Spiritual Tragedy or Masterpiece?

A Spiritual Tragedy…or A Spiritual Masterpiece?

Sometimes the Ladder of Life can seem too high to climb…

Think for a moment of the beginning of your most passionate ambition…
Remember the drive, the energy, and the focus that we all once had…
Have we all come to a place of apathy?
A place of mediocrity and complacency?
Our passion has been worn down by bitterness, opposition, and hatred.
Read the following words by James Stewart and reflect upon them and how they apply to our own lives today. They struck a chord with me so much so that I felt compelled to share:

“Surely, there are few figures so pitiable as the disillusioned minister of the Gospel. High hopes that once cheered him on his way but…

now the indifference and the recalcitrance of the world..

the lack of striking visible results…

The discovery of appalling pettiness, spite, and touchiness and the complacency which can lodge in narrow hearts…

The feeling of personal futility…

Al these have seared his soul!

No longer does the zeal of God’s house devour him…
No longer does he mount the pulpit steps in thrilled expectancy that Jesus Christ will come amongst His folk that day traveling in the greatness of His strength: Mighty to Save!

Dully and drearily, he speaks now about what once seemed to him the most dramatic tidings in the world…
The edge, the verve, and the passion of the message of divine forgiveness…
The exultant, lyrical assurance of the presence of the risen Lord…
The amazement of supernatural grace…
The urge to cry: “Woe is me if I preach not the Gospel!”

All has suddenly gone…
The man has lost heart…
He is disillusioned and that for an ambassador of Christ is tragedy”

(James Stewart from the book Heralds of God).

The power and passion of these words sink deep within my very being this morning.
I think upon how great my love once was for God, for family, and for the fire service.
And yet even though my discipline has not waned by desire and passion seemed have become dull.
I feel the pain of this world yet it no longer hurts…
I am appalled by the lack of compassion yet I shed no tears…
I am shocked by those who call themselves followers of Christ yet they write their own Bible but my prayers for them have become indifferent…
I am touched to the very heart of my soul as I drove my daughter to school this Thanksgiving morning and saw the joy in her eyes and the disillusionment in mine…
I read the words of Jeremiah and I feel God’s power, mercy and grace as He said:

“Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you and will rescue you.” Declares the Lord. Then the Lord reached out His hand and touched my mouth and said to me, “I have put my words in your mouth” (Jeremiah 1:8-9).

Jeremiah served God for 40 years with the very word of God upon his lips yet the world did not listen. When he spoke no-one listened. Does this sound familiar to you? For myself, I have found my passion dying because I too as James Stewart said felt dread because of “lack of striking visible results.”

But are we all short sighted? Are we lacking in faith and trust in God’s mighty plan?

Most of the leaders we read about in history and in the Bible were not recognized in their lifetime…
Most them failed to see the results of their sacrifice and their struggle..
Yet there efforts were not in vain!

I pray this day that we all look hard upon our own lives and pray that God will give us the strength for the journey knowing full well that in the end we will see Him face to face and all will be made clear. All of our struggles, tears, and tribulations will be a part of a great tapestry that only upon the Mountain of Heaven will we gain the perspective to see the beauty of it all. God is painting a picture with our very lives and He is using all things for His good! Our job is to trust that even though our lives may seem to be falling apart, the great potter can simply pick us back up, and reshape our broken pieces into something more beautiful than our finite minds can ever comprehend.

God Bless,

Andy J. Starnes
Bringing Back Brotherhood Ministries

Leave a Reply