Can I PLEASE get an Amen?!
If you're anything like me, the mere sight of that word causes your eye to twitch and your blood pressure to rise a smidge. Amiright?! Our reasons might be completely different as well. Maybe you are truly frightened of this virus. Maybe you think it's been completely overblown for political gain and national division. Maybe you are somewhere in between. In the end, it doesn't really matter because the whole darn thing just STINKS!! Here are some words and phrases I never want to hear again:
Corona(unless I'm being offered the beer, with a lime please :) )
Safe at home
Ok, I better stop while I'm ahead. The point is, I'm tired. I'm annoyed. I'm angry. I'm frustrated. I'm dumbfounded. I'm impatient. I'm, I'm.....
Redeemed. Loved. Reconciled. Sanctified.
It is SO easy to get distracted by the static and noise of this world, but truly those things, they are so meaningless!
"Be careful, or your hearts will be weighed down with dissipation, drunkenness, and the anxieties of life, and that day will close on you unexpectedly like a trap. For it will come upon all those who live on the face of the earth. Be always on the watch, and pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen, and that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man." Luke 21:34-36
Those words from the biblical book of Luke are so humbling and convicting , aren't they? God continually shows up in our life and never fails us. He points us back to where we need to be and what path we need to be on. I won't lie. It's a DAILY struggle. But, "Be Careful" always rings true in my ears again and again. How many times as a kid, and even as an adult, have we thought to ourselves, "yeah yeah, I know I know, I got this," to being completely CLOTHESLINED with pain and bewilderment.. Come on, it can't be just me here?!
So, how do we fix this mess? How do we fix this worry, this anger, this impatience and this gnawing feeling of doom or dread?
Well, I will tell you how NOT to fix it.
Do NOT look within.
Huh? Wait. The world is CONSTANTLY telling me to look within myself to fine the answer, the peace, the happiness. The thing is, the world really doesn't give two hoots about you. Not at all. The world is in it to win it for themselves. They will trample over you at all costs if it means rising up the ladder of success and power.
Nah, the answer doesn't lie within. The answer lies above. The answer starts with love.
Love is the answer to broken hearts, broken homes and broken souls. Love is the answer to addictions, fractured marriages and heartbreak. Love can shatter division and rebuild brokenness. What is testing your love right now? Whatever, it is, only love can fix it.
What if we all loved each other like we had never been hurt before. What if instead of retaliation for hurt words, we just showed love? What if we gave affection back to the spouse who has been hurtful, cruel or has been withholding affection from us? The thing is, love. never. fails. Never. Love and forgiveness is what holds a family together, not hate and resentment. The reality in this all? The ones we love the most, are often the ones who hurt us the greatest. Maybe you have felt that during these last few months of the "C" word and the riots and racism chaos. Maybe you have lost friends or even a close family member to disagreements about what is going on.
Three times in John chapter 21, Jesus told Peter,
"Feed my lambs."
"Tend my sheep."
"Feed my sheep."
These were Jesus' answers to Peter, when he asked Peter, "Do you love me." His command was 3 simple words in 3 simple phrases. "If you love me, take care of my children."
This is how we show love to the One who showed the greatest act of love to us.
All of the above are ours, because the ONE Loved us SO much, He gave His one and ONLY son FOR us, so no matter what virus, what riot, what act of injustice or harm had been done to us here in this life, eternal life free of ALL sin, would be ours.
Now, let's go FEED THOSE SHEEP!!
Serving in love,
"Strong is Always in Style"