A Challenge

There are no answers that are good enough.  There is no reason that satisfies the need for an explanation for such evil.  I could talk about guns and culture and a fallen world which all have people on both sides, but I’m not going to talk about that.  I am going to talk about something else.  We must stop looking for a person or thing to blame.  Satan is the only one to blame.  He is the enemy of our soul and he had his way with this man.  Period.

I am overwhelmed with the the gamut of emotions that I have felt since learning of what happened yesterday morning in Newtown, CT.  Please don’t think I am trying to make this about me, because I am not.  I am a just a mother.  What I am feeling as an outsider does not even scratch the surface of what all those parents, siblings, relatives and friends are dealing with.

I think I am writing this because I want to ask some questions.  Of you….of myself.  There is such a lack of love in our American culture.  I’m not saying that a human loving this man more would have stopped this, but what if it could have?  So here is my question…HOW do we do that?  How do we love OUTRAGEOUSLY?  What does that look like?  Is it just buying a gift, being more kind,  or is it something more, something deeper?  I am wracking my brain and I come up with things like “talk to the person you see that no one is talking to”, “buy some food for the homeless guy”, “encourage someone who is going through a difficult situation”.  These are all great things but I don’t think that is as deep as I can go.

I feel like God is whispering something to me and I am missing it.  OUTRAGEOUS LOVE is what Jesus did on the cross.  How do we translate that to our lives today?  I must know!  I need to know!  I long to be different than I was yesterday.  We run from hard emotions….we try to preserve our “emotional health”.  Is that what Jesus did?  No.  He crawled up on the cross and CHOSE to feel the pain for our benefit.  When was the last time we did that?  When was the last time we endured pain for the benefit of another?  We say that we long to be more like Jesus but doesn’t that mean that we should be more like Jesus in EVERY way…not just in the ways that feel good?  Maybe that is our problem.  I know it is mine…that we ALWAYS want to feel good.  We never want to feel bad.  That is why there is a drug for everything under the sun.  We run from pain at all cost.  This is not who Jesus was and is.  Here is my challenge for us all.  If we mean what we say and truly long to be like Jesus then let’s stop running from the pain and embrace it….for the sake of someone who needs it.  Stand in the gap and raise the arms of someone who cannot do it themselves.  Ask for God’s heart for the person who makes you angry or sad or lonely.  Endure the pain of rejection in order to LOVE OUTRAGEOUSLY, regardless of what you get in return.  Don’t wall yourself off and hide because of the pain.  Push forward into the deep, overwhelming LOVE of Jesus.

The Lord is close to the brokenhearted:
He rescues those whose spirits are crushed.  ~Psalm 34:18 NLT~


Breaking old things and starting new…

I did something this morning I never realized that I needed to do.  Do you ever have an issue in your life that you would fix but you just don’t know how?  That you would get victory in, but you don’t know the steps to take?  I think I finally realized a powerful one in my life.  I have been plagued by a feeling of rejection and abandonment for a very long time.  It has shaped my emotions and reactions.  It has made me fearful and paralyzed me into a world of procrastination.  I thought it came from a particular source, but I’m realizing that was not the case.  It came from a completely different person and event in my life.  I was looking in the wrong source.  This is why I could not gain full victory over it.  I’m not saying that I have as of yet, but the Lord is pulling back the veil and showing me the origin as I take small steps of obedience.  I know you are all wondering who I am talking about but as much as I would love to tell you, I need to keep the details private.

I think what I am realizing and trying to convey is that I was looking towards the victory and getting nowhere.  I was not looking at the “right now” and asking God what I needed to do to get to the other side.  I was missing the fact that He was desiring my obedience in small, minute things along the way…I was trying to bypass the narrow path without even realizing it.

So this morning, I wrote a letter and broke a tie.  I apologized for my part.  I meant it.  I want to be free.  I do not want to hold anyone in chains.  Sometimes we make choices that we don’t realize we are making.  The only thing we can do is listen for God’s still small voice and respond in obedience…no matter how long it takes.  No matter how hard it is.  God never leaves us with no way out.

The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful.  He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand.  When you are tempted, He will show you a way out so that you can endure.  I Corinthians 10:13 NLT