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Walking away from the pity party

We all get hurt and we all get tired of dealing with the people who hurt us. And I’m guessing most of us have conversations with God like Tevye in “Fiddler on the Roof.” God may not answer us as obviously as a human would, but if we collapse time through journaling and reflection, we may more cle…
By Seth Barnes
By Seth Barnes
We all get hurt and we all get tired of dealing with the people who hurt us. And I’m guessing most of us have conversations with God like Tevye in “Fiddler on the Roof.” God may not answer us as obviously as a human would, but if we collapse time through journaling and reflection, we may more clearly see the reality of the conversation.
 
In my experience communing with the Almighty, he’s much more interested
in the essence of the thought than he is the exact clothes that that thought
wears – the words.
 
Here is an example of a conversation I had with the Almighty years ago just before I started AIM. I was at a low ebb and ready to give up.

“Lord, I am so tired of trying to make a difference. I’m tired of this life of ministry.  I’d really rather do something else that doesn’t cost so much.  What do you want from me?  I’m tired.”
 
“My son, don’t grow weary in doing good.”
 
“But people have hurt me.  They’ve taken this gift that I’ve wanted to give and they’ve kicked it around like an old soccer ball.  I’m tired.”
 
“You sound like one of my original missionaries who had himself a pity party after I wouldn’t follow his time frame and plan.
 
“Who is that?”
 
“Jonah.”*
 
“Yeah, well this mission work is tough.  Can I try out some other line of work like being a stockbroker or a travel agent?”
 
“Sure you can; I’m into freedom.  Isn’t that what missions work is all about?  Not making people believe, but setting them free so they can believe…just like I’ve set you free now.”

 
*              *             *              *              *              *              *              *              
Talking to yourself can result in a pity party where you’re the only one in attendance. It’s no way to go through life. If you’re tired of that stale conversation with the theme of you bemoaning circumstances you expected to be different, try talking to the Almighty. I suggest getting out your journal, writing down a question, and then writing his response. I’ll share another example of what this looks like tomorrow.
*”This change of plans greatly upset Jonah, and he became very angry. So he complained to the Lord about it: “Didn’t I say
before I left home that you would do this, Lord?”
Jonah 4:1-2

Comments (6)

  • I love that quote about freedom…well put God! 🙂 Thanks Seth for sticking through it, I would not be here (along with hundreds more) if you hadn’t. I could never tell you thank you enough!

  • Seth…are you reading my quiet time conversations/journals? Holy cats!

    Just yesterday God seemed to be saying “well done & now a little farther on” (or a lot) re: a foul root that had been hidden and needed weeding ( a backhoe maybe). Thank you for your honesty & integrity. Your posts beckon the rest of us sojourners to keep going; a little farther up & further in. Hopefully, we will offer the same authenticity and invitation to our pals nearby.

  • Hey Seth…We have had these discussions one-on-one and the conclusion is always the same. The Gospel is fundamentally a hard path where joy surprises us and peace can be our companion. There is also a fellowship of suffering and friendships with pals and gals forged in that furnace last.

    Appreciate you.

  • I’m right there! I very much appreciate your blogs, Seth. These recent thougths are exactly what I’m wrestling with hourly.

    One thing that resonates about Jonah is he didn’t think the Ninevites deserved God…where as I am seeing so often an abuse of grace within the body of believers – I too often am filled with the angst of thier “undeservedness” (mine too).

    An observation about glimpses of the beauty of the brokenness is that sometimes I believe God has us exactly where He wants us when we are about to give up.

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Seth Barnes

I'm motivated to join God in his global reclamation project. He's on the move, setting his sons and daughters free from their places of captivity. And he's partnering with those of us who have been freed to go and free others.



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