Today marks exactly one month of living in Seward. My house is starting to feel a bit more like a home, I’ve got at least some clue of what my job will entail (how to do it all will come later), and I’m starting to settle in to small town life.
One new thing for me is how I experience Sunday mornings. It’s a weird thing to able to walk into church and just be present. No need to make sure volunteer slots are covered or collect mission trip payments or track down people I need to connect with. I wouldn’t trade my years working in a church for anything, AND what a blessing it is to be more present in that space and time on Sunday mornings.
Normally a place to worship comes with a place of employment for church workers, but that’s not the case when your ministry takes place outside of a church. So I’ve been hopping around trying to figure out where I fit. This week I actually went to worship services at two churches in town… and I was exactly where God needed me. I’m still a little amazed at how perfectly these two messages fit together centered on completely different texts/themes.
The first message was based on Luke’s telling of a time when Jesus was at his friend’s house. His friend Martha was busy preparing a meal for all the guests while her sister sat at Jesus feet listening to Him. Pastor Bruick’s message to us echoed Jesus’ caring invitation to Martha to “please sit down”. To sit at Jesus’ feet and listen to Him is, as the passage says, the one thing we all need most.
The sermon at the second church didn’t miss a beat as Pastor Mike’s first question to us was: What do you need most today?
Just in case the message didn’t get through powerfully at the first service (which it did!) God wanted to make it extra clear to me today:
All I need is Him.
There are plenty of ways I could have answered that question of what do I need. There are things I need to still find for my new home. There are needs I have related to figuring out my job. I have a need to establish community in this new town. Our needs are many, but in that moment, framed within the context of Jesus’ invitation to sit and listen, my greatest need was so clear…
Jesus, I need You.
After church someone mentioned that I really seemed at peace. At first it caught me off guard a little, because there have been some hard things, really hard things, in the last few months, years, weeks.
But the more I thought about it the more he was right: there is peace… deep peace… despite and right in the middle of these hard things. I’ve been operating in such a place of uncertainty and chaos for the last 18 months that I almost missed the spacious place God has brought me into.
The hard things haven’t disappeared but with a lot of things stripped away from me in this new season I’ve become more dependent on God than ever before. God’s voice has been clear and (most days) I’ve been taking Him up on His ongoing invitation to “Please sit down.” I’ve been running straight to Him with the hard and in that space it gets easier to sort out the lies. It gets easier to hear truth: I am loved and chosen and precious. Period. Full stop.
That trumps everything. That brings peace.
Peace isn’t one of those things that means everything is wonderful in life. Instead it’s a confidence in knowing: it will be okay.
No matter what happens today, the Creator and Sustainer of the Universe loves me. He always has and always will. That truth, my friends, brings peace. That is the one thing I need today.