It has been a very interesting past few months here in Los Angeles. There are moments when I have to almost pinch myself that my wife, kids and I get to be out here, work with this ministry as a family and serve with some really remarkable, humble people out here (I hope that does not sound too corny — because it is very true).
Then there are moments when I can feel almost overwhelmed with ‘how is this going to work out?’, ‘what do I have to offer this ministry, and this community here in LA?’, ‘we are simply a drop in the bucket, no smaller than a drop in the bucket of humanity in Los Angeles – are we making a difference?’, etc. etc. Maybe that sounds overly narcissistic — but just being honest about what goes on in my head.
I read this, this week and I thought I would share it with you. It helped me to realize the natural ryhthm that goes on in this crazy experience all of us have, of following Christ.
“One of the most basic laws of life is rhythm. Night follows day, winter follows summer, we wake and we sleep. In spiritual life, the traditional language for this is rhythm. There will be times of consolation and times of desolation. In times of consolation we like to pray because God seems close, the Bible seems alive, sin looks bad, and stoplights all seem green. Times of desolation are just the opposite. The Bible seems dry, prayer grows hard, and God is far away.
C.S. Lewis noted that at times God will send us a strong sense of his presence, a desire to be with him, the ability to withstand tempations with ease.
‘But He never allows this state of affiars to last long. Sooner or later He withdraws, if not in fact, at least from their conscious experience, all those supports and incentives. He leaves the creature to stand up on its own legs — to carry out from the will alone duties which have lost all relish. It is during such trough periods, much more than during the peak perids, that it is growing into the sort of creature He wants it to be.’
When we forget the law of rhythm, we assume that whatever phase is current will last forever. In times of consolation I mistakenly think that I now have spiritual life mastered. In times of desolation I assume I must have done something wrong, or perhaps God is punishing me. In truth, both seasons are inevitable, and both seasons can bring unique growth.” –from John Orberg’s book: ‘The Life You’ve Always Wanted’
It is good for me to remember that both seasons are inevitable. It is a natural rhythm of life. I dont think that is pessimistic, just realistic of how life is, and what following Christ looks like here in LA, but really anywhere.
grace & peace to you all in this Thanksgiving season.