Who’s Future?

Ever sat at your kitchen table, head in your hands, wondering what in blazes you are going to do next?

I heard a sermon recently by Rob Bell on 1 Corinthians 1:1-9 especially looking at our destined identity in verses 4-8.  He asked this arresting question, “Are you going to be pushed into the present by (the mistakes and failures and destructive patterns of) your past, or pulled into the future by the promises of (our just and merciful, sanctifying through cross and resurrection) God?  Which will it be when your head is next in your hands over the table?

Coretta Scott King in her foreword to Standing in the Need of Prayer (New York: The Free Press div. of Simon & Schuster, 2003, p. xi) wrote of her husband:

For my husband, Martin Luther King, Jr. prayer was a daily source of courage and strength that gave him the ability to carry on in even the darkest hours of our struggle.

I remember one very difficult day when he came home bone weary from the stress that came with his leadership of the Montgomery Bus Boycott. In the middle of that night, he was awakened by a threatening and abusive phone call, one of many we received throughout the movement. On this particular occasion, however, Martin had had enough.

After the call, he got up from bed and made himself some coffee. He began to worry about his family, and all of the burdens that came with our movement weighed heavily on his soul. With his head in his hands, Martin bowed over the kitchen table and prayed aloud to God: “Lord, I am taking a stand for what I believe is right. The people are looking to me for leadership, and if I stand before them without strength and courage, they will falter. I am at the end of my powers. I have nothing left. I have nothing left. I have come to the point where I can’t face it alone.
Later he told me, “At that moment, I experienced the presence of the Divine as I had never experienced Him before. It seemed as though I could hear a voice saying: ‘Stand up for righteousness; stand up for truth; and God will be at our side forever.'” When Martin stood up from the table, he was imbued with a new sense of confidence, and he was ready to face anything.

In whatever destructive patterns, moral failures, lousy decisions you’ve been involved in or victimized by in the past; in whatever troubles you in your ‘head in hands over the kitchen table at 3 in the morning’ moments, may you also know the reality of 1 Corinthians 1:7-9.  May you also rise imbued with a new sense of confidence.  May you also by the toughness of trust be pulled headlong into the sanctified future God has promised.

Exactly how every kitchen table moment will end for any of us I cannot say.

All I know is, God is faithful, and because and only because he is …

… you and I can face anything.

Grace to you and peace,


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