Tuesday, February 17, 2015

ISIS and Matthew 10:19-20

I haven't written about ISIS...well at all...but specifically not since the events of Sunday. Part of it is that I am still in shock. Part of it is that I am reading everything I can find and that has taken a lot of time. Part of it is that I really have no words and those words I do have cannot touch those of others...for example Ann Voskamp's Blog Post on the events from Sunday (I recommend; click on link).

The Wake-Up Call that is ISIS: Who in the Church is Answering?
I am struggling to look at their faces...and read their names.

Yet...this friend of mine (I so love my C7 Tribe) keeps sending me Matthew 10:19-20...like every other text message, every other reply to a question via text, or I write a blog post and her response, "Matthew 10:19-20" so I get it. I get it! Read Matthew 10:19-20....

"But when they arrest you, do not worry about what to say or how to say it. At that time you will be given what to say,  for it will not be you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you."

Have you ever READ the commentary on these two verses?!?! Oh. My.

What does this tell us...well for those of us that are prone to being more anxiety-ridden...take a chill pill comes to mind. It also is a reminder that we have been so warned...persecution is just a part of being a Christian. This is when the chills go up my arms, and I pause. Gulp. Take a very deep breath.

Me? Persecuted?

I don't think so.

Not like what happened Sunday. I don't come against that, but then the thought passes...do you go there?

I know what it means.

Do I stand up unapologetically anytime anywhere for what I believe.

I. Do. Not.

Then...you are probably not going to experience anything close to that level of persecution.

Then I start crying.

When did I become so weak in faith? Was I ever strong in faith? Strong in my conviction? Willing to walk along the edge of the ocean, hit my knees, proclaim my faith, and know that my head was going to be removed from my shoulder so that I would meet my God in that same moment?

I. Don't. Think. So.

At. All.

We don't think ISIS is a problem because we are not convicted enough to make it a problem in our every day lives here in the U.S. We are living a very comfortable life for the most part on a fence of our own design and making.

Don't worry. I am talking to myself here.

For all of my transparency regarding my own walk with God and the transformation that I have been under since January 2012, I am still weak. Weak. I am still way too concerned what others will think about me or my faith or my values. I worry way too much that many know how I was and will compare it to how I am now and will question me, doubt me, or worse accuse me.

So. What.

We are all broken. We have all lost something. We have all made mistakes. We have all been Peter, denying our Christ even after we walked and talked with him.

That last one hurts.

We have all been Peter. Bless him. Bless us.

I don't have to rely on myself or my own shortcomings though...and Matthew 10:19-20 reminds me of that...

 ...the spirit of your Father speaking through you...

Yes and Amen!

IF we believe in God? IF we believe the Bible is true? IF we believe that Jesus is the Son of God? Then what in the world are we doing being anything other than the love of Jesus, sharing the good news, and praising our good good father???

A small digression....

The past few days have been hard. Weather negatively impacts my business and my employees. My mood has been questionable. Big news over the weekend. Lots of big emotions in my family. My tribe is struggling. Spiritual warfare swarming all the ones I love and do life with best. It has been a wild and crazy couple of days. So...what in the world do I know about ISIS halfway around the world killing people I don't know? I can't even process IF: Gathering from Austin a week ago. What? What?

God humbled me today and said, "Heather. Here. This. Now. Your observations. Your growth. The sticky-icky. The hard. The good. The bad. Praying over your family. Rebuking the enemy on the foreheads of your people. Crying and praying over the families of those left behind after ISIS' latest murders. The good Samaritans killed in Tennessee. The love and care for your employees. The reading. The studying. The prayer. The meditation. All of it. This. This. Is. Life. This. Is. My. Life. For. You. *Pause* Live. This. One. Life. Now."

I am not ashamed to say that the tears are flowing.

Our one life matters. I have been so incredibly selfish. Always looking for the next memory. The next conquest. The next thing to squelch my appetite. I am not sure I have ever really just existed in a moment. Maybe while Gail is beating on me during a massage, but other than that...and even then...my mind whirrs.

One day I was convinced I would be the best employee. The best Christian. The best Sister, Aunt, Friend, girlfriend, etc. Never enough. Always disappointing others...myself.

There sat God.

Waiting.

I am enough to only one person. God.

The one person who has been the most loving, the most patient, and who does not condemn me...Ever.

My life does matter. Here in a town in Arkansas in a small business in a little community....it matters. It all matters.  To. Him.

This morning I was typing a text to the C7 and all of a sudden I started typing a prayer....

Let me end that way here...

Lord, help us. Help. Us. We are broken. We are confused. We are complacent. We are consumed with everything in and of this world. We are worried about everything but the most important thing...You. Give us fresh eyes, fresh ears, fresh lips, and a renewed heart for you. The world in big (killing us) and small (laughing at us) ways may despise or shun us, but we are yours and yours alone. Guide our hearts as you guide our steps...Every. Day. We love you. We are honored to call you ours. You are the Lord of our hearts and souls. We trust you to give us the strength and the words....Always. Amen.

Where is God moving your heart today? What is he whispering gently? What is knowing at your spirit and just won't let go? Press into it...even if it feels icky. There is something (or someone) for you there.

Sunshine Dreams to You ~ Today and Every Day! :)