Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Lessons from an Obscure Book

Last night I read the book of Ezra. I honestly don't think I had ever read this small book of the Bible before, but I asked God to show me a passage of encouragement and I felt led to read Ezra. I must warn you, there are lots of lists of people & items and the names and numbers all seemed a bit overwhelming. However, God definitely uncovered a lesson for me in the midsts of everything.

In Ezra, one reads about the rebuilding of the Temple that King Cyrus of Persia ordered in 538 B.C. As you read, its obvious the Israelites faced hard times accomplishing this task that God had ordained to take place. They were lied to by their enemies, they had people convince King Artaxerxes at a later date that the Israelites were going to create rebellion and revolts, they had their work postponed several times. Finally, a couple decades later, the rebuilding of the Temple is finally completed and the people can once again worship there.

So how does the rebuilding of the Temple relate to me?

Sometimes I feel like the task that has been given to Andy and I, to reach teens for Christ, is overwhelming. Sometimes I feel intimidated by the fact that "ministry is tough." Many times, I feel like our creativity and plans are thwarted, either on purpose or simply by accident. I also struggle with feeling like God has forgotten about the passions He has placed in me. So I was encouraged when I saw that it took several decades for the Jews to finally accomplish the decree of King Cyrus.

I'm sure that many times the Jews felt like God has forgotten about the Temple, or at least lost interest. I know I would have felt that way. But how exciting that they did in fact finish this huge undertaking! God always allows His plans to be completed. As I go about my business, trying to minister and disciple teen girls and struggling with my unfulfilled passions, I was reminded that God has not forgotten! He will allow His plans to be accomplished, and no task is to big. His timing is perfect!

Be encouraged...