Tuesday, February 13, 2007

A Lesson of Frustration

It's so easy to get frustrated with people. I can't tell you how many times Andy or I will get excited about something involving church- most often when we're away for a weekend and we discover something great to put to use in our own church. In Matthew chapter 17, we see that even Jesus gets frustrated at times.

At the foot of the mountain, a large crowd was waiting for them. A man came and knelt before Jesus and said, 15 “Lord, have mercy on my son. He has seizures and suffers terribly. He often falls into the fire or into the water. 16 So I brought him to your disciples, but they couldn’t heal him.”

17 Jesus said, “You faithless and corrupt people! How long must I be with you? How long must I put up with you? Bring the boy here to me.” 18 Then Jesus rebuked the demon in the boy, and it left him. From that moment the boy was well.

19 Afterward the disciples asked Jesus privately, “Why couldn’t we cast out that demon?”

20 “You don’t have enough faith,” Jesus told them. “I tell you the truth, if you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it would move. Nothing would be impossible.

In verse17 Jesus says "How long must I put up with you!" He'd been up the mountain having a great experience with God, and when he came down, he found that his disciples couldn't help someone in need. Yet Jesus didn't let his frustration come between him and the glory of God. He still met the needs of the father and the boy, driving out the demon. Then, once his work was done, he set his frustration aside and returned to his instruction of the disciples. His disciples had lost focus, and Jesus patiently showed them what they needed to do.

I have to admit, thinking about being the one to frustrate Jesus is a bit nerving. Perhaps there are times when we pay too much attention to the task and changes at hand. Instead, we should focus on The Lord, and he will prepare us properly for the task ahead. And by focusing on God and his timing, rather than our own, the people we are serving will be prepared for the changes ahead.

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