In the last couple of days I’ve really been struck with the reality that my faith is hypocritical. I look at so many hurting lives around me and honestly believe that those lives could be miraculously made whole and complete by God. He longs to bring complete hope, healing, and restoration to His children who are hurting. I want to see that continue in the lives around me.
But, sometimes in my own life and those that are closer to me, I don’t honestly expect God to show up such miraculous ways. I get used to the hurting and brokenness that faces me regularly and have almost given up on the idea of God fixing those issues. I notice myself internally voicing the following kinds of things:
“Well, that’s just the way Joe is. He’s been sexually abused when he was young, and he’ll always react in bad ways when he’s hurt or confused.”
“Since, Mikey is young and been brought up in a dysfunctional home, I shouldn’t expect him to be as mature as other kids. He’ll always be that way.”
“I’ll always suffer from the hurt and rejection from a couple of years ago. I just have to be tough and not let that hurt bring me down at times like the holidays.”
But, wait a minute. Didn’t I say that Jesus wanted to bring ‘hope, healing, and restoration to His children’? Isn’t He the blessed redeemer? Didn’t He come to seek and save the lost? Didn’t He come to bring healing and wholeness?
My king can bring healing to Joe, Mikey, and me.
Lord, continue to work in my life to bring healing and wholeness!
This past year has definitely been the hardest year of my life. At the same time it’s been my most defining and best year. Today I begin a series of posts to help me look at the past year and document what I’ve been learning through various hardships.
It actually started over a year ago. In October 2006 God really started challenging my faith and belief.
“Bill, if you believe that faith in Jesus is key to people finding hope, forgiveness and eternal life, why don’t you seem to care? Why don’t you care about people? People who are far from God? People you work with? People from church? Family? Bill, what have I called you to? Didn’t I say love me and love the people around you? I didn’t call you to some other mission.”
I never heard an audible voice or anything, but God started putting that burden on my heart last fall.
So, life lesson number 1: Relationships matter everything. God’s core desire for us is to know Him and share our lives with people around us (see: Greatest Commandment). If those relationships aren’t at the core of what I’m doing, I’m not really in the game. This wasn’t really new to me, but the newness was an understanding and appreciation that God sets this as the top priority.
So, in October 2006 I started to move toward investing in relationships as a core focus. There are times when I’ve gotten off track and sat on the bench, forgetting how to play the game, but this new passion for relationships has been the basis for making the past year incredible. You’ll hear about some of these new relationships in future parts of this post.
What about you? Do you really let the value of relationships be the top priority in your life?
Do you have any advice for keeping this a core focus in your life?
So, I’ve seen 3 giant crosses along US interstates over the past couple of years. I’ve been curious about them and recently someone at church was talking about them. So, I decided it was time to find out about them. It turns out the one closest to my house is the tallest.