Home > Youth Ministry > Out of my Pain comes Hope! My prayer

Out of my Pain comes Hope! My prayer

As I reflect on words from Elizabeth O’Conner’s Cry Pain, Cry Hope and Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane, I am reminded of my own pain.  I have more pain that I am willing to admit.  Lately, I am afraid that it is seeping out from the places where I like to keep it locked up inside.  I see it impacting my family and my ministry.  God have mercy.  Christ have mercy.

Some of this pain is self-generated as I am a sinner that God is still shaping and I too often try to chisel myself.   Every time, I try to create myself I discover that I am not a very good artist.  God have mercy.  Christ have mercy.

Some of this pain I see in others and in the world.  I dream of a better place where churches are hospitals for the hurting and where Christians acknowledge our own pain and allow God to heal us.  I dream of a world where we don’t pretend to have it all together, to be better than we are, and to know the answers.

I dream about children and youth who need to know the reality of God’s love because they have everything and of children in Africa who know God’s love but have nothing.    God have mercy. Christ have mercy.

What prayers have I ignored?  Strangers prayers certainly, but if I’m honest even those under my care, or closest to me.  Is this the source of my pain?  It is certainly one. God have mercy. Christ have mercy.

Have I given up hope on another?  Yes.  God forgive me and send others to folks like Ryan who I was too weak or self-absorbed or annoyed or scared to help.  He is not the only one that I’ve chosen to ignore on the edge or even in the center of my ministry.  God have mercy.  Christ have mercy.

I am not afraid to grow old or to die, but I am afraid to live without purpose and I mourn for those that do.  God have mercy. Christ have mercy.

Called to ministry with youth, to leading the church into the world, to rekindling the flame of the Holy Spirit, to being a loving husband, to being a loving dad.  I am called to all these things and more.  Opening my heart to God simply allows God to do all these things.  God is the musician, doctor, preacher, defender … and I am the instrument of God’s grace.  God have mercy.  Christ have mercy.

But out of my pain comes hope!  Hope that is kindled by faith in a God how knows and loves me.  A God who heals and calls me.  A savior who forgives and walks with me.  A Spirit that empowers and enables me.

I dream of a world that acknowledges Jesus reign and therefore lives in the Kingdom of God, but before that can happen I must let Jesus reign wholly in my life or we will never get there.  Lord reign in me!  Amen.

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Categories: Youth Ministry
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