The dictionary defines the word crisis as “a time of intense difficulty, trouble or danger; a time when a difficult or important decision must be made”. Most everyone, at some point in their life, will face some sort of crisis. For some, it will come in the form of a financial crisis. A sudden job loss or a stock market crash results in financial ruin, maybe even to the point of bankruptcy. For others, it may hit as a health crisis. A routine physical reveals something that is unexpected and unwanted. Perhaps that undesirable revelation occurs in your child. You are forced to stand by and watch your child suffer, and with each treatment, each needle stick, each test, you cry out to God to allow you to be in that place instead of your baby. Sometimes what is defined as a crisis is not quite so dramatic. We’ve all heard of the mid-life crisis that many go through. A man or woman reaches a point in life where they have raised children or they have reached the pinnacle of their career and they wonder what might be next. They remember with rose colored glasses the past and how wonderful it was to be young. Some try to recapture that youth by things such as buying a cool sports car. That will make them feel young again—cruising the freeway with the convertible top down and some 80’s classic rock blasting from the stereo. Others take a more drastic approach and decide that their spouse, the one they once looked at with desire, is now old news (literally). They decide to find someone younger who can give them that spark they once had. For some it is a secret affair while others outright divorce and go out and play the field again. There is one particular type of crisis that I was thinking about last night. It is that crisis that plagued me throughout the night and into today. I’m not sure the name I assigned it is exactly correct, but it seems to be a good fit. I am talking about an identity crisis.
It started yesterday afternoon as I was reading the blog of a friend. The following is an excerpt from his post and it is this paragraph that got in my head and under my skin, causing what I am calling an identity crisis:
Are we all ready to meet Jesus? Are we all ready to give an accounting of what we have done with the talents He has given us? Are we all satisfied with number of disciples we have made in Jesus’ name? Are we all ready to give an accounting of our works done AFTER salvation to the Creator of the Universe, Jesus Christ? If not…what are we waiting for? (thetrumpetblows.blogspot.com)
The paragraphs before this discussed the events that took place last week around the world. Specifically, he was discussing the legalization of gay marriage by the United States Supreme Court in this part. His premise was, and always is in his writings, that Jesus told us in His Word to expect the acceptance of blatant sin. In Matthew 24, Jesus told His disciples, and now us, that “as it was in the days of Noah”. If you know anything about the Bible, you know that in the days of Noah, the sins of the people were so great and so blatant that God decided to destroy His creation and start over. He saved Noah and his family and two of each kind of animal by instructing Noah to build an ark. Everything else was destroyed in a flood that lasted forty days and forty nights. After the water had receded, God promised he would never destroy the earth by flood again. His symbol of that promise was a rainbow. I find it interesting that the LGBT movement has hijacked a symbol from God as their own symbol while they blatantly mock God by their sin. Hitler hijacked the cross in the same way as he mercilessly destroyed millions of God’s chosen people—the Jews.
That’s for another time, though.
As I read the words written by my friend, I couldn’t comfortably say that my answer to his questions, with the exception of the first one, would be yes. I am definitely ready to meet Jesus. I know that if the trumpet blew today and Jesus was to return to gather his church to be with Him, I would be included in that gathering. I spent the greater part of my life wondering about the answer to that question, so I am very thankful that I now have the assurance of my salvation. The remaining questions, though, I was not satisfied with the answer I would have to give. As I lay in bed last night, thinking about my life, I grew depressed and upset over my lack of spiritual resume. I thought about what I had done with the talents God gave me. And I came up with precious little. In fact, I couldn’t even think of one talent that would count. I thought of our pastor and how every Sunday, he delivers a message from God’s Word that challenges and inspires growth. He planted this church with a small handful of people and no staff. He now leads a staff of several and preaches to an almost full auditorium every Sunday.
I can’t do that.
I thought about our worship pastor and how every Sunday he stands on stage, surrounded by a team of talented musicians, and leads that full auditorium in amazing worship to our God.
I can’t do that.
I thought about people like Beth Moore and James MacDonald who write Bible studies and lead conferences that challenge others to grow in their faith.
I can’t do that.
The more I thought about all the people around me that I see impacting the world for Jesus, the more discouraged I became. Once again, tears stung my eyes. What will I offer God on that day when I see Him face to face? Will I hear the words, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”? I am scared I will not. I live in a country that, for now at least, allows me to believe in God and read His Word without persecution. I do not fear on Sunday mornings as I drive to church that someone will walk in and kill me because I worship God. I know there are people in heaven right now who are there because they lost their lives for believing in Jesus.
I am struggling with what God wants from me in terms of service to Him. It isn’t that I don’t know I should serve Him; it’s knowing how He wants me to serve Him. What are my talents? If I am not a good leader, a good singer, a good speaker, etc. then what is left that I can do to serve the God I love?
I am smack in the middle of a spiritual identity crisis.