Yesterday was glorious.
Full church, lots of smiles, a congregation that wanted to be there, dozens of servants in action—meeting needs, solving problems, loving people, helping out. Watching them do that was food for my soul.
And on my part, I gave it all too.
Stepping down from the pulpit after my message, I was able to breathe out a ragged prayer to my heavenly Father: “That’s it, I’ve given you my all, my very best—heart, mind, soul, and strength.” And to hear his whisper in reply: “Yes, you did. Thank you,” was my reward in full.
Which would have been glorious enough. I love spending myself on God. I love leaving “it” there on the altar; as in, all of it. There’s something refreshing about giving everything to Jesus Christ, serving till your well is dry. On one hand our most righteous acts are as filthy rags; on the other, even a humble cup of water can bless the heart of God. This was one of those days.
The thing was, my day was only half over and I’d already come to the end of myself. Right after church, I was leading a “worshipalooza” lunch meeting with our worship arts teams (audio, video, worship teams). We dove headlong into vision-casting, role-clarifying, planning, and learning some new music (by putting all our musicians on the stage at one time to play the new music as one giant team. It was a glorious, holy mess and we’re going to do it again sometime).
During my sermon earlier that morning, I gave it all. Which means the moment I left the stage, I crossed a very real threshold—the end of Brad. God can use Brad, use my energy and wit and body. But when that’s all gone, there ain’t no more, then what? Then ministry becomes less collaboration and more “this is where Brad ends and God begins.” So the whole rest of the afternoon, that wasn’t so much Brad leaning on God for strength as it was Jesus using a burning bush.
That, too, is a glorious thing.
I didn’t dig deeper, I gave up. I didn’t find a new reservoir of strength, I let Jesus take over.
Not that I was perfect for the second half of the afternoon. No, I was all too human. But whatever good came from that chunk of my day, all the glory goes to him because in my estimation, I had nothing to give. I hadn’t tithed myself, giving God 10% so I could live the rest of my life with the lion’s share of my energies. Yesterday I was the widow, and I laid down my mite.
Two questions. One, when was the last time you knew you were collaborating with Jesus and poured your everything into that opportunity? And secondly, having poured out your everything, when was the last time you felt the line where you stop and God begins and knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that the risen Lord Jesus had taken over?
I’d love to hear your comments.