First let me say that, “Champion of the (every other) week” doesn’t exactly have a ring to it. It’s just that I need to be more diligent about keeping up with this. My goal is to get it back to every week so I can drop the cheesy, “every other” stuff.
But I digress…
The Champion of the week this week is (drum role please)….dadalutdadalutdadalut…
Let me tell you what this guy did 2 weeks ago.
First of all, I was up against the most difficult sermon I had ever preached. So it goes without saying that I was FRAZZLED. I actually fought a subconscious battle against myself as to whether or not I would even show up to preach! I scrambled to think of alternatives…We could make it a weekend of praise and worship. And if the church is truly the Bride of Christ. Why couldn’t I simply be the runaway bride for one stinkin weekend?!
Well, we all know the answer to that one. You don’t get to ‘opt out’ of things the Lord asks you to do simply because they are difficult. I know, I try all the time!
But it is nice every once and a while when a brother or sister sees another struggling and offers to help.
That’s what Ron did.
When I arrived that Sunday morning with only 2 minutes to spare before the service started — I had already been looking for any excuse to ‘change the message.’ Unfortunately, God would have none of it. He has the final authority on that and no change orders had arrived.
I was out of time.
I felt physically ill. I hadn’t eaten since Saturday for fear it would come back up anyway.
I felt emotionally ill. Sharing painful, embarrassing, humiliating, crushing experiences in your life is hard enough as it is. Knowing there would be those ready to ‘pounce’ on the opportunity to criticize, undermine and even hurt the Lord’s work in their zeal to get at me made it that much worse. Coming to grips with the fact that among these, ‘destroy pastor Rob’ zealots were even some who should be closest and most supportive allies made sharing my journey more like running a medieval gauntlet. But God said, ‘share it anyway — I will bring bring good from it.”
I felt spiritually ill. That’s the state I was in when I arrived that Sunday morning. And Ron Evans picked up on it immediately. Over the next 30 minutes here is what he did without ever being asked.
1. Got me something to eat.
2. Unloaded my bags and props.
3. Parked my car
4. Brought me coffee
5. Brought me my microphone
6. He kept people away and allowed me to work through it with God.
6. Then after the day was over, he went and got my car for me.
How could he have possibly known how close to the edge I was?
One way only…He was listening to God. When you listen to God your hearing becomes 1,000 times better. Your spiritual perception increases 1,000,000 times.
Good thing too, because as I said, I even felt spiritually ill. That’s a dangerous place to be. But Ron’s servant-like attitude allowed me to be still and hear the Lord clearly. God then calmed my heart and said these words to me,
“Rob, people accused me wrongfully all the time (and they were always wrong).
Those same people eventually had me killed for loving them and showing them the truth — perfectly, sinlessly, lovingly and graciously showing them the truth.
Why then are you surprised that there are those who resist you, fight you,
falsely accuse you and try to undermine what you do in my name?
If they persecuted me without cause for doing My Father’s will without sin, why
would they not do the same to you as you serve me imperfectly?”
There was great peace and relief in that. It’s so true. The fact is, there is plenty to grab hold of in my life if you’re looking for flaws. If you’re wondering if pastor Rob is perfect you need your head examined. I have messed up, sinned, undermined others, treated others poorly, been a poor example of Christ’s love and character and so much more (so have you, by the way), YET…He still chooses to partner with me in this wonderful work for God’s glory!
Gang, let me just be blunt. That’s nothing short of AMAZING!
I love being your pastor, friends.
I don’t deserve it.
I didn’t earn it.
It’s just that God is merciful and good and Holy and Loving and…
That week He used Ron Evans to remind me of these things.
Thanks, Ron! You are the well deserved Champion of the Week!