Tuesday, January 23, 2007

in over our heads

Pastor Jack Brown, on Sunday, mentioned Charley Riggs(sp?), who was the key architect of the Billy Graham meetings. People, including Billy himself, doubted Charley's ability to do this work. But he did it quite well. Right from the beginning (as I recall Jack's words). When asked towards the end of his life, the secret to his life, Charley said: (partly a paraphrase) "I always asked the Lord to put me in over my head. Then I knew any good that happens is God working."

What about us? Are we willing to take on new challenges of faith, that we know we can't meet ourselves? Things that are beyond our own resources? Or in territory unknown to us?

Really, when one thinks about it, this life in God in this world in the present, "not yet" existence in which we live, is truly beyond ourselves. This being beyond ourselves goes beyond this present life, of course, but is acutely felt in a world that is fallen because of the sin and the results of sin all around us, and at times, in our own lives.

To be in over our heads means we can't make it on our own. We need God's help. It's amazing how many times I have felt down, and nearly out, especially before some ministry opportunity. How during such times, God has so often met me, and met us together, in a way that was only from God, "a God thing", definitely not of me, or of us. At other times I may think everything is fine. I'll shoot up a prayer, or maybe a bit more prolonged, as I express concern that God will meet us. But I don't really think I'm in over my head. And at times, it seems flat.

What we need is not to be looking for some crisis mentality, that sees us in need of rescue by the Lord, all the time. What we need instead, is a sense that in all of life, we are in over our heads. That we live in that existence. But that we are comfortable, more and more, in that existence. Embracing God and his help for us as we live in the Lord by the Spirit in the community of his people. As those in mission to the world.

What thoughts might you want to add here?


L.L. Barkat said...

Good, good. I almost always feel like I'm in over my head. Nice to think this can be a fruitful condition!

Ted Gossard said...

L.L., Well, good for you! Probably a large part of why things are so wonderfully opening up for you. And also probably what God is working in you, as he opens opportunities for you to share your gifts.

Allan R. Bevere said...


Your post has hit me where I live.


Ted Gossard said...

Allan, Thanks. Me too.