[This was posted originally on my other blog, I Trust When Dark My Road. -LL]
Once again, it is the day. Â The anniversary of when I was ready to end my life inÂ the pit of despair and depression. Â Last year I wroteÂ about it HERE. Â You can follow the links there if you’re interested.
Somehow this day has kind of become a day of self-evaulation for me. Â I suppose that makes sense, it being Good Friday and all. Â It is sort of a “take stock” day for me, as I reflect on God’s richest mercies in giving His Son and in giving me life.
Things are pretty dramatically different today than they were a year ago. Â We now live in California. Â I am the senior pastor at a small to mid sized confessional congregation near Sacramento. Â There are lots of great people here, who love me and my family. Â It is a great blessing, to be sure.
But it is also really strange. Â I still feel like they don’t know my story, our history, and our life. Â I don’t like talking about myself (ok, not that much), but I do occasionally want to stand up in bible class and say something like,
“Are you people crazy! Â I am wounded and broken. Â I’m a mess, barely hanging on by a thread. Â Why would you want us here? Â Surely you could find someone cheaper that isn’t always on the edge?”
Then I remember people like Paul, or Elijah, or Augustine, or Luther, or Herberger, Gergardt, and the many thousands of shepherds God has provided His sheep with over the millennia. Â If there is one thing that this history should teach, it is that the Ministry is about God’s service to us in His Son, not about the man. Â They are a strange and messed up lot. Â In that regard I guess I fit right in.
All things are new, yet all things are the same. Â Wounded and broken, but healed by the blood of Christ, we go on despite what our heart and mind might say to us (Psalm 73:26).
We rest in Jesus, who is the author and finisher of our faith. Â So, friends, do not despair. Â Christ cares for you with an everlasting love. Â From Bach’s St. John’s Passion:
Ruht wohl, ihr heiligen Gebeine, Rest in peace, you sacred limbs, Die ich nun weiter nicht beweine, I shall weep for you no more, Ruht wohl und bringt auch mich zur Ruh! rest in peace, and bring me also to rest. Das Grab, so euch bestimmet ist The grave that is allotted to you Und ferner keine Not umschlieÃŸt, and contains no further suffering, Macht mir den Himmel auf und schlieÃŸt die HÃ¶lle zu. opens heaven for me and shuts off hell.