WHATEVER IT TAKES… Proverbs 3: 1-8

I’m ashamed of myself.  I should have known better. Young and painfully immature, I must admit.  A generational sin I grew up with was talking about others behind their backs.  Relatives, who were doing better financially, were ready targets.  Making fun–or so we thought.  Who knows what they said about us?!  Sad to say,  I did the same thing.

I think of someone many years ago.  Her family was filled with turmoil.  She loved the Lord.  All day long she’d read Christian books.  Hours on end  listening to Christian music.  Loved church.  Loved the choir.  Loved sharing with others, including me her pastor, about her love for the Lord and how she grew close to Him by books and music.   In my private moments,  I thought she was way over-the-top, somewhat bizarre.  Sitting around reading inspirational books, listening to tapes of Christian music?  Praying for hours on end?  What’s this all about?

Years later, she would phone me periodically.   I still felt like I was humoring her for her strangeness, but never out-loud, never for her to hear.  One day she phoned me for prayer.  She was having surgery the next week, and would I, her former pastor, lift her up to the Lord.  I did.  I think now with tongue-in-cheek, to my shame and embarrassment.

Never heard back from her. One less phone call for me to field.  Somewhat a relief.  Assumed all must have gone well.  But it hadn’t.  In a newsletter from my old church it mentioned that she had died on the operating table during surgery.  She was now with the Lord.

Oh my…guilt was like a tsunami rolling all over me.  Yet, now, for her, all those trials and troubles were over.  I read in Proverbs 3 about binding around our necks and writing God’s love and faithfulness on our chests near our hearts so we don’t forget all about Him.  Like she had been doing.  Strange things to me, but all the right things by her.

Do whatever it takes to get close to the Lord.  Don’t worry about what others may think, even your pastor.  Even trusted friends and family.   I’ve done some growing up since then, and have adopted what other’s may think are strange habits of discipleship.  I don’t care.  I want to get near to Jesus.  Don’t you?  Do whatever it takes.  May seem strange to someone else.  That was me.  Not any longer.  And I share this embarrassing story only to keep myself on guard for the next time I might judge someone else as weird…maybe they are just wired to the King of Kings!  Wired and connected and in love with their Lord.  Do whatever it takes…

Prayer:  Lord, please forgive me for judging others when I need a closer walk with You myself.  For nothing will mean more now and forever than sitting at Your feet.  In Jesus’ Name.  Amen.

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