This summer, R.Lum.R dropped a banger… but he ain’t the only one frustrated.
You Can Live With Your Frustration.
This morning, Bishop Aretha Morton’s sermon addressed frustration.
We’ve all been there or are currently there; frustrated.
frus·tra·tionfrəˈstrāSH(ə)n/nounThe feeling of being upset or annoyed, especially because of inability to change or achieve something.
Frustrated with our finances. Frustrated with our job. Our family and friends. Frustrated by the current ban on Muslims. By idiocracy. By the “alternative facts” of the current administration. Frustrated by that fools loyal followers. The list could go on….
Bishop so eloquently reminded us that sometimes, “God will knock us upside our head to remind us that he is real,” to remind us that we can’t always do what we want to do.
Frustration is just a part of our journey which is why it’s important we remember that we can and must live with our frustration.
Philippians 1:12-26 (NIV)
Paul’s Chains Advance the Gospel
12 Now I want you to know, brothers and sisters,[a] that what has happened to me has actually served to advance the gospel. 13 As a result, it has become clear throughout the whole palace guard[b] and to everyone else that I am in chains for Christ. 14 And because of my chains, most of the brothers and sisters have become confident in the Lord and dare all the more to proclaim the gospel without fear.
15 It is true that some preach Christ out of envy and rivalry, but others out of goodwill. 16 The latter do so out of love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel. 17 The former preach Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing that they can stir up trouble for me while I am in chains. 18 But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice.
Yes, and I will continue to rejoice, 19 for I know that through your prayers and God’s provision of the Spirit of Jesus Christ what has happened to me will turn out for my deliverance.[c] 20 I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. 21 For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. 22 If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know! 23 I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far; 24 but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body. 25 Convinced of this, I know that I will remain, and I will continue with all of you for your progress and joy in the faith, 26 so that through my being with you again your boasting in Christ Jesus will abound on account of me.
Ah, yes… that glorious moment when the service was not necessarily meant for you but to be delivered to another through you. I love those moments.
In Jeremy, Jesus was a mess too… I was vulnerable and wrote about my brothers trials and tribulations. I ended this post with one last point: “In this season, God is calling for the greatness in you. Just because you started a certain way, it doesn’t mean it’s the end of your story.”
It was a reminder to my brother, whom I now mail my blog posts to so that he can continue to follow my blog while incarcerated, that it’s time to write the next chapter of his story.
To this end, I started a new section on my blog, called “Songs of a Caged Family.”
My hope was to lift the voices of those impacted by incarceration. To empower others to write and share their stories.
Considering my brother is going to have some time on his hands over the next few years, he is going to be the primary contributing author but I hope to grow so we can hear from the many voices impacted by incarceration.
I started Songs of a Caged Family at the beginning of the month but haven’t had the time to put any energy towards it. Over the last month, I’ve barely stayed afloat as I drowned in work and life.
I’m blessed that Bishop, unknowingly, sent me a gentle reminder that I’ve got work to do.
Today, Bishop talked about Paul’s imprisonment; how he was able to endure, despite being bound by chains.
Of course, this can be taken figuratively or literally.
Again, we’re all currently or have been frustrated. Bound in chains by the source of our frustration.
But for the purpose of this post, I took this phrase literally.
Songs of a Caged Family
January 29, 2017
You may be bound by chains, but your soul and voice is free.
You may be bound by your circumstance, but your soul and voice is free.
Like Paul, you too can endure.
Paul endured by doing four things:
- Succeeding in forgetting his imprisonment. He recognized, for what ever reason, God had him where God wanted him to be.
- Dignifying his imprisonment. He walked with his head high and stood tall.
- Recognizing in all things God works for the good of those who love God, who have been called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28)
- Capitalizing on his imprisonment. He became more bold in his proclamation of the gospel, urging others to take courage, rather than be discouraged.
You can do this too.
My Bishop ended service, on January 29, saying, “There’s a reason why God has given you this story. To let you understand you can live with your frustration; you can be content with your situation. It might take a minute for the air to clear; but you can make it.”
Remember this: At the end of every storm, when the lightening ceases and the thunder stops, what’s left is peace. Peace is on the way, my dear brother. We all need the storm to appreciate the sunshine that is coming.
You can live with your frustration.
You can be content with your situation.
And you can help others to do the same.
Like Paul, your soul and voice is free.
Paul’s chains advanced the gospel.
Your chains can advance others too.
Sing the songs of a caged family.