Just got off the phone with a broken hearted pastor friend of mine going through a brutal beating right now. (I got his permission to blog on this). He's a great man of God. I find myself extremely Blessed to never have been through what he's going through, but broken hearted for what he is going through. After all, he's a friend. Real friends feel for one another, good and bad. Don't get me wrong. I've had my disappointments, my hurts, my pains. I've felt as abandoned as the next pastor who poured himself into people, only to be hated for his decision/opinion/council.
But nothing like my friend is going through. He feels brutally betrayed. I've known him long enough to know his character and have 0 reason to NOT believe him. He's led a godly lifestyle and from a insane point of humility. He puts Christ first and his calling at a very high level. He's a servant/pastor to the core. He just feels betrayed. He feels forgotten, he feels abandoned.
If people are FUNNY, then people mixed with ministry is HYSTERICAL. The servant/pastor type can struggle with this as my friend is right now. It's amazing how you can literally be a hero one day, and totally despised and forgotten the next. I listened to my friends story and felt for him. I've talked to a lot of pastors who have gone through this. If my friends church really stopped to think of how much he loves, has sacrificed, and would do (and has done) anything for them, they would probably be embarrassed by their actions. They've forgotten his heart for them (haven't we all done this to someone at some point?). They don't like one thing, and they've let that one (non-essential thing) to define their relationship now. It's the sin of immaturity, and it can tear churches, but more importantly people apart.
I scrambled my brain for scripture as he was unloading his story on me. I couldn't think of anything! I couldn't think of one story, one Psalm, even Solomon abandoned me. So I listened, I encouraged, we prayed, and the only thing I could think of to tell him was the thing that should comfort us all when we feel we've invested and then feel abandoned.
3 powerful words.
My son Josiah James Smuda celebrated his 2nd birthday yesterday. He truly is my all time favorite male to ever grace the face of this earth. When I describe him, I literally can feel tears welling up in my eyes (as well as my 2 girls who are truly the apple of my eye....needless to say, I LOVE being a daddy). The story behind Josiah is this in a nutshell.
Jimmy feels called to leave preasent church (in Fla)
Jimmy takes a personal day to pray and goes to beach
Jimmy begins reading on king Josiah
Jimmy reads a old translation and commentary that reads how King Josiah "pissed" on the ashes of the false prophets who defiled the temple.
Jimmy LOVES King Josiah
God speaks to Jimmy (for only the 2nd time in his life he truly feels he hears the voice of God)
God says, your next child will be a son, his name will be Josiah, and he will restore worship in my house someday.
Jimmy still has no clue where he's moving to, but all in all Josiah is born almost 2 years later, and God wins...
There was something in my spirit yesterday that said I had to get my good friends (and pastors) to come annoint him with oil yesterday. I felt a quick jump to do it, and I still don't know why, but I know it HAD to be done. RIght there.
Do we know when God say's RIGHT NOW anymore?
Do we need reasons, and measures always or are we able to rely on the fact that God said it, and I don't get it, but it needs to be done? (FAITH?) See if my friends wouldn't have come over to annoint him, I would have found OTHER friends because I knew that I knew that God called me at that moment to do such a thing (yet I'm so thankful they did). On his birthday, THAT'S what God wanted.
(Warning: Sharp right turn here)
Ezekiel. Read Chapters 1-3 and you see this beautiful convo between Ezekiel and the Lord that is like a manual for knowing when God is in the "RIGHT NOW" mode. God said do THIS right now! Then immediately followed the bible says "The spirit lifted me up" (a follow up). A word of God withouth the Spirit's follow up can easily be
(side note: Just be thou careful using "thus sayeth the Lord)
God says eat this scroll, shave your head, lay on your left side for over a year (talk about jumping through spiritual hoops). Yet because of your obediece THIS will happen ( the fulfillment of his prophecies when Jerusalem was finally sacked by the Babylonians, and this leads to hundreds of tiny little connections throughtout scripture that are way to long in this obnoxiously long post). You never know WHAT will come LATER from obedience from Gods RIGHT NOW.
Ezekiel understood this. When God was in that RIGHT NOW MODE.
Can we say the same for:
We plan for the future, cross t's, do I's, but may have lost the ability to know the RIGHT NOW, for what is to be LATER.
I have NO CLUE why God wanted him annointed with oil on 2-11-11. I just know that he did, and if I have to wait to find out, I'll tuck this day away in my heart.