Tuesday, June 4, 2013
The other day i was reading through Luke--which is uncommon--since i'm kind of a Matthew girl. But that day i wanted to read Luke's perspective on what happened when Jesus walked this earth.
And it struck me, as i read about the Faith of the centurion, just how amazing 'faith' is. I reread the part where Jesus hears of the the centurion who sends a friend to ask Jesus to heal his dying servant at home. And how the centurion says that he isn't even worthy to have Jesus under his roof, but asks Jesus to "say the word, and my servant will be healed." (Luke 7:7) His faith in Jesus awesome power saved him.
I always love the stories of faith. Faith like a mustard seed. Faith that healed. I love the woman who reached out just to touch a piece of Jesus cloak, in hopes of it healing her--because of her faith. (Mark 5: 25-34) "Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering."
I feel such urgency these days to cling to my faith--daily. Sometimes i lay in bed at night and think about the day and feel embarrassed, as i talk with God, about all the 'little stuff' that i let get to me. All the people who can irritate me and who i let distract me from the bigger picture. I feel like a failure and i ask for forgiveness and that His spirit takes hold of me and guides me through the next day. Conscious of His presence. Purpose-filled to make a difference.
The other day as i was talking to my Mom on the phone, she said, "Christina, we could spend the whole day on the couch praying for those who are hurting." And she is so right. There are so many people who i pray for each morning, and--maybe its my age--maybe its the end--I don't know, but it just feels like its overwhelming sometimes. We really could spend all day praying. And i want to do that. I want to cover my family, my friends, my acquaintances-- in prayer.
Because i believe in it.
And if i were being completely honest, I feel bad, that our country is lost. Wondering in the wrong direction. Searching, but coming up empty handed. Filling our God shaped holes with other "stuff". I pray--i plead--that God doesn't overlook the ones who love him. Please Lord, don't strike us all down.Work in us to reach the lost. Love us. Love me. Love my family. Don't forget about us.
And yet, he probably thinks, Don't forget about me.
I always try to put our relationship with Christ into perspective--compare it to a human relationship.
And one thing that i always think of is something i heard years ago from Pastor Sean. He talked about not getting angry when you're in the car and someone cuts you off, or steals your parking spot. How "loving others" means giving a stranger our front row spot,(even if we desperately feel entitled to it) without a second thought.
And then he talked about how when we give up that spot, out of the kindness of our heart, how we feel when that person doesn't acknowledge us--give us that courtesy wave-- how that can irritate us.
How loving like Christ loves means giving 100% without any need, any want, anything in return. We give because we love. Period.
Now imagine that that person, who takes your spot and doesn't acknowledge or care about you--is someone who you take a bullet for.....(oh, boy!)
Who, as you are laying-bleeding-on the ground from sacrificing your life to save theirs-- walks over you, steps on your wound, spits on you, and never looks back. Never acknowledges the sacrifice you gave so that they could live. Never thought twice about the loss that was suffered. Just continued on--living life for himself.
That's how so many of us treat God. The God who created us, knit us together in our mothers womb. Who knows the number of hairs on our head.
I think about that alot. And i feel badly. I feel sad. I feel remorseful. I feel thankful.
God sent his one and only Son--his perfect son--to die a sinners death. For us.
And he loves us, even when we walk past the cross, even when we step on his wounded body, even when we don't deserve it.
And that blows my mind. And i think about it. Alot.
I ponder-- how, Lord, how can i love you better. How can i shed this sinful skin that i wear as a human? How can i truly live for you.? How can i go to bed at night feeling like i made you proud? That i didn't give into the sin, the temptation, the selfishness of this world? How?
I know God "loves us as we are." I know people like to say that he'll "meet you where you are..."
I know this. But i also fear that it has become a crutch for so many people and I just don't want to be "good enough" .
If people were honest, and they looked at their life, their days, how many of us can truly say that we spend time in his word, time in prayer, time contemplating his will for our lives? Its not a mean statement, but a truthful one. A charge. To remind us what we're fighting for. Who we're fighting for.
I want so badly for God to look at me and say, "Well done, my good and faithful servant." (Matthew 25:21)
I want for just one day, to choose Him--above all else. Above my selfish, sinful nature.
I want to love, when someone doesn't deserve it. I want to help, when it feels inconvenient. I want to teach, when it feels unimportant. I want patience in a time of chaos. Wisdom, when a decision is needed. A quick ear and a slow tongue.
I want love. I want joy. I want peace. I want patience, I want kindness. I want goodness. I want faithfulness. I want gentleness. I want self control.
I want, even if for a moment, Jesus to feel my love. To take the burden off of Him. I want to make him proud. And to remind him that we're still out here. Loving him. Worshiping him. Following His teachings.
We haven't forgotten. We hear him knocking. Our nation will open that door. Our knees will bow. Our tongues will confess--that Jesus is Lord.
I pray for it.
and I believe it.
Mark 5:36 says "Don't be afraid; just believe."
So i don't want to lose hope, but remain faithful. Certain of my belief!!