I’M STRUGGLING WITH THE BALANCE
I’ve been seeking the Lord for weeks now about how to present everything for Vision Night this coming Sunday. My pastor in Oklahoma used to do an annual “State of the church” sermon, and there may be some of that in mine too.
I always want to strike the right balance between joyful optimism and realism. I think if someone’s overly optimistic, they’re putting on a front. The realistic side of me wants them to fail sometimes, just to show that they’re human. Cynical and not nice, I’m sure, but you do it to!
But then, if we’re too realistic, we run the real risk of being full of care, when that’s exactly what Jesus wants us not to be. He talks plenty about resting in him, casting our burdens on him, and praying to him in everything, and I just feel like a complainer if I ever mention anything real.
But real life happens. And sometimes it’s not a happy day. What do we do then?
That’s the balance I’ve been trying to find. The past year has been one of the best years I’ve ever known, but also one of the hardest. I’ve enjoyed some of the greatest experiences, but also some of the most difficult.
I’m not talking about losses in the family, financial struggles, or an overwhelming workload. I’m talking about the joy and the burden of trusting God while people’s lives are at stake.
I want to be able to help everybody. I hate when things fall through the cracks. I wish I could spend all day with everyone who’s sick, and meet with every person who’d like to talk. I wish I could spend time with marriages that need help, and teens that need mentoring, and my own kids that need a godly dad.
I wish I could preach a home-run sermon every time, or develop a soul-conscious mentality in every church member. I wish I could articulate doctrines better, and be able to reach prodigal children with the Gospel, and be able to invest in men, and be able to train leaders, and help Christians love the Bible more. I wish I could do all that.
I want us to be a church of prayer, and generosity, and hope in Christ—a church of the Word of God. I don’t know how we’ll keep all of our kids after they graduate high school, but I’d sure like to try.
I want all of that and more.
And I think God wants that, too. But all in good time. All in HIS time.
So the struggle is real, and I know I’m not the only one.
Balance is tension, but in a good way. A tight-rope walker is under constant tension. When the pressure leans left or right too much, he tips over, so he keeps his balance by adjusting the tension every moment between left, right, left, and back to the right again.
Every Christian who truly cares about others should be living in that constant tension. God has designed you to fit into this body of believers, and you have gifts from Him that help all of us stay in balance.
We need you, and you need us. When you have a heart to help people, you’ll feel the needs of ALL of the body, but are you doing what God has called you to do?
I promise to you that I am trying, and I’ve come to realize that is literally as good as I can do right now. God knows my heart, and that’s enough for me.
So, I’ll never lean negative, but I’ll try to be real on Sunday and present what I believe will be a more balanced calendar this coming year. I’ll pray it’s communicated clearly enough, and I’ll trust God with the results.