Kingdom of God
Have you ever had a situation with someone either at work or in an organization where you felt you couldn’t resolve your differences? Never, right? What do you think about it now that time has passed?
Understand that in the 80’s I was a ‘babe-in-the-woods’ socially, and every way possible. I had moved from a rural town in Michigan into Lansing which, to me, might as well have been New York City. I was a young 17 year old, living with roommates, learning to take college classes, catch a city bus, use my paycheck to pay bills … and I wonder why I was stressed! Anyway I had taken this secretarial and bookkeeping job with a firm in downtown Lansing. I didn’t understand office politics let alone know how to surf them. I don’t recall the specifics of what happened but interpersonal relationships were too complex and too volatile for me to navigate and so I gathered up my things and left.
I had no perspective of unfinished business.
I could pretend that the situation was one of injustice, but it probably wasn’t. I could pretend that the situation was spiritual, i.e., this was happening because the other people weren’t ‘saved’ or ‘spiritually mature’ like me, and so this was all satan’s fault. Many times my reasonings around a situation are there to cover up my failures … perhaps sarcasm, disrespect, bad attitude, lack of humility. If I over-spiritualize the situation then there is no need to expose myself. Leaving abruptly, whether from work or a relationship or even a conversation with a friend, ensures that I won’t need to expose my shortcomings. An awesome defense mechanism, by the way.
If we believe in carrying the Kingdom of God to our workplaces then the way we handle things will be different from what seems most natural. Instead of demanding our own way we invite a conversation, share our ideas and risk rejection. We verbally acknowledge our failures and make ourselves vulnerable. We trust the Lord to work things out but we don’t hide behind spiritual fences. We let people see us as the mess that we can sometimes be. We fail in front of them. We succeed in front of them. And we let them wonder about our giant God.
It’s not often that I can see. Really see.
And yet there are moments when Father gives the ability to look into His eyes and see that place that He has been speaking to us about. Regardless of what twist in the road we currently find ourselves on, we recognize that place as the fulfillment of the promises He’s spoken over us.
For some it is a vast place where children are fed, sheltered, educated, and where fresh water flows freely.
For others it is a deeply personal place where freedom reigns within and longed-for healing washes over us and on to our sons and daughters.
For some the place we see is an extension of ourselves in the marketplace …where truth and Kingdom stuff happens as a result of our day-in and day-out pursuit of His glory while making bricks in the land of Egypt.
For still others it is a place where we are laid-down lovers of the King and His love emanates from the work of our hands, touching nations.
The birth of Isaac must have caused that kind of keen insight for Abraham and Sarah of the Old Testament. In Genesis 21 it says, “And Sarah said, ‘God has made laughter for me; everyone who hears will laugh over me.’”
The complete fulfillment of the legacy made to Abraham would come later through Jacob, and the naming of the twelve tribes of Israel. Nevertheless Abraham had in this moment a glimmer into the complete fulfillment of the promise, just like I’m talking about. Those moments are brief, and we usually respond with at least the thought, “This is what I’m created for!”
In those moments we can see into that place He’s called us to and we recognize the dreams He planted in the soil of our hearts. We can see where they germinated in darkness and began to take root. Like Sarah we feel the laughter bubble up within us and overtake our being. We can smile easily with belief and with faith in His goodness toward us. And if we look closer we don’t even see ourselves actually because we’ve come to be hidden in the secret places of Christ. We only see the fruit and the laughter. The knowing, like Isaiah expresses so deftly, “This is the LORD; we have waited for him; let us be glad …”
The journey has not been for naught, Friend. The sharp turns and deserts have been for our good.
Let us find our footing in His heart once again….till again we see.