Over the course of the last few years, I have watched people in our congregation, friends that were once close become estranged, families divide, and people drift further away from each other and from God. We all struggle. Some of us are dealing with financial issues, family concerns, relationship quandaries, and other things in our lives that are weighing us down. We’ve forgotten that there is always someone in worse shape than we are.
Life is a mystery. One moment can change your entire outlook. Some of us are dealing with the grief of losing loved ones who have cemented a permanent spot in our hearts, our minds, and our spirits. Some of us are celebrating the freedoms that we have as our nation prepares for its Labor Day Celebration. Wherever you may be in your life, I hope that you step out of your comfort zone and begin to ask God where you can be. I get it. Some of you may not believe in God. Fine. Then find a way to do something for others. By helping others you are helping yourself get over the hurt and the anger that you may be bottling up. If you do believe in God, then quit hiding because things get hard.
Success is something that stems from failure and a lot of it. One of my favorite songs that we sing in church is “Here I Am Lord”. It tells the story of someone searching for their faith who is longing to do more. They are saying “Send Me”. They aren’t saying send me until it becomes successful and then I’ll quit. They are taking a leap of faith and being willing to be God’s vessel. The song echoes that just because things are one way doesn’t mean that they have to stay the same.
I watch the church. I look at the love and the drive of many congregations. I’m sure many of you attend churches that have the same look. There are so many different types of people that attend church and many of them can’t even get to service but they worship in their own way. We have so many children who are growing up in the church and they leave as they age. Did we fail to give them the compass they need? My question is to all of us. As our kids grow, what are we doing for them? God gives us all a way to follow. He teaches us to answer a call that is needed but if we don’t listen, then how can we expect ourselves to adapt to His call.
Every change that is implemented is a fight. Nothing that we do in our lives that is worth changing is done without sacrifice. But if we truly look at the bigger picture we can see that we are representatives of a bigger piece of the picture that God has painted and the beautiful thing is that God doesn’t just paint one picture, but rather millions of masterpieces that have yet to be discovered. We are championing for the hungry and it’s a very notable cause. Just as no child should ever be hungry, no adult should ever have to feel completely alone and yet we all do.
The Bible tells us that we are never alone. Yet when the bottom drops out in our lives that’s the biggest feeling we have. It’s an emptiness that feels as if we are hollow. It feels as if our life has been completely sucked out and that grasping air can be a complex task. Many of us feel despondent. We feel that there is truly no way out. We feel that the pain we have is greater than anyone who loves us can understand. How can anyone accept us with all our faults and insecurities and then we are shown the scriptures. We see that God accepts us with the unconditional love and freedom that we crave yet we don’t believe. When God wants us to reach out and touch others with his love and teachings we get scared. We start to follow the Word and we start succeeding and we think that it’s enough. We even have groups that sound like friends but in reality, it comes off as a clique.
I don’t have the answers. God does. I do know that with all the slinging in our political lives, our personal relationships and our professional worlds, we are going down a very divisive path. God doesn’t want us to be complacent. If he did he wouldn’t have created so many conflicting personalities and viewpoints. He gives us free will for a reason.
Yes, we are free to voice our opinion but those opinions come with a cost. There will always be groups who attack others because they don’t agree with the other side. Our issues on Earth are serious issues but we have to remember that everything boils down to humanity. We must remember that every person on this earth is a child of God and to throw stones or accusations to one another is throwing stones directly at God because we were all made by him.
Christianity has gotten a black eye and in some cases, it’s deserved. I’m reminded of my lessons through Scripture that no one is perfect. We are all supposed to forgive seven times seventy Just as storms come through and tear up our trees, homes, and property, storms of life are just as damaging. When we choose to rise up and say “Here We Are Lord”, we are experiencing a change in seasons and it’s one that will not only change us for the better but one that will change our communities and those around us.
I wish you all peace.