Give your servants fearless confidence in preaching your Message. Acts 4:29b
As you might have noticed, I have been quiet for quite some time now. Meaning that I did not blog for a while.
For more than 28 years I have been a programmer, before about two years ago I withdrew and became a writer and teacher. Still I worked part-time as a freelance programmer. I had the impression from God that this would be a seamless transition into a full-time ministry, and had the support of my spiritual father.
I had not known how tired out I was after all these years of working and investing myself into the healing of my son. Thus those two years were a real blessing.
But no seamless transition.
As for this month, I am back programming almost full-time.
Hope deferred makes the heart sick,
but desire fulfilled is a tree of life. Pro 13:12
I fully understand this verse now. Actually, it has been a dear companion for years. My fault many times over: expecting not only for things to happen, but to happen according to my expectations.
This time, I profit dearly from my new job. Out of tiredness, grieve, and—I admit—laziness I lost my ability to focus. My mind was in constant fast mode, switching from one thing to the next. I could not even read anymore, at least not more than a few pages at the time. Pictures, changing subjects, short form articles. My IQ—a questionable measure in the first place, yet for a head driven person like me of some appeal—had dropped considerably, I found out. Some 30 points that is.
Working an eight hour plus work day, focusing on one thing for several days, doing conceptual work, has helped me switch back to my slow mind. A major gain.
But there is one more thing I wrestle with even more.
I love writing. And teaching. But lately I feel as if boxed in, cornered. As if I could not talk about what is dear to my heart.
Let me give you an example:
If my boss will read the opening paragraphs of this text, how is he going to react learning about my disappointment to be programming again? This has the potential of harming our relationship as he could go on losing trust in my commitment. Now that is an easy one to redeem, as people are complex beings of contradicting emotions, made to work through disappointments and see them as a chance, while embracing the good that God makes out of it.
But you get what I want to say: I am responsible for the people around me, and therefore I have to weigh what I say and where I say it.
The young Christian church in Jerusalem at the time of today’s verse faced the religious establishment, and in light of impending persecution prayed for courage.
Our situation today is different. It is not the birth of a new faith—but then, was it back then? Christianity certainly is a new religion when compared to Judaism of Jesus’ time. Yet not compared to the faith of the Old Testament. As a matter of fact, it was a somewhat disruptive, but consequent writing on of the plan God had made before the foundation of the earth. A plan to have companionship with beings capable to love out of free will, that built a personal relationship with God, understanding that external rules were too weak a motivation to do right. Thus God gave his own son to show us his love and open the door.
Since then, we lost so much of what God offered us in Jesus back then, lost it to politics and power and slackness. Luther realized that the church back then lived the pharisaical Judaism of the time, or let’s call it the perversion of faith we had constructed for several reasons. One of them: to do what is humanly possible to keep us from losing God’s love—which amounted in works. Just as the pharisees did, we came up with all those rules and exercises.
God started to redeem faith. His version, the only true version there is. And he still does.
A few months ago we had a word in our church that God would finish what he started 500 years ago in Switzerland. Zwingli did in Switzerland what Luther did in Germany 500 years ago. God wants to bring to an end the restorative process of faith. That could well mean that we still live our present day version of pharisaical Judaism, of distorted faith.
Therefore, speaking up and proclaiming today version of “sola fide”, only by faith, resembles what the apostles did in acts. What Zwingli did in Zürich. Redeem people to God’s ways.
Therefore I pray that God give me wisdom, but more than everything fearless confidence in preaching his message.
What about you? Have you been in this place? How did you cope with it?