Reading the book of Judges this morning, I came across Jephthah. He made a very rash vow that if God gave him victory in the battle be would sacrifice the first thing that came out of his house on his return. It wasn't the dog that rushed out to greet him, all tail wagging and tongue licking, but his daughter dancing and playing a tambourine. He was gutted, but she was determined that he would fulfil the vow made to God.
I say to myself that I would never make that kind of a vow - I am too cautious, and I play safe! It was a thoroughly painful vow, and not convenient to keep, but he did not lay it aside to take an easier route!
No, I would never make that kind of a vow, but it doesn't stop me saying things that if people take me at my word, can make things inconvenient! On Tuesday night at the church prayer meeting I remember saying "We are in this together!" The mothers had been feeling the pressure of Easter holidays and being at home with the children. They felt they were loosing it - tempers were being frayed, they were saying and acting in very un-Christ-like ways. Not being a mother, but a teacher, I am enjoying a couple of weeks away from the pressure of children. It is easy to feel isolated when you are at home all day with fighting children. When you hear that tone in your voice and know that you are loosing it, it is just so much the worse. Shouting doesn't achieve anything constructive, but you do it anyway.
When I said, at the prayer meeting "We are in this together" I seriously believe that we are. We strive to get our individual life with Jesus spot on, but neglect the corporate nature of our faith. We are called to pray together, the weep together, to fight together. If we need help we should be able to call on one another and know that we have support.
One lady took it on board and phoned me! She was feeling ill with the flu and needed shopping to be done - I had a hair appointment and it was inconvenient, but I managed to scoot a trolley around the supermarket to buy her something to keep her going. It was not convenient. I have a million other things pressing to be done. But like Jephthah - the words I spoke on Tuesday could not be laid aside for convenience sake.