As I was driving to church yesterday morning, I knew I was supposed to be there. And as I was listening to the pastor speak, I knew that the sermon was just for me.
I had felt unsettled as I was driving to church. Weepy and discouraged.
I had recently read a book that reminded me to, “stay with what stirs you. Notice the things that move you towards God and the things that move you away from Him. The things that annoy, irritate and disappoint you have just as much power to reveal the truth about yourself as anything else. Learn to linger with what provokes you.” Sensible Shoes by Sharon Garlough Brown
I believe this. I believe that God uses all things in my life to reproduce His life within me.
So, as sad as I felt, I made the choice to stay in my messy feelings.
Our pastor was speaking from Mark 6. 1-6.
Jesus has come home, after having healed many people. The people in his hometown weren’t used to hearing Him teach and many were amazed at His wisdom. However, they quickly moved from being amazed to offended. (vs.3)
They put a stumbling block in their own way.
Our pastor defined “offence” as the place we go when we want to distant ourselves from others – from love. When we take offence, we drift away from that place of amazement and surrender.
In this story, Jesus didn’t fight for His honour. He didn’t try to be understood. Nor did he try to impress or persuade anyone. Jesus didn’t get rocked by those people’s disapproval of Him. He knew how His Father felt about Him and He had all the approval He needed. His identity was secure.
And it hit me hard – how easily I can become offended and move away from others and from God.
I needed to be reminded that God loves me, no matter how I feel. I have the choice whether I am going to lean into His Spirit and choose His love or be taken down and offended by the disapproval and/or misunderstanding of others.
Thank you, Jesus that You offer another way – Yourself. I choose to realign myself with You.
Jesus is shaping our interior life.