"True, long-term justice," writes David Halberstam in his narrative of the beginning of the civil rights movement The Children, "could only come locally,"
So it was, Lord, that Your heart was never far from the outcasts. You begin Your ministry on the "wrong" side of the Jordan, among the heirs of those who told Moses they were willing to settle where the pastors were greenest, even though they would fight for the rest of the Promised Land. These descendents, Lord, You knew, were the first conquered and the first assimilated into Gentile cultures as they came and went.
Therefore, Lord, given Your compassion for these people, given the prophetic origins of Your ministry among them, to go there again was not a comedown for You. Though You retreated there, in a sense, from the quickening conflict with the Jewish authorities most obvious in the environs of Jerusalem, You knew that the commission and intimacy of doing Your Father's work went with You.
Do we, likewise, declare with Your Word that the lines have fallen for us in pleasant places where You have placed us today? Or, Lord, are we constantly making comparisons to where we would rather be, where we think we might have been, or where others are ministering less deservedly? Renew our minds, Lord, our eyes, and our hearts to focus more on seeking Your PRESENT purposes than such draining speculations.
Where there is familiarity, made it by Your renewing grace not breed contempt. The drive to always be climbing, changing, is a cultural one, and it is never satisfied. Let us at once soothe and stoke our ambition by realizing in our settled spirits that we, by grace, are connecting with Heavenly rewards, whether laboring in prominence or obscurity in the eyes of men. Give us, Lord, a STAYING spirit, as You STAYED where the Spirit led You, more content than the Exodus to tarry until bidden to move again.
We will see the impact, Lord, of Your sweet and sanguine surrender, Lord, should You allow us to study John 10:41 tomorrow. Yet, Lord, knowing the contours of Your heart and Your sovereign grace, we can anticipate what You will do with such renewed recognition of Your Father's control over where we are today. Renewed in Him, we will see people's struggles because we will not be fixated on our injured egos.
Renewed in Him, we will trust enough to give because we know He will give still more, irrespective of our vague sense of our life trajectory. Where You have us, Lord, give us to sense the patterns of the Trinity's lifelong work in and through us, and to declare my faith that we are open for business. Make it so, Lord. Make it so.