Beginning, Middle and Ending — Broken & Hopeful

(Photo: Unsplash)

I was watching the show The Chosen recently, and in this episode, Jesus sends the disciples out in pairs to go spread the good news that He had come to save them ( Mark 6). They were charged to heal, to free from demons and to share what He had taught them with others they encountered. And they were not to take anything to feed themselves or prepare themselves for the journey really, as they were to rely on the hospitality of those to whom they were going.

I think sometimes we forget the craziness of this for these men. They had been following Jesus for a bit, yes, but they were now being sent out to do things they had only watched Him do. And they couldn’t rely on their knowledge or their preparation. It had to have been so scary. Can you imagine the first time one of them stopped to pray for someone and had no idea what the outcome would be? Can you feel the awful rejection that many of them faced as they were thrown out of places and threatened?

I can. Because I have been called to the same crazy idea. And I bet many of you have too. You move into what God has called you to do with no knowledge and no idea what the outcome is going to be. You don’t even know how to be prepared for it! Anytime you speak of Jesus to others, there is always the possibility of rejection and ridicule. Especially by some religious leaders, who don’t want to look to God but instead want to maintain their rules and power.

Fear, rejection, overwhelm, stress—it’s all there with this life with Jesus. But also, there is empowering, courage, comfort and peace. It’s the strangest thing that in the middle of the storm is often where we finally realize peace.

But how one earth do we pick up one foot after the other and move forward into the strange calling He has placed on our lives as we follow Him? I realize it’s not up to us to have it all figured out and know how to move forward. In fact, He begins the work in us, He matures us in it and He brings us to the completion at the end. He does it all!

I pray with great faith for you, because I’m fully convinced that the One who began this gracious work in you will faithfully continue the process of maturing you until the unveiling of our Lord Jesus Christ! Philippians 1:6

So, what’s my job then if He is doing all of this? I think it’s first to accept His Life in me, to trust that He will deal with the beginning, middle and end. That may feel like we are supposed to have enough faith for this, but I think it often looks more like a surrendering. I don’t know what to do, God, or how to move forward. I don’t know how to do the thing you are calling me to do, so I’m trusting that you are going to do it! If you don’t, I’m sunk. So, there’s really no other option.

The second thing is to take a step. To do the next thing, small as it may be. When we pick up our foot to move (sometimes literally, sometimes figuratively) we then feel His strength, His wisdom, His peace. I think we often want to have the whole plan as we think that’s what brings peace. But peace is tied to a person, and we already have Him.

The third piece is looking back and praising God for what He has done. I am amazed to see the work He has done in this ministry that He started (I sure didn’t know how to do that!), to keep it going even through years that looked very scary, to heal people and move them into freedom, to see the maturity He has brought in my life as I walk. All of that is His! I get to relax and watch Him work, and I get the privilege of seeing it all first-hand as He does it through me.

So, how are we going to do this year? How are we going to do the hard thing in front of us? We are going to watch God begin, bring to maturity and complete all of it. He grows things, and He grows things in us and through us. We get to relax and enjoy the fruit of His labor.

Editor's Picks

Editor's Picks