—Paul Hlad, Deacon
"I don't want to live like this...but I don't want to die."
The title above is the chorus of an alt-rock song that has recently come out and has resonated with me. Susan Sisk gets credit for the current "hot term" in our church as I can relate to not being one of the "shiny happy people." I have real problems and struggle mightily on a daily basis. Marriage is hard, being a father is hard, work is hard, being a good friend is hard, and though it was long ago now—I can remember that trying to live for Christ as a student K through grad school is hard, let alone trying to compete and get good grades.
Beyond the things that are hard, I have to fight my selfish sinful nature every day while trying to serve the Lord. God knew all this, though, which is why he sent his Son for me and you. However, I still have to deal with "the hard" of every day. Again, God in his provision (manna) sent me tools to help with "the hard." We are talking about some of those tools in church these past weeks and working on them in our community groups.
You see, God knew I needed a body beyond myself to include a Meeker, Roscoe, and Jacob in my community group to tell me it is okay when I struggle and they will pray for me. Or even their wives to lovingly reprove me when necessary. I also need my friends in the church body, Ben and Adam, to sympathize with me when I just ran my car through my garage door at my house out of stupidity. A lot of times, I just don't want to live like this—sinful, flawed, struggling. But the body is there to build me up.
Hopefully it is not shocking that a church officer struggles, as everyone needs God's redeeming all the same. He came to save the lost, not the shiny happy that have everything together. Somehow, someway, I figure it is glorifying to God for me to realize my fallenness and talk to my brother Wes at church about it, and how badly we need Christ, and together to lift each other up in conversation and prayer as we rely daily upon him.
I often don't want to live this sinful life, but I have been called to serve our church body, my family, a community group—and my Lord. We have each been called and equipped, despite the struggle with hard. Struggle with me and let's run the race together and humbly pray that side by side together we may be received into glory. I'm a mess and my garage door proves it, but I would love to have you encourage me in community group if you need one, or next week at EV starting at 9:15! (As for CG we meet in South Durham on Wednesdays and Ashleigh, John, Michael, Jordan, Lesley, and Jacob would love for you to laugh and struggle with us).