Thursday, February 01, 2007

My Joyful and Sorrowful Morning

Its about 11:00am as I write this. I've had one of the strangest mornings I can remember (seasoned pastors will wonder what is so strange). I'm trying to reflect on the broad range of emotions one can feel in 4 hours.

My morning started at our Thursday Morning Theology Breakfast around 7am. It was a sweet time of meditation on chapters 3 and 4 of Calvin's Institutes. I was stunned by how theology is best learned in community with other believers.

Then, as I opened my Bible to Eph. 5 in order to begin the day's work on my Sunday morning sermon, my phone rang. I was about to meditate on what it means to redeem the time in 5:16, and God wanted to show me just how evil the days really are. The call was from a sweet sister in the Lord in a neighboring town who was following the Lord by making a request of me. She wanted me to go to the local ICU and share the gospel with a dying man. Her concern for his soul was refreshing.

So, Jonathan and I went to the ICU around 9am, put on hospital gloves, and tried to love on this 36-year old man breathing with the help of a ventelator. He is dying. He responded with nods of the head and the opening and closing of his eyes. I read Psalm 34 in hopes that God would revive his soul by the power of His Word.

As we walked back to the car, the snow began to fall hard.

I got back to the office and sorrowfully continued the work on Eph. 5:15-21. Just a few minutes into my thoughts, Jeanna called and needed my help at the house. At home, I got the joy of introducing my 2-year old dauther to snow. We threw snow balls, took pictures, and jumped up and down with excitment.

Now here I am. Do I weep at the thought of death and dying or do I laugh at the memory of seeing my daughter throw snow at me?

Here are some of Jonathan Edwards’ Resolutions regarding time:
5. Resolved, never to lose one moment of time; but improve it the most profitable way I possibly can.
6. Resolved, to live with all my might, while I do live.
7. Resolved, never to do anything, which I should be afraid to do, if it were the last hour of my life.
17. Resolved, that I will live so as I shall wish I had done when I come to die.
52. I frequently hear persons in old age say how they would live, if they were to live their lives over again: Resolved, that I will live just so as I can think I shall wish I had done, supposing I live to old age.

2 comments:

Kristin said...

I know this is a day late and may no longer be a struggle, but I'm going to share my thoughts anyway! ;) I would no doubt say laugh at the thought of your daughter throwing snow at you. It's great and important to be broken for the fallen world and those without Christ, and I know you are; but you don't have to dwell on it and feel bad for wanting to be joyful. You were obedient and shared truth with the man and prayerfully, the Lord will open his eyes before his time is done. But brother, if God gives you a moment of joy with your daughter, that He gave you, TAKE IT! Savor it! Maybe He gave you that time with Jeanna and Karis to renew your spirit after seeing what you did in the hospital.

chase said...

Justin, I've been thinking on this since I read it, and asking God to give you what you need. The mix of gravity and gladness Piper speaks of keeps coming to mind. Praying you have all that you, your family, and His people need in this season.