We have turned to Jerusalem. Our time in the wilderness is coming to a close, as we march onward to the cross and beyond. As we set our sights back to the real world, it is easy to become so fixed on what lies in store in Jerusalem that we forget about the ministry that is needed right here. There are still people who are suffering, even though we are in the desert. We are not the only ones who need to experience transformation. The message of Christ must still be shared.
Sometimes it so easy to focus on our needs, that we forget that there are people all around us who face struggles and need a good word. While it is great to turn our attention back to ourselves, we must remember that we all are in ministry to the world (no I am not just thinking about pastors). As such, we have a duty to proclaim the Word so that everyone may encounter the radical presence of Christ. This includes times along our wilderness journey.
For me, this duty is life affirming. I can easily retreat into my own thoughts and shut myself out from the world. The truth is, I need to share as much as they need to hear what I say. By reaching out, I find purpose and for a brief moment, suspend the anxiety that I feel by constantly looking inward. And in a way that only God can create, I am made free as much as the hearer is liberated.
There is a prayer that I learned a long time ago that I still recite, especially in the toughest of times. I say, “God, please speak for me, through me, or in spite of me.” This releases my lofty ideas that Divine love cannot be expressed unless I have control. That is simply not true. God can use anyone of us, no matter the situation.
Today in the wilderness, I am grateful that God takes me, yes even me, and through me speaks truths into the hearts and souls of His people. Let us remember that we are all children of our Creator with gifts that must be shared to further the kingdom. You never know who you might encounter along the path with words that help to raise someone out of the pit and place them back on the road towards home. Praise be to God, who gives us the victory through His Son.