I’ve been in church for a long time and I know that all the years of hearing preaching and bible stories plays a part in my belief system.
We’re taught so much in life from a young age, but what does that mean for us once we’re older? We have some life experience and start to realize that some of the things we were taught aren’t true. Some may be, but some has been twisted into something that it was never meant to be.
_We have a responsibility as we get older to pull these things apart and test them.
We have to find out if what we’ve been taught or experienced is actually the truth. Why do you think the way you do? Likely, it’s because you were taught to think that way or something you experienced in your life made your heart believe a certain way.
I’m here to admit that for so long I’ve relied on the knowledge that has been placed in me by man. As children we rely on adults to teach us right from wrong or good from bad. We ask questions and look for answers. As we get older we want to know which way to go in life. It’s easy as a child because we just listen to our parents or authority figures.
We then hit high school and college where most everything we’ve been taught is questioned. Or someone in your life gives you a different view and you think to yourself… “WAIT. Wait just a second. That’s not what I’ve been told for my entire life!”. So, the journey begins.
To find the real truth, we have to humble ourselves and realize what we’ve always believed could be incorrect.
Nobody wants to be wrong. I had to open my heart and say, “God, show me where I may have believed wrong. Allow me to have Your eyes and see things as YOU see them, not how I’ve been trained to see them. Give me wisdom and what YOUR truth is.”
I have to confess that as I have had these conversations with God, He has been bringing so many controversial things to my heart. I am unpacking them and He is bringing me people who are more than willing to share their experiences with me. My faith has been tested and renewed. I am learning what GOD says about things. I am getting a picture of the Father. Light is being shed. The biggest truth I am finding in all of this journey is this:
"A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:34-35 (ESV)
If we could love. If we could seek to understand one another. If we could be more like God in the sense that He meets us exactly where we are and meet people exactly where they are. If we could be humble and listen. If we would earnestly seek truth. I will be wrong about some things. Don’t ever take my word as truth, but look to the WORD of GOD. Surely I am right about this one thing- We are all utterly wicked in comparison to the ALMIGHTY GOD. We are all sinners who need a savior. We all need to recognize our sin, realize Jesus Christ died to bring us back to GOD, and surrender to a life of repentance and following Him knowing that our life is no longer ours.
The Bible is clear on this:
_ We must preach Jesus Christ crucified,
_ because Jesus is the only way to find the Father,
_ and because he loved us, we have no excuse to not love.
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Nothing hits your heart harder than hearing your eight year old son say out loud, “I know what it’s like to be abandoned.”
This simple yet profound statement coming from the mouth of my child should have left me in shambles. A natural thought process after hearing this should have been, “Is my greatest fear starting to manifest?” I should have played those words over and over again in my head to the point of exhaustion. I should have had the tortured thoughts of how my dumb mistakes in the past are wrecking his future. I should have realized that my innocent son was beginning to believe that he was not good enough for his biological father to want to be in his life. We’ve all heard the stories. A child is abandoned at a young age and every aspect of their life afterward is a picture of how badly someone broke them.
That’s how I should have processed his statement, but I failed to mention one little thing. Context. The context in which my son made this statement is absolutely key when understanding how I chose to process this information. The entire conversation went something like this:
Elijah: “Mom, Dad, we need to make more of those bags for the homeless people because we gave out our last one today.”
Me: “Yes buddy, we do. And we will. It makes God so happy that you like to give to people and help them.”
Elijah: “Yeah, I know. And I can help them a lot because they got left and I know what it’s like to be abandoned.”
This is why context matters so much. Context allows us to see something for what it really is. His statement reveals so much truth. Has he been abandoned? Yes, his biological dad did choose to step out of his life. He knows in his heart that someone who was supposed to love and care for him decided not to. He also knows that God will never leave him. He knows in his heart there are other people who are dealing with similar pains. He also knows that God wants to use him to help them. He knows that his biological dad isn’t around and may never be. He also knows that God brought Zach into his life to be everything he needs. He knows that his heart is sad. He also knows he can go to God, and us, and share his heart.
I remember one journal entry I wrote a couple of years ago while praying specifically about Elijah and his life. God spoke so clearly to me about this exact issue. He comforted me in a way that only He could. “Elijah will be a rock for many people because of the difficulty he has faced at such a young age.” The context of our conversation proves that this word from God is already coming to pass in his life.
So, how do we handle this? We pray for his dad. We talk about how unfair life can be. We allow him to be confused and upset and angry at times because those are all normal emotions. We tell him it is okay to love his dad and want to see him. We are honest with him when he asks us the hard questions and we do our best to share Gods love for him while he is processing his pain. I believe context revealed that what the enemy meant for destruction, God is redeeming.
At eight years old my son understands that his pain has a purpose and his purpose is bigger than himself.
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A while back I heard a song that really spoke to me. I am super into music and lyrically this song spoke straight to my soul. Do you have a song like that? Sometimes a song will take us back to a moment in life or make us dream of a future moment. It really is neat to me how when words and melodies are combined they can tell us a story or provoke a certain feeling in us. When I heard this song it immediately took me straight to the throne of Jesus. It took me to a new place of surrender.
I have this problem where I really feel anxious when I am unsure of what is to come. I never realized how much I struggled with needing to feel like I was in control of my life. When I think about it, it is actually pretty funny because the longer I live the more I also realize that I don’t have much control at all.
Don’t get me wrong, I know I make choices and those choices determine a lot of things. What career to have, who to marry, where to live? All of these are decisions that I get to make, things that I can control. But then there are some decisions that really aren’t up to me. Sometimes other peoples decisions decide for us what our circumstances look like. THIS part of life I know a lot about. A ton of things in my life for the last 8 years have been so unknown to me because they dealt directly on waiting on another person to make a decision. And whatever their decision was would in turn direct my next steps. Their decision would begin the words to the next chapter in my story.
When I think about it I am pretty sure that’s when my issue for needing control all began. I sat anxiously waiting for someone else to determine what they felt would be best for them and then work my life around it. The scary part of that was the fact that this person was selfish. In it for himself. This person didn’t care a lick about my life or what happened to me or how I felt. He was not trustworthy.
Im here to say that when I heard this song for the first time I realized not only was I okay with walking into unknown places but I was truly desiring it. It sounded thrilling and exhilarating. A great adventure! So what was the difference? The difference was who was calling me into the unknown.
God vs. Man.
_MAN had proven to be selfish, needy, greedy, prideful, deceitful, and dangerous.
_GOD had proven to be just, faithful, loving, gracious, selfless, forgiving, and safe.
I can hear the words of this song and be filled with peace instead of anxiety. I can be filled with hopeful expectation instead of dread of the future. I can listen with excited ears instead of apathetic ears. Who knew that walking into a wilderness that you have never ventured into before could leave you feeling an overwhelming sense of harmony? This is what happens when you decide to let the perfect God be your guidance into the unknown. His voice as your arrow.
You will walk into the unknown places in perfect peace and then in the most perfect timing you will see the light break through.
“My forever in Your heart, Your steps I will follow. I put my trust in who You are, Your voice is my arrow. And I will walk into the dark to see how the light breaks through. I will run into Your arms, I will hold on to You. I will lift my eyes to things unseen to the promise in Your victory and I will build my life on the mystery of where You call me, and I will go into the unknown. I can’t be shaken with Your words hidden in my heart. I can’t contain what I have seen, light rising from the dark. I will lift my eyes to things unseen, to the promise in Your victory. And I will build my life on the mystery of where You call me, and I will go into the unknown.”
–Unknown, Mosaic MSC
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