Does God Have the Responsibility to Make His Followers Look Good?

5 Jul

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Yesterday I sang in a wedding.  I sang right before the processional; right after the mothers of the bride and groom lit their family candles and were seated.

I would like to say that I sang the song the best I ever did it.  But that would not be true.  I had actually sung it the best I ever did it the day before at rehearsal, the first of three times I did it there.  The pianist and I had worked on the song together for a month, so there obviously was no carelessness nor lack of practice in our efforts.  And the pianist summed up my thoughts when she said the song was “my song, as though written for me.”

Truth is, for several reasons, all of them emotional, I did not do the song well at the wedding.  There are five F’s above the treble clef in it–I missed one of them altogether.  A combination of nerves, joy about the marriage of my friend, sorrow about the fact she is leaving us to live in another state and I probably won’t see her until Christmas, and just plain being mad at myself that I didn’t start the song well and never seemed to quite get under it–all worked together to make my solo a less than stellar outing.

It was okay.  It was a wedding.  People regularly get emotional during weddings.  The Pastor had to stop at one point in his charge to the bride and groom.  We are human and it happens. 

The question that goes through one’s mind at a time like that is, “What does God will for His children in such an hour–when they have worked hard at something and it just doesn’t come together?  Is it His job to follow behind us and burnish our reputation for us, in spite of ourselves?  Or does He, purposely, let our imperfections show very glaringly sometimes . . . just because?”

I believe the last sentence is accurate.  I believe there are times in life when we work very hard in an area in which we have thus far encountered success and . . . we don’t do well.  

We may never know till Heaven why that is.  

If there is a person who tends to be a critic (and we all have at least one), she would say such moments are meant as our “comeuppance” for being vain or for thinking we should be a soloist in the first place.  

But we have to rise above the voices of our critics.  They are useful in that they teach us that no one will be universally liked and appreciated.  We don’t sing in church to win our critics anyway.  We sing to God’s glory and, in the case of a wedding, to bless the bride and groom and their families.  

And, in truth, if everyone listened to her critic, no one would ever sing a solo, or bake a cake, or visit anyone in the hospital.  

Critics have the goal of trying to discourage people from taking action.  

If we all lived by our critics, no one would ever get anything done in this world.

So . . . we move on.  We rise from our falls, dust ourselves off, and try again next time.  

Life is like that.

Psalm 138:8, “The LORD will perfect [that which] concerneth me: thy mercy, O LORD, [endureth] for ever: forsake not the works of thine own hands.”

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