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Life in the Real World

It is a glorious thing to be called of God to proclaim his gospel.  Yes indeed!  I am blessed to be able to serve my congregation as a teacher (in the OPC, a minister can serve as a pastor, teacher, or evangelist).  I am able to teach, preach, serve on the session and sit at presbytery (and at the GA when appointed).  I am also a PhD candidate chipping away at my dissertation at the pace of molasses rolling uphill in the wintertime.  I am also a son, husband, and a father.  I feel the weight of these responsibilities most of the time.  I am a sinner and am imperfect in all of these roles.  To echo the dying words of J. Gresham Machen, I am so grateful for the active obedience of Christ (and, of course, the passive obedience!).  You readers experience the challenge of many roles as well. In addition to these things I have a job out in the "real world."  It is nothing glamorous.  But it is a job, which is nothing to complain about in this day of tough economic times.  I have wrestled with working on top of all my other roles and I confess to not always appreciating the words of one of my wise professors, "Be thankful for a job in this economy."  I would like to say that I am mature enough to handle all the problems that come my way.  But that would be untrue.  I struggle with how to do my job well to the glory of God.  I struggle with whether I should comment about some sinful behavior exhibited by a co-worker.  I wonder whether now is the right time to share the gospel.  Do I perform my job well enough to have earned a hearing from my co-workers?  Is it appropriate to witness on the job when I am getting paid to work at another task?  I wrestle with these kinds of questions and many others.  In God's providence this is where he has placed me.  I suppose the same is true for you.  I have to believe that whatever value my ministry has will be enhanced by my experiences on the job, and in the home, as well as in the church. The Lord has certainly pushed me out of my comfort zone.  Perhaps he has done the same with you?  That is the Lord's prerogative is it not?  I will tell you this.  In all my frustration with myself, and there is plenty of that, the Lord has not abandoned me.  My struggles are puny compared to what other saints are experiencing out there in the real world.  But the Lord has provided a center to all the confusion of my life.  I do not know what I would do if the Triune God of Scripture were to let go of me.  Is it possible that God has ordained the struggle?  Is it possible that the mental, emotional, spiritual and perhaps physical anguish is part of our Lord's plan?  Scripture leads me to think it is so. My life is not unique.  You all go through similar circumstances.  I would remind you (as I remind myself) that Jesus Christ has to stand at the center of our lives.  He must be preeminent in all these things.  Speaking for myself, I am glad that he knows what he is doing.  I pray that my life and your lives will glorify the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit in the confusion and profusion of life.

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