Monthly Archives: July 2011

Deficient Obedience – Divine Providence

As I drove away from Thomas’ house last night, dropping him off after leading my Tuesday night youth guy’s small group – I turned-on the radio to fill the empty air as I often do.  Playing on the radio was Sidewalk Prophets’ “You Love Me Anyway”.  I’ve heard the song many times but the chorus struck me appropriately for that night’s discussion.

I am the thorn in your crown
But You love me anyway
I am the sweat from Your brow
But You love me anyway
I am the nail in Your wrist
But You love me anyway
I am Judas’ kiss
But You love me anyway

I was thinking – man… that was a great small group.  These are the nights I live for, the reason why I do Youth Ministry.  The deep conversations, the anointed truth, the conviction of young saints.  Pastors and Ministers and others who do God’s work may be able to identify with me when the feeling over-takes you during a conversation.  The overwhelming notion that the words you are saying are both inordinately perfect – and not at all your own.  That’s how small group felt last night.  As if I was a member of the group, sitting, listening, learning… in awe of the of the truth from an thousands-year-old book that happens to perfectly fit our life today…. and the words that came from my mouth – flowing out of it – before I conceived or comprehended them myself internally.  It’s supernatural.

It was right then while driving that I realized something.  A realization that was at-once highly disconcerting and yet exceedingly beautiful.  I have been living a disobedient life the last few days.  Allowing myself to be subjected to old temptations, whims of pride and temper and not spending the time with God that I used to.  I didn’t even pray before leading this small group as I usually do – asking for guidance and purpose.  Why did God use me?  How was is that my conversation seemed so clearly sanctified – bringing myself and my students literally to tears – when I was in such a wrong way?

It could only have been the essence of Providence.  God LOVES my students more than I do.  He LOVES them so much that he’s willing to allow the use of a deficient leader to reach them.  The fact that it would be hypocrisy flowing from my lips was less important to Him than the importance of the message delivered with Truth and Love.  He also seems to have carefully orchestrated the series of events to remind me of where I am with Him and where I need to be back again.

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As I ponder more today – last night’s arrangement is outstandingly timely.  This very day Heather and I have retained an attorney to represent us in a matter about one of our Foster kids.  We’re being attacked with false accusations from a desperate opposing attorney and now we have to spend our own money to defend our very license for Foster care as well as possibly our own children!  I have all the confidence in our choice of attorney and that the truth will prevail – HOWEVER – this is going to be very costly for us at a time when money isn’t flowing freely (when is it?!).  We have no idea how we’re going to pay for this.  So Heather and I are in a position again – as always I suppose – to depend wholly on God’s providence in our own family.  As I ironically told my students last night… when we’re anxious about the future… when we don’t know what’s going to happen or what we’re supposed to do about it… how do we discern God’s will?  Stay obedient, pray for help in removing sin from our hearts, remain close to His word.

That’s it, I conclude this is another session of God showing-off to me.  How could I possibly question the extents of his Providence filled with Grace and Mercy?  Let it never be.