The Kingdom is at hand . . . but . . .
February 2, 2007, 8:03 am
Filed under: uncategorized

O.k., so there’s no clever or profound way of saying this – sometimes life is hard. It’s hard to living the kind of life that is in harmony with the reality that Jesus came to announce and inaugurate. Somehow the kind of hope that the new reality would seem to stir up within us seems to be just out of reach. People who work hard, speak peace, pray for justice, and give their lives away to others wake up cranky, discouraged, and dismayed that while the Kingdom may be “at hand,” it’s the middle of the night and you can’t see that “hand” in front of your face.

I’m not writing this as an autobiographical confession necessarily. I certainly have my share of those feelings and experiences. But for whatever reason, over the past few months, I’ve spent time (phone time, electronic correspondence time, actual face to face time) with what seems to be a large (and growing) number of friends who are at a place of struggle. They/we are trying hard, looking for Kingdom ways forward, and spending time on our personal souls, and yet we’re experiencing dry seasons, dark nights, and rocky soil. The Kingdom at hand isn’t visible. The gospel of hope fails to stir up the life change we desire.

I write this more to just publicly admit it. I hope that among the many changes that we are seeking in the Church and in our communities is the ability to say this kind of stuff out loud. Not to get sympathy or pity from others or support from them or whatever. But just to have the freedom to say it. “Life is hard right now. I don’t know how long it will last. I just know I’m not having any fun. I’m not giving up.”

So if you’re the praying type, pray. Pray for the assurance of hope that the Kingdom has come and will come. Pray for the courage to walk through dark nights and rocky fields. Pray for financial provision, and the wisdom to steward it well. Pray for a heart of forgivenness and forgiveness.


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