, 2006

Clay Feet

On Election Day I suppose I should be writing about politics or duty or something, but all I can think of are phrases like “clay feet” and “but for the grace of God.”  This last weekend the TV told us about another Christian leader whose secret life has brought destruction.  There is great glee in some quarters to find another example of what they perceive to be hypocrisy in the ranks of the church.  Things like this always cause a brief uproar.  A church torn apart, a ministry crippled, a family in shock, followers shaken, it’s all painful and not a little embarrassing.  What will happen is that instead of being hypocritical, the church will provide a way for reasonable restoration for this man.  He will be less famous but more stable in a year or two.  During the same weekend we ran into an old friend, a Pastor and Evangelist.  He seemed a bit uncomfortable when he saw us, and mumbled when he told me he is no longer preaching.  Oh yes, all is well, got a job, family is fine, kids are grown, blah, blah, blah.  But the unspoken reality is, “I gave up.”  The lie of the devil is, “I failed,” The averted gaze screams, “I am ashamed.” Two preachers – two different kinds of tragedy.  The first is a case of the character of a man not being ready to bear the weight of his responsibilities.  He apparently struggled with these things for years with varying degrees and periods of victory. He has now been busted on a grand scale.  I pray he will receive forgiveness, counsel, accountability, healing, and restoration.  He is gifted but flawed.  So are you.  So am I. So were David, and Peter, and Abraham, and Solomon, and …  The second case is far too common and in some ways more damaging.  A man with a calling, who for whatever reason has reached the place of saying, “Its not worth it, I can’t go on.”  In that moment all the potential of a God-given gift, all the hope of a God-ordained vision, all the joy that springs from knowing the anointing fall silently to the floor and are swept out with the dust.  No headlines, no restoration committees appointed, just a quiet sigh and a shake of the head.  For the moral failure, there may actually be a future.  For the tired, discouraged, and overwhelmed pastor who mutters, “enough!” there is only the solitary sadness of the “what if’s” and the “if only’s.” Though my flaws and my failures are many, Lord, help me to keep getting up and stumbling forward as long as I have breath. 

Scripture Reading:     Rom 11:29  For God’s gifts and His call are irrevocable. [He never withdraws them when once they are given, and He does not change His mind about those to whom He gives His grace or to whom He sends His call.]  

Somebody Said:      “A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing.” — George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950) 

Lord, help us support and encourage one another as we keep on keepin’ on.  Maybe the bravest thing that could be engraved on our headstone would be, “He didn’t quit.” vls

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