Wednesday, February 24, 2016

The Village - with Francis Chan

If you haven't already watched the above video, please do!  It is powerful!

It's been a rough month.  Not because of appointments or kids.  But because of sin in my heart.  I'm going to take a stab in the dark and guess that I'm not the only one that has ever struggled with bitterness.  I've had a bitter heart before, but never to this point or for this long.

 I'm going to be vulnerably honest.  Not because I want or need sympathy, but because I wholeheartedly believe that it's high time for Christians to quit hiding behind the mask of "everything is good!"  It is one of the reasons we stay in a rut and don't grow spiritually.

I'm not going to go into a lot of detail about why I've been struggling with bitterness...but I will say this...It's a result of the injustices we face on a regular basis...everything from people ignoring our kids, to the idea of what is defined as being worthy of support (financial and other).  We face a lot of ignorance and plain out hate.  Some wouldn't call it that.  They'd say it's too harsh a word to use.  It's the only word that is somewhat appropriate.  From a human perspective, I am justified in my bitterness.  It's not like we've encountered these things once or twice.  They keep happening...over, and over, and over again...and it gets harder to deal with each time.  So, really, I could leave it at that and justify my bitterness.

However, that's not what I believe.  Bitterness is ugly.  Bitterness eats you up from the inside.  Bitterness causes a lot of unnecessary stress.  Bitterness leaves you wanting peace. 

And so, I am at this point...instead of praying for peoples hearts to be changed...I am praying for God to take hold of my heart and change it to reflect His love and peace.  That's not to say I don't still struggle.  I do.  And I'm going to guess I will for some time. 

I've shared with a few people what I am struggling with...even an acquaintance I ran into at the grocery sorry A for talking your ear off and sharing more than you wanted to hear...but I know you have prayed and for that I thank you!

Scripture tells us to confess our sins to each other...for the purpose of being held accountable and so we can pray for each other.  It's amazing how doing this can be the catalyst in changing our hearts. how does the above video relate to what I just shared?  Well, it hit me square in the heart! THIS is what it's all about!  It's about loving others as Christ loves us!

It doesn't mean that you should go and adopt a child this instant...what it means is that if you haven't already found something that makes you wake up in the morning thinking of someone other than yourself (or the precious little family that surrounds you), than it's high time to figure out how and where you can love others as Christ has loved you.  It's time to quit storing up treasures on earth.  It's time to store treasures in heaven! 

I live in the Bible Belt of my province...but for the most part, us Christians are known for being critical, judgemental, and picky about who we hang out with.  We're known for shouting louder about the evils of sexual orientation than we are known for shouting about the rights of the destitute, the poor, the fatherless.  We're known for being very well to do.  We're a rich community.  Let's change this into being known as the Love Belt of our province!  Let's quit saving for our retirement, for our next vacation, for that new car, for that beautiful house....and let's start being lavish in our giving of our money and selves to others!  He cares for the birds.  Why wouldn't He care for us just as lavishly?!?

I am challenged and encouraged by the community in this video.  Seventy families caring and loving and being family for 160 special needs kids....and China is known, at least in my community, as being a heathen country.   Hmmm....something to think about!!


S. J. Loewen said...

I haven't experienced the rudeness of people like you have - I suspect - but I understand the bitterness nonetheless. I struggle very much with this idea of giving of yourself and your life completely - partly out of selfishness, but partly also because I 'feel called' in a way that my husband doesn't, so I feel trapped (and a bit bitter), and I also feel trapped in a world that tells us to save for retirement, vacation, enjoy your wealth because God has given it and wants us to enjoy life (?), and to set BOUNDARIES (I won't even get into that...) because you have to also take care of yourself... and I feel powerless to change - or too weak to push against the flow, and I am terrified that I am sinking into this 'overfed and unconcerned' life as well (Ezekiel 16:49 - THE sin of Sodom), . And it's terrifying... and it makes me angry with everyone I see as 'pulling me down'. The struggle is real, but the bitterness and anger is sin. I am also praying for God to change my heart, give me love for everyone - maybe it is my job to fight against this, and to encourage others to change also, but if it isn't done in love, it is worthless. Thanks for this - this is a good thing to talk about.

Marie said...

Samantha that is so frustrating and so very true. I'll be praying!