Whose side are we on anyway?

Typically, I am not very on top of the news stories that are flying around. Being a stay-at-home mom lends itself to being in kind of a bubble that misses a lot of what is going on outside of my living room's walls. 

Lately, that is not the case. 

I am not surprising you when I say there have been some horrific events happening throughout the world and within the United States. There are such contradicting views on lives and how people should be living them, that people are attacking those on the other side to prove their point. 

As a Christian, whose side are you on anyway?

That's pretty tough to answer, at least for me. While I don't agree with certain lifestyles or beliefs, that certainly doesn't mean that I support their death and destruction, right?

So where does that leave me? Which way do I go?

Psalm 27: 8-14, "My heart says of you, "Seek his face!" Your face, LORD, I will seek. Do not hide your face from me, do not turn your servant away in anger; you have been my helper. Do not reject me or forsake me, O God my Savior. Though my father and mother forsake me, the LORD will receive me. Teach me your way, O LORD; lead me in a straight path because of my oppressors. Do not turn me over to the desire of my foes, for false witnesses rise up against me, breathing out violence. I am still confident of this:
I will see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living. Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD."

So I guess we are kind of on the narrow path between each side, aren't we?

1 Peter 2:11-17, "Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul. Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits.
Submit yourselves for the Lord's sake to every authority instituted among men: whether to the king, as the supreme authority, or to governors, who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to commend those who do right. For it is God's will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish men. 
Live as free men, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as servants of God.
Show proper respect to everyone: Love the brotherhood of believers, fear God, honor the king."

 

We don't want to be on the side that accepts wrong beliefs as okay. We don't want to be on the side that lashes out in anger. We want to be on God's side, or I guess, with God in the middle. As believers we aren't citizens of this world or of the United States or wherever. We are citizens of heaven. Being citizens of heaven makes us servants of God. Live as servants of God. 

How can we do this?

"Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven." (Matthew 5:16) 
"But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect." (1 Peter 3:15)

I won't deny it. It's tough living in the world but not being of the world. It's difficult to not be desensitized to all the wrong that is happening around us. It nearly impossible to not worry about what the future brings for Christians.

But we have our Savior. We have the assurance that in Christ we are free. We are the free citizens of heaven because of His death. 

Heavenly Father,

Keep me close. Keep us all close to you during these times. Comfort those families who have lost loved ones. Give peace and reassurance to those living in fear. Guard us all and keep us safe. Help me to be the light in this darkness. Help me to encourage and build others up. Help me to be bold and confident in my salvation and to share that hope with others. 

In Jesus' name,

Amen

A couple weeks back, Pastor Huebner from Grace Downtown gave a sermon that truly inspired and directed this blog post. You can go here to listen or read this sermon--it was excellent in light of the current events in our country. I strongly encourage you to give it a go. 

 

 

 

                                           

 

A Lesson in Trust // A Mother's Prayer

Verse 2 of "A Mother's Prayer" by Kristyn Getty This world is not as it should be

but the Savior opens eyes to see

All that's beautiful and true

Oh may His light fill all you are

And the jewel of wisdom crown your heart

This is my prayer for you

There are many fascinating and beautiful things about becoming a parent. There is a new found love that you couldn't have ever imagined until you looked into your child's eyes for the first time. There is a new found patience that you never knew you had until you witnessed yet one more tantrum. There is a new found fear, as you watch your child grow, develop, learn, play, eat, and sleep. Will my child grow to be big and strong? Will my child learn easily and find a great career someday? Is my child eating enough vegetables? Is my child eating too many cookies? Will they get sick? Will they get better? Am I going to be a good enough parent? Will I teach my child the right things? If you are a parent, you know what I mean by fear. You have become the worry wart you always told your mother she was. You have become the protective father you always rolled your eyes at. All we need sometimes is a little perspective to see exactly where our parents were coming from, and sometimes having a tiny and precious peanut of your own is the only way that understanding can happen. You have come to realize all the beautiful parts but also all the challenging parts of parenthood.

I have to say that my childhood was pretty normal. I have my parents to thank for that, because life has thrown us some pretty hefty curve balls along the way. Like our second verse tells us, "This world is not as it should be." There are bad things that happen because of sin. And when I say bad things, I mean that sometimes life sucks.

When I was in middle school, my brother was in a car accident that caused a traumatic brain injury. A little minor surgery, okay major, and he was as good as new! (Well, I think we all assume he was always a little strange. Just kidding, Ray!)

Fast forward to my freshman year of high school. My sister and I were in a car accident on the way home from a basketball game. When we slid off the road and crashed, she was killed instantly at the age of seventeen.

This is where having a child of my own has really put things into perspective for me. This world is not as it should be! My parents learned that the hard way, more than once even! How could these terrible things happen to their precious babies? What is a mom to do when she can't just pick up her daughter or son, give them a kiss, and make it all better? How do you pick up the pieces of your shattered life? How do you just let go of all the dreams you had for your daughter's life? How do you let go of your fears when it seems impossible to do so in the presence of so much tragedy?

This is where the next part of our verse comes in,

but the Savior opens eyes to see

All that's beautiful and true

Oh may His light fill all you are

And the jewel of wisdom crown your heart

We have Christ to look to. He gives us the truth that surpasses all understanding. He gives us life beyond death, comfort when there seems to be no hope, and happiness to dry our tears. We look to John 14 verses 1-4 for comfort. He writes,

"Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My father's house has many rooms; if that were not so would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going."

How much more comfort can we get than the beautiful truth that Jesus has a place just for us, with Him, in heaven!

trust1

My mother could have taken a different path after tragedy hit our family. She chose to continue to trust God. She chose to entrust God with our lives and our safety. To give Him her fears and allow her children to grow up normally. She could have called us every night telling us to come home by a certain time. She could have sat up anxiously waiting to see if we would get home safely. She could have called us everyday at college. She could have smothered us with her own fears. But she didn't. She let His light fill her. She let His truth free her. She let her kids be kids.

It has taken me at least 12 years to come to this understanding--and having a child of my own was the only way to truly get it. I have, when I put it into perspective, the most insignificant and silliest fears for my little Penny. As it is written in Matthew 6,

"And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well."

And my sister's favorite verse,

"Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."

Trust2

This Mother's Day let's recognize the strength, faith, and trust that our mothers have. Let us renew our own faiths and strengthen our trust in Christ as our Savior. Let us not worry about tomorrow, but focus on the Truth that is beautiful and true. For as a familiar hymn writes, I am but a stranger here. Heaven is my home. We are all on this earth for Christ and by Christ. It is our job as believers (and mothers) to trust that God is in control and knows what is best for our lives, whether they be long and well lived, or short and sweet.

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