A Flood of Grace

As I sat and listened to my sweet ten year old little guy read a poem he wrote about me for a Mother’s Day tea at school, tears flooded my eyes.  In that moment, I was overwhelmed by the abundance of God’s grace that has lavished the lives of both my children and me. Sitting in the classroom, the testimonies in a courtroom, and emails sent about us that tore my heart apart began to replay in my mind.  I thought of the devastating words used to describe me as a mom.  People in my life who knew me that walked away.  As I listened to my guy spill out his heart for his mommy, I felt a tidal wave of God’s grace wash over me.  I could not hold back the sobs that poured out in that moment. I’m sure the other moms attending thought I was a bit nuts.  

I have discovered that Christians can be no different than worldly people.  My parents and I have been on the receiving end of an abusive pastor as he pounded us with his verbal fists.  I have watched as “friends” placed their hands on God’s word, swearing to tell the truth then moments later choosing to lie on a witness stand.  The list is never ending.  Total transparency for a moment. Four years later, days still occur when I want to curse the people who hurt us but instead I pray for those who wronged us.  Every morning as my eyes open and my feet hit the floor, I have to give the hurt that still lingers over to Him. Refusing to allow it to consume and control me.  Denying it the power to undo what God is doing in our lives.

With that said, each hurt as taught me a very valuable lesson.  Not one person is any different from me.  The morning of the Mother’s Day tea, a passage made its way across my phone.   

Yes indeed, it is good when you obey the royal law as found in the scriptures: “Love you neighbor as yourself.”  But if you favor some people over others, you are committing a sin.  You are guilty of breaking the law.
For the person who keeps all of the laws except one is as guilty as a person who has broken all of God’s laws.

James 2:8-10

As I read, a moment of clarity swept over me.  As I thought over the words of my sweet little guy’s poem and this passage, my heart leaped from my chest.  God was reminding me of the words that Jesus spoke, “So I give you a new command: love each other deeply and fully.  Remember the ways I have loved you, and demonstrate your love for others in those same ways. Everyone will know you as My followers if you demonstrate your love to others.” (John 13:34-35) I began to realize that no matter the hurt I had to love each person on my “list.”  That choosing to hold a grudge against anyone would be wrong and sinful. Each of those people on my “list” picked the part they played in the story that was our life.  Right, wrong or indifferent matters no more.  What matters now is how I choose to move forward and respond to the feelings of heartache when their faces flash before my eyes. That choice is on me.  So my choice, if I want to be obedient, will be to love.

As one of the moms whispered to me that morning, “You are very blessed to have a child love you that way” I realized that the details of those earlier years truly do not matter anymore. To us they were horrific and lonely But GOD! God comforted my children and me more than we realize. He used and is using every hurt and heartache, tear and cry to bring us to the place in which we find ourselves today.  Every event has been used to shape and mold us into the role we will now play in His story. It is now up to us to take our story and share it with those who need comfort.  

My children and I are not completely healed by any stretch of the imagination but we are most assuredly wrapped in the comforting arms of our heavenly daddy. And because of His embrace we will love and comfort those who need His love too. You can all bring your hurts, your fears and your worries to Him because His love brings comfort to all who seek after Him. He’s just waiting for you to say yes. (“Since God cares for you, let Him carry all your burdens and worries.” 1 Peter 5:7)  

All praise goes to God, Father of our Lord Jesus, the Anointed One. He is the Father of compassion, the God of all comfort. He consoles us as we endure the pain and hardship of life so that we may draw from His comfort and share it with others in their own struggles.

2 Corinthians 1:3-4

Being right and loving: Does it pay to be right all the time?

I’m frustrated. Not angry, frustrated.  I’m frustrated with negativity and critical people. The constant disrespect toward others because of differences in beliefs (ie: the celebration of Halloween,  The Noah movie, Harry Potter, evolution, the rapture, secular music being of the devil, worship music is evil, and so on)  truly hurts my heart. I do not understand how we, who profess to follow Jesus, can be so nasty and hateful to others.   I read over and over as people express an opinion on a topic or belief and are ripped apart or mocked by other “believers.”  That type of behavior bewilders me. Just because someone disagrees with your views does not make it right for you to disrespect, humiliate or hurt someone else especially over a difference of opinion.  How in the world is mockery and belittling of another human life a reflection of Jesus?  

As followers of Christ we will not always agree with or share the opinions of others. The realization that each person is accountable to God on their own means we are to individually seek after truth by spending time in Truth. Not rely on someone to find it for us.  Each individual is responsible for allowing the Holy Spirit to work in their life and reveal truth because the Holy Spirit resides in every believer. We each have a story that has impacted what we believe. It is not up to us as individuals to decide what opinion or belief is right or wrong for another person. We are imperfect people and because of our imperfection will not always be right.   In the end,  it is not our responsibility to force our opinion, belief, or conviction on someone else.    There is only one Holy Spirit.  We can plant the seed or voice our opinion but should do so with love. Allow God to work in the lives of others just as He works in our own.

So for those who voice their opinions as gospel truth and ridicule or humiliate someone with a different view, stop.  There is only one God and He alone holds all the answers to our most pressing questions.  It is by faith alone we trust Him and walk with Him. That is why it is called faith.   Faith means trusting when we do not have the answers to every question out there.  Faith is what drives us to seek God more fully allowing Him to reveal Truth in our lives which allows Him to direct our path. Faith is what fuels our love of God and in turn should guide us to love others.

Our responsibility while here is to love Jesus with our whole heart and share Him with others.  We cannot accomplish that if we are too busy pushing people away with our unchristlike behavior.  We are to live by example.  It should be seen in word and in deed.  Who listens to those that mocks others?  Who wants what that person has?  That is the furthest thing from Jesus.  So let’s get it together.  Let’s show respect for one another. Let’s love one another. We all need work.  No one is perfect.   A display of love and grace instead of negativity just might be what is needed to lead someone over to your own way of thinking.  Maybe 🙂

Those with knowledge know when to be quiet,
and those with understanding know how to remain calm.

Proverbs 17:27

Have you seen a person who is wise in his own sight?
Know that there is more hope for a fool than for him.

Proverbs 26:12

You shall love-”Love the Eternal One your God with everything you have:  all your heart, all your soul, all your strength, and all your mind – and love your neighbor as yourself.

Luke 10:27