I just finished my weekly blog on Kingdom Bloggers. It’s a pretty good blog. I hope you’ll read it. But as the late Paul Harvey would say, let me tell you the rest of the story. In that blog, I speculated about the crowds of Palm Sunday and the crowd who yelled, crucify Him. If they were the same, perhaps they were so angry that Jesus didn’t do what they thought He would that it drove them to bitterness and hatred.
Now before I go any further, I have never been guilty of such heresy. Thankfully, I have never reached the place of consuming bitterness and hatred. But I’ve had moments. Perhaps I could spot that potential so well this morning, because I had one of those moments just last night.
I like to listen to talk on the radio. It has nothing to do with my politics. I can listen to NPR or Rush Limbaugh. I just like to listen to talk. My primary talk radio choice in Nashville is politically conservative. As I flicked on the radio last night on trip home from dinner with my baby girl, I heard a familiar voice. It was the Plain Jane Wisdom radio show hosted by Devon O’Day and Kim McLean.
I went to school with Kim at Trevecca. I remember her sitting near the back, near the door, of Hebrew class. I remember the first day I talked to her and found out she was a songwriter. Another classmate asked her if she was any good at it. I laugh with embarrassment when I think of that question. Songwriters often don’t become household names but if they did, she would be a household name. Anyone who can get Dolly Parton to sing back-up for you, has to be good.
Through Kim I met Devon. I’m not close to either of them even though they live in the same town as I do. They just travel in different circles. When I first heard they had this radio show I was both happy for them and very angry. I thought why them? Okay, they are good people, they are talented, but haven’t you blessed them with enough success? Kim’s already ordained in the Church of the Nazarene, on faculty at Trevecca, they both do a national Christian conference, not to mention the books Devon has and the songwriting Kim does. They both have Wikipedia entries!
Last night was the first time I heard their show. Their guest, interestingly also named Joyce, was talking about a ex-husband who was unfaithful, about divorce, about feeling like you had no reason to live, and just wanting to die. I thought yep, I know that feeling. I remember lying in bed nightly for a couple of years begging God to not let me wake up. I remember saying to Him, if you have a purpose for me, let me live and find it – otherwise, take me out of here, I can’t stand this pain. This prayer has been repeated other times since then.
I thought wow, that’s good. She has a good story to tell. She quoted Isaiah 54. I thought yep, God’s given me that verse too. Good stuff. Then she said it. Then she said that God miraculously opened the door for her to serve on the Pastoral staff of a church. She gave up a great job and answered the call of God. She had no formal training or education for pastoral ministry. She didn’t apply for this job. She just got a call to come and serve.
Like the short fuse on a stick of dynamite, that sentence ignited all my frustration. I was alone in the car. I ranted and raved to God. I asked Him – so what about me? Why do you open all these doors for people and not me? I know you can do miraculous things. I went on and on. I blew up. All the frustration of waiting, all the frustration of disappointment came spewing out of my mouth.
The woman on the radio went on to talk about serving on International Boards and her book that was not self-published – It was just another log on the fire burning inside of me. I gave God one more chance at the end of my rant – I said “God, I hope I have to repent of this but it better be soon. I’m old. I’m in debt for this education I got to prepare for Your service. Time is running out for both of us. But I do hope you show up and “open some door” (sarcasm in my voice) for me. If you do, I’ll repent of this conversation.”
Wow – some would worry about my eternal soul after reading that. Today, on a beautiful morning in Tennessee I realize that maybe my cross is the waiting. When it comes right down it, no matter what other frustration and anger I may feel at times, Jesus is faithful and true. I may be called to preach and teach yet never get the open doors. But most importantly, I am called to trust Him.