“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.” ~ Colossians 3:12-14
After taking a few days off from the ministry work of the Christmas season to simply enjoy the time with my family and this very special time of year, I find myself facing the post-holiday blahs like so many other people do. I am sure that some of these feelings are due to the fact that it’s cold outside and I have the remnants of a wonderful holiday strewn about my house – including the debris of wrapping paper yet to go to the trashman and a fridge full of leftovers! Some of the feelings I am experiencing can also be attributed to the normal “holiday blues” that we all feel after any holiday experience. Yet for some reason, this year feels different.
These past few months have been a definite growing season for me. My faith has been strengthened, tested, challenged and affirmed. I am moving into a deeper understanding of the role God has called me to live out through my service as a pastor. I am also learning to be more accepting of the role God has called me to fill and recognizing my limitations are exactly what He is using to minister in the place I am serving. I think I am also coming to terms with my deep grief over my brother’s murder and my son’s death. This is the part of my spiritual growth that I am most uncomfortable with.
As we let go of those old feelings of grief, despair, hurt, anger, unforgiveness and all the other negative emotions we carry around from our past, we limit our ability to fully live the life of God has in store for each of us. As I have spent more time in study of God’s Word, there has been a growing fullness in my soul and the grief has subsided. Now to be sure, I continue to mourn the absence in this life of Mark and Matthew and my soul aches in an indescribable manner. But, my grief is finding solace and comfort as I move into becoming more of who God wants me to be.
The problem isn’t with the notion of being one of God’s holy, chosen people, BUT in living like one of God’s holy, chosen people! This isn’t an easy issue to resolve -Mark’s death is still with me after more than 13 years – but I believe that I can see the flicker of a life lived fully as one His dearly loved children.