Dunedin, New Zealand, my city - my people

Thursday, July 31, 2008

What do you expect "servant of God"?

Today I have felt sad. This morning I had a lot of people tell me about their workplace stress. There are some changes going on. I came away feeling drained. Why me? Part of this afternoon I spent with an elderly man struggling with memory problems and living alone having been widowed around 5 years ago. Still feeling the loneliness. Again I came away wishing I could do more. I went at great speed because I was late, to a planning meeting of a community organisation that I am on. It was well facilitated but there is a man in the group who just rubs me the wrong way. He says things in such a way that you have to be strong to buck him. He seems to seldom listen and if you differ with him he seems to take it as a personal insult. In a way he is a bully. I avoid conflict, I have to bite my lip but it is so frustrating. As someone has said, "he is a threat to my Christianity". Why is it all so hard following Christ?
Then I am reminded that in the servant song in Isaiah 53 there are words like these....
"Surely he has borne our griefs
and carried our sorrows;"
"But he was wounded for our transgressions,
he was bruised for our iniquities;"
and in Colossians the Apostle Paul wrote...
"Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I complete what is lacking in Christ's afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church, of which I became a minister..."

It seems that carrying the sufferings of others is part and parcel of being a servant of God. These passages seem to be saying to me, "It is difficult being His servant, but what do you expect? All his true servants carry loads, you are following the crucified one!". But the passages also gives me a deep sense of satisfaction. They remind me that by carrying a small portion of the world's pain, I am doing something significant and important. I go to bed with a feeling of having had a full-on day, but having been, in part anyway, truly in the footsteps of Jesus... a deep sense of satisfaction.

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