Tuesday, April 25, 2017

While the Lord Worked with Them

Vittore Carpaccio [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

By Melanie Rigney

Be sober and vigilant. Your opponent the Devil is prowling around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, steadfast in faith, knowing that your brothers and sisters throughout the world undergo the same sufferings.  (1 Peter 5:8-9)

Forever I will sing the goodness of the Lord. (Psalm 89:2)

Then the Lord Jesus, after he spoke to them, was taken up into heaven and took his seat at the right hand of God. But they went forth and preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them and confirmed the word through accompanying signs. (Mark 16:19-20)

Lord, gird my loins. Hold my hand. Have my back. Help me to resist those who would thwart me as I share Your Good News.

One of my favorite apocryphal stories is the one about the guy with two bags of groceries, trudging down the road. A man in a pickup takes pity on him, stops, and reaches across and opens the front door. “Get in,” he says. “Oh, no,” the guy with the bags says. “I’m fine.” The driver (or Driver, if you haven’t already figured this one out) asks if he’d at least ride in the cargo bed. The guy with the bags agrees, and the driver gets out, opens the tailgate, then gets back in the cab. After a few minutes, he checks the rearview mirror. The guy with the bags is standing up, swaying for dear life, holding on to the bags. The driver pulls over and gets out again. “You know you can sit down,” he says. ‘Oh no, I’m fine,” the guy says. The driver shakes his head and chuckles. “Please, at least put down the bags,” he says. “Oh no,” the guy says. “I’m fine.”

Like the guy with the bags, too often we try to take on the challenges of life alone. And when we do, we leave plenty of room for the evil one’s prowling. You’re not good enough, he tells us. This work is beneath you; you deserve better, he tells us. Why are you bothering? Nobody cares, he tells us.

But we are good enough. No work the Lord sends is beneath us. And if He cares, that’s all that matters. And as long as He is working with us, as He did with the Eleven, we cannot fail.

Listen to God. Put down the bags. Breathe. Listen. Act.

No comments: