I've been working on my report for the semi-annual meeting tonight. In reviewing all of the things we have done - just since last May - I am exhausted. Where did I get the ideas for the sermons and the energy for the work?
Then I look at my sermon planning and come up with a worse question: Where will the ideas and energy come from for the year ahead? I can see the year stretching out before me in the infinite cells of my sermon planning spreadsheet. I have trouble with ideas for a daily blog... how will I come up with sermons?
I will study. I will read. I will meditate. I will jot down notes. I will crumple sheets of scribble and throw them toward the trash can. I will draw blanks and run down dead ends. I will be distracted and interrupted. I will be frustrated.
But a marvelous thing will happen. Each week - somewhere in the week - things will fall into place. Sometimes it will be well in advance. Sometimes it will be at the last minute. But somehow there will be sermons and lessons and reports and meetings.
Praise God! While I am undependable and completely incompetent in my own strength, He is gracious and merciful.
(John 15:4-5) Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.
5 ¶ “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.