Today at our fellowship meal, there was a cinnamon stick in my plate, which apparently meant I'd won a prize (It's Graffiti, we do things a little differently). I got to pick from a stack of books, and I chose a thin Bible study guide to the Sermon on the Mount.
Tonight, in an effort to boost productivity, I went to the Whole Foods conveniently located two blocks north of my current living space. There, I separated myself from distractions while searching and applying for jobs. In order to best make use of my time, I decided to open the new study guide I received today an began studying.
I've read this verse a thousand times before, and I always thought Jesus was solely referring to people who were in mourning over some personal loss. You know, his glory is magnified in our weakness kinda thing. We'll be blessed by his comfort, yada yada yada. Not that any of that isn't true, but tonight I realized there's something even deeper going on here.
A popular worship song holds the line "Break my heart for what breaks yours, everything I am for your kingdom's cause." As I read this verse tonight, I realized that the mourning Jesus is referring to is a mourning brought on by a heart that breaks for his cause.
God's not asking us to walk around saddened and depressed all the time. He's asking us to open our eyes. Look around you. What opportunities of service are you missing out on? What are you not praying for? Living in a major city brings daily opportunities for me to see needs and pray about ways I can meet them, the challenge is simply being diligent enough in my prayer life to ensure that I am seeing these things.
As anyone who knows me is well aware, my heart breaks deepest for issues involving kids, particularly teens with sever disciplinary issues and behavioral disorders. I often catch myself praying for random kids on the train, reading articles about crimes committed by teenagers and praying for the criminal himself alongside the victims involved, that sort of thing. I pray that God will continue to open my eyes to ways I can personally impact the lives of these kids, so much so that I'm furthering my education to work toward that cause.
It is so important to realize that our present circumstances are strategic. God does not randomly assign people to things. He has tasks, and he so willingly lets us be a part of making things happen even though he doesn't really need us.
So as our heart breaks for things, and we mourn for things, we must humble ourselves and realize that, though we are not needed, God allows us to be a part of his plan, and we should be seeking opportunities to take advantage of that. Is there any more incredible form of worship?
In my own life, it is the recognition of things that are breaking the Lord's heart that allow me to mourn, and then be blessed in return. I cannot express the rewards I've experienced so far in my work with these kids, and the fulfillment I get knowing that God's using me to be a part of it.
So I ask you: What do you mourn? What breaks your heart? What are you doing about it?
If you don't know, pray. God will reveal things to you that you never dreamed. Allow him to break your heart for what breaks his.
I am not perfect, and I know there are plenty of things I am overlooking, but I earnestly seek his guidance and hope that he will show me the path to be best used to bring him glory.
Please share ways that God is breaking your heart, using your gifts, etc. so I can be in prayer for you.