God has such a sense of humor! It is truly remarkable to me.
I volunteered at the Fight for Air Gala for the American Lung Association last night and didn’t get home until after midnight. I was in a cute cocktail dress and very high red heels so my feet were pretty shot after standing from 5pm to 1am with a stress fracture in my right foot (definitely not a doctor approved activity). I had several whiskey-and-something-else drinks and ended up with 2 bottles of wine (one white and one red) to take home. I also bid and won a very cute black purse with a bow on it so it was a great time! 🙂 I was just exhausted this morning.
I decided I would set my alarm to get up to go to church to had no intention of actually going. At 7am I turned it off and rolled over only to be woken up by the maintance man for my building deciding to vacumm the hallway outside my front door at 10am. Church starts at 11. I couldn’t roll back over so I got up, dressed, and made it to church for the late service.
I’ve been visiting Village Presbyterian Church in Kansas City for about a month now and have mixed emotions about it. The music is fantastic (which has been my hang-up with other Churches in the past) but the sermons are hit-or-miss. The sanctuary looks like a funeral parlor since it is all white/beige tile and no stained glass. It’s the first church I’ve ever been in with no stained glass.
The sermon last week was from the pastor of pastoral care and talked about being green since it was arbor day. She was very good and I found myself listening dispite the people talking behind me.
I’ve been inching forward in the sanctuary to try to escape the people who talk during service; I think I finally got close enough. I sat 4 rows from the front. It also helped that it’s pouring outside so the crowd was pretty slim this morning. Too bad for them because this was one the best church services I’ve been to in quite awhile.
The reading was from Philippians 1: 3-14 which is the opening to Paul’s letter to the Philippiens from prison. He chose to focus on Christ and how he was still working on spreading God’s work in prison. The Church in Philippians had written to him asking if he was ok? If he had food? Telling him that he was not alone and that they still thought of him. He understood that they were really asking what are they to do if this is how an apostle is treated, how are they to be treated? and what are they to do when the suffering comes to them?
Paul’s response is that people know he belongs to Christ and so he is just fine. He says that the guards know he belongs to Christ. He knows Jesus Christ so he is at peace. He is fine. It is amazing to me that he can so completely focus on serving the Lord while he life is basically in shambles. It makes me think about how my life is really not bad, in fact, it’s incredible blessed and I struggle to stay half that focused.
Paul also writes that the circumstances of my life does not determine my faith, rather, my faith determines the circumstances of my life. Because we believe in and serve a crucified Lord, there will be times of plenty and times of want, there will be suffering and joy, there will be sickness and health. I’ve never heard it put that way before but it makes complete sense. Jesus suffered for us but that doesn’t mean it excuses us to not have to suffer ever. Yes, somethings in life are harder than others, and yes, sometimes it would be easier to give up, but Jesus Christ will never give up on us.
God has such a sense of humor! On the day I didn’t want to get out of bed, he knew better and got me there. After the week I had where everything seemed difficult and I had begun to question, he made his message much louder and obvious so I could hear. At a time in my life when I needed to know I wasn’t alone, I wasn’t going through hard times for no reason, and that there still is hope, he put Paul’s message to remind me to seek to glorify him first and the rest of it will become easier. Not easy, but easier.
Thanks be to God.