I Choose…

This morning I woke up with a promise that “His mercies are new EVERY morning.”
The last few months have been a little rough. I feel the words to the new hit song, ‘This is Me” by The Greatest Showman, echo through my heart. “When the sharpest words wanna cut me down,….”  Accusations, lies, half-truths slung across the table and conversations challenging and very discouraging… I quickly bring myself to the second part of that song, ” I’m gonna send a flood, gonna drown them out, I am brave, I am bruised, I am who I’m meant to be, this is me…”
Have you ever had one of those days, weeks, or months? I imagine, if your involved in any type of ministry, that you’ve experienced it more than your fair share.
Ministry, dealing with people, just life in general, is really hard sometimes.
These months included some of those hard days for me. So today I have a choice. I can choose to sit in discouragement, rejection and feelings of failure, or I can choose to believe the Truth over the screaming emotions raging in my heart.
I want to yell, “It’s not fair! Why am I judged to a standard of perfection when the world around me is judged by a standard of intentions? Why do people assume I didn’t care or prejudge me as narrow-minded, opposed to asking me, if what their assuming —is, in fact, even true?
So often in ministry, or just life, you serve being misunderstood and always judged by hindsight actions.
Can I share a secret with you? Most people in ministry, actually go into ministry because they feel a deep sense of call. A compelling sense to obey their Savior, knowing discomfort lies ahead. The Word reminds them that the sufferings their Savior endured are promised to those that follow Him. Many nights they pray, weep, wrestle with what is right and best for everyone and not just themselves. They sacrifice precious time with their family, friends, and closest mentors to meet, counsel, and serve the needs of everyone around them. Seldom do people ask them, “how can I serve you?” More often then not, they enter into crisis after crisis managing emotions, half-truths, and pending disaster— if God doesn’t move, once again.
You see, I love serving Jesus. But let me give a small confession- sometimes I struggle with serving people. My own heart continually exposes my need for the Truth and the hope of the gospel more than anyone.
I’m reminded this morning that “Anyone who comes after me (Jesus) must deny themselves, take up their cross DAILY, and follow Him (Luke 9:23)
That my “strength is perfected in weakness” (2 Cor. 12:9)
“There is no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus!” (Romans 8:1)
“Anyone who wants to be First must be last and servant of all” (Mark 9:35)
I remind myself that Jesus was misunderstood, abused, rejected, abandoned, and made to seem like a villain in the very story He was writing to save all mankind! No one understood his heart, His desire to serve His Father, His compelling love to give all so others could experience the joy of real salvation.
Yet He made a choice. He chose to hope. He chose to love. He chose to rise above the chaos and misunderstandings and serve without respect. He chose to endure and believe that His Father could make all things new and all things right. He made a choice.
So today, I choose. I choose to love my enemies. I choose to serve those that speak against me. I choose to hope that the gospel will make all things right. I choose to walk in integrity even when misunderstood. I choose to keep moving forward when all hell is trying to pull me back. I choose to reject the lies of unworthiness and insecurity that scream in my ears. I choose to believe truth. I choose to not give up, when everything in me wants to run away and hide. I choose endurance. I choose obedience. I choose to be who I was created to be. I choose to be an image bearer in a fallen world that continually tries to tell me I am not made in the image of my Creator. I choose to bring Him glory in my affliction and not sit in my sorrow. I choose.
How about you? Will you choose today? Will you choose to love and not hate? Choose to forgive and not resent? Choose to bring life and not destroy? Will you choose to follow Christ despite what this ugly world throws at you? He chose, so you and I, in our moments of greatest discouragement are empowered to choose!
I imagine, Jesus found it hard to serve people too, but what I’m continually reminded is that- I’m one of those He served. Despite my sin, disobedience, and shame. He served, loved, patiently pursued and persuaded my heart of stone to soften to a heart of flesh. He was relentless in His giving and unapologetic in His Saving. He took my mess and made a majestic story of redemption. I imagine, My worst day was nothing in comparison to His, and He still chose, so I ( and you) could choose, too!
“When the sharpest words wanna cut me down
I’m gonna send a flood, gonna drown them out
I am brave, I am bruised
I am who I’m meant to be, this is me”I CHOOSE!

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