Like so many in Canada I had a bit of a forced fast from social media on Friday, so this post is a bit later than usual. I missed the week before as my back pain kept me otherwise occupied. It has literally been a slow period for me. There has been no frenetic activity as I didn’t venture far from my backrest or heating pad.
I did start and today finished a Bible Study series on the book of Haggai. I have never led a study of this prophet before and thought it might be fun to dive into this relatively obscure book. My instincts were not wrong! I found Haggai speaking directly to me in my time.
In chapter one he writes twice “Give careful thought to your ways!” He talks of people ‘feathering their own nest’ while neglecting the habitation of God. Two times he calls hearers to carefully examine their ways. Repetition is made in scripture to emphasize a point. My mother used this method and then would add “Do not make me say that again!” She meant business! God really does desire that I look carefully at my ways. Jesus had harsh words for hypocrites. These are folks who say one thing and do another. The prophet here is calling us to integrity. Are my actions lining up with my values and if not which should change?
If I agree that the first and great commandment is to love God and then in my life ‘love of self’ rules my time, talent, and treasure, I make myself that most dreaded of creatures, a hypocrite. This repeated reminder from the prophet calls me to a reflective mode of living, where I make my valued priorities actual priorities in my life.
Haggai came to me at the right time. I had fallen into a ‘pity party.’ My discomfort had become my priority rather than God’s glory. I need not just an adjustment by my chiropractor but need an adjustment of my attitude and priorities. How can I wallow when nothing can separate me from the love of God found in Christ Jesus? I am sure God does not want me ignoring the pain receptors he himself designed, but he does want my life to glorify him. From the outside that may look different but the heart ought to remain fixed on God and God’s glory.
My only other activity was to host a barbecue at Threshold House. I was severally limited in what I could do but we were flooded with good helpers. One of our residents did all the grilling. We had a little over fifty people which seemed about all we could safely manage as it became an indoor event. Lots of wonderful conversations took place and it was wonderful to see such life in the building. One fellow shared with us that that very week he had asked Jesus into his heart after a Celebrate Recovery evening.
It was a great night that I have been ‘paying’ for since but well worth a bit of discomfort.