[mk_dropcaps style="fancy-style"]H[/mk_dropcaps]ere we go! This post, to be quite honest, has been one of the most difficult for me to write. Not because of the topic necessarily but in digging into this theme, I have faced some doubts about if what I am doing here is even making a difference. There is no question in my mind that loving others as the Lord has loved us is transformative. The questions come to mind when I fear that I am not doing enough to show that love to others. Are my words and my actions actually shifting atmospheres? I share this not because I expect affirmation. The truth is that, in Jesus, the response my question is an irrevocable "YES." What happens, though, is the enemy will come in and whisper thoughts of doubt. He makes you believe the doubt and trickier still, the whisper seems as though it is coming from you. Yesterday I had one of those moments where I just stopped writing because I was extremely frustrated. I threw man hands up and started crying. In my heart I was screaming out “God, did you really call me to this?” There is no doubt others have way more poetic skill, more literary prowess, and creativity. My response is to think, “Why use me to deliver this message?”
Out of the frustration, two truths were brought back front and center.
- I am not in this alone. I am not to do this without the aid of others. We are better together, and it is time for me to begin to accept and, even more so, SEEK help and insight.
- I feel dry and frustrated because I am giving out more than I am seeking The One who fills us up. Rest is found in our Lord and Savior, even as we advance. God has given us grace to produce the extraordinary. Apart from Him we are just ordinary.
How do these thoughts connect with this month’s theme, “Family Matters?" I share this very sensitively and vulnerably because I believe we are to be real when it comes to the big issues our loved ones face. Even when they are operating outside of God's will, we must walk the line of truth in love. No, it is not an easy line to find. It takes selflessness to not lash out and critically point out another’s flaws. You can address them without magnifying them. I do not doubt God’s ability to convict my close friends and family of the poor choices they are making. The fruit is evidence of the root issue. When no fruit, or short lived fruit, is produced it is only a matter of time until they'll be willing to change. I can only encourage lovingly that things will change for the better; that their choices will once again line up with The Word of God and furthermore that their heart will turn back to Jesus and surrender to Him again.
Our God is THAT amazing. Yes, we have a part to play. We are to be His hands and feet and His love with skin on. This does not include doing the saving or doing the healing ourselves. We must lean on the prompting of the Lord for the right time to do this. Just like I had to stop yesterday and realize I need to seek and receive more help, sometimes it takes rallying beside our loved ones and covering them in love when they are veering away from the Lord. We are not to expose or demean them, but cover their sin in love as Jesus does for us. In that place, we create an environment where it is easy to hear from the Lord and begin to make changes to walk toward Him.
This is our part to play. We are on the sidelines, cheering each other on in our race. And when needed, gently correcting when we have veered off our path.
I love how gently and yet powerfully the Lord corrects us. My prayer is that as I dare to rise in truth and shine His love, that my love would have that same effect. It takes being selfless because our human reaction is to step in and control. It takes selflessness to recognize our unique position as a voice in the lives of those with whom God has given us a deeper connection. We cannot take that position lightly. We must remember that others are always watching our example. It is humbling to realize the honor it is to represent our Lord. But humility is what gets me out of those moments of overwhelmed frustration. There is so much more to do, so many more people to love and I cannot do it alone. Will you join me in this imperfectly progressing journey? It is not for my sake, but for those who have yet to find the peace, wholeness and rest that is only found in Jesus. It is for His glory!