A Broken and Lost World

world tradgedyThis weekend, it seems the news is full of tragedy. From Paris, to Beirut, to Baghdad, to Kenya.

Tragedies that for many in Africa and the Middle East occur every day.

It is hard not to look at the world, and not feel sadness, grief, and even anger.

Hard, to think of raising up our children to live in such a place that will only grow darker and darker until Jesus return.

It is heartbreaking to think of so many who mourn the loss of their loved ones. Heartbreaking to dwell on so many grieving right now.

And part of me is saddened that my own heart isn’t more saddened by these things.

Yet, the reality is, none of these things seem to surprise me much anymore. I can remember the first school shooting in the USA, and how it rocked the nation. Yet, nowadays, it seems it is a common occurrence.

Bomb blast, suicide bombers, ISIS, refugees trying to find “home.” It seems more and more this is what we hear.

It doesn’t lessen the shock, but it does dull it.

And though I mourn alongside these and pray for them. I am reminded that things are not going to get better, they will in fact get worse.

Until THAT day.

Until that day, the world will grow darker, people will want their ears tickled, and tragedy will occur.

Why? Because,we live in a lost and fallen world.

Why would anyone think it was a good idea to strap a bomb to themselves and go kill others and themselves?

Why? Because, they are brainwashed into believing that they are doing a good thing. They believe and act upon lies.

What the world needs is not more hate, what the world needs is the Gospel.

What the world and the lost need is an encounter with the Lord.

Yes, we live in an evil world. A world that is evil because of the depravity of mankind.

A world in which we as believers have been shown the almighty grace of God.

The truth is, had I been born in the Middle East, I too might believe and act upon such lies.

The truth is, had I been born in Nepal, I too would probably worship many gods.

The truth is, had I been born in China, I too might not believe in any God.

Oh, but the grace of God.

I did nothing to deserve it. It was given to me freely as a gift.

Grace that my eyes have been opened while hundreds I pass each day, continue in darkness.

Grace that I accepted the truth, while thousands of others believe lies.

Yes, great tragedy has occurred this past weekend. Tragedy I would not wish upon anyone.

And my heart grieves with these.

But, let us not forget in our anger and grief, that it is because this world needs to hear about the One and Only One who can change their lives forever, JESUS.

And, may this tragedy spur us on more and more to share this precious gift of salvation with the lost the Lord brings across our paths each day.

It is easy, to get busy and caught up with “life.”

Yet, our purpose, is not just to live our lives. Our purpose is to surrender our lives to the Lord, and follow Him wherever He leads!

God’s Message

faithI just found a message from God written in my Bible recorded, September 8, 2014, concerning Nepal.

“Be strong and do what I have called you to. Do not be afraid For I am with you!”

Had a known then what I know now concerning life in Nepal,this would have made a lot of sense. However, at the time, we had just arrived, having only been here for 11 days. At this time, we were busy trying to get settled, and find a place to live. Life was chaotic, and I’m sure I was stressing out, but God’s message brought calm to my heart.

Now fourteen months later, having experienced two catastrophic earthquakes with over 400 aftershocks, and being in the midst of life in Nepal, where an unofficial 2 1/2 month blockade between India and Nepal is taking place. God has brought fresh into my life, this same message.

For God says…..

Be strong: It won’t be easy. You will want to quit and might want to leave. But, be strong. Find your strength in Me, and allow my joy to be your strength on the good days and the bad days.

Do what I’ve called you to do: Despite the circumstances,despite the difficulties. Do what i have called you to do. Which is to be My light in this dark place. Which is to point others to Me and to train and disciple those who do know me. So that they can go and reach more.

Do not be afraid: You will struggle with fear living in a place where nothing is for certain. Your flesh will want to give into fear. The enemy will want to consume you with fear. But don’t give in. Have faith in Me, for it is Me who is in control and holds all things in my hands.

Because:

I am with you! Nothing that happens in your life will take Me by surprise. No matter what does happen, I am with you. So you can be strong, you can do what I have called you to do and you can fear not.

It is ironic that today, November 8th, 2015, I found a message from God from months ago. Yet, this was not by accident. Just as it was my message then, it is my message today.

It is also your message. Because no matter where you are or what God has called you to do. His message rings true. “Be strong, do what God has called you to do. Do not be afraid. For He is with you!

Accepting the Father’s plans

imagesNow, to begin I need to qualify this post, by saying this is definitely something I’m learning, but have not arrived at yet. (Just don’t want you thinking I have it all together on this one 🙂 )

But as I was reading in my quiet time today, I came across a verse, “Shall I not drink the cup the Father has given me?”

And I was stopped cold in my tracks. Because I think if we are honest in life it is easy to complain and grumble. We dont’ like this, we don’t like that. And we are quick to let others know.

Yet, here we find Jesus. The guards have arrived to arrest Him, leading Him to the crucifixion. Yet, He isn’t surprised at the persecution and He doesn’t resist. For He knows that this is why He has come. He knows that He is on this earth only to fulfill the Father’s Will.

And I know it is easy for us all to say, well that is Jesus. Yet, the reality is, Jesus was fully human as well. In His flesh He didn’t want to go to the cross. In His flesh He didn’t want to accept ridicule and humiliation. In His flesh He felt the same emotions that we do. Yet, He had resolved to do the Father’s will. He had resolved to accept the cup the Father had given to Him.

In our own lives when difficulties arise, trials come, and we just have bad days. We are prone to frustration. Prone to grumbling. Yet, shouldn’t we like Jesus accept the cup the Father has given us. And not only accept is, but give thanks and rejoice in the midst of it. For the reality is, we always have it better than someone else. So we can always give thanks. And Paul would instruct us to rejoice when we face trials because the testing of our faith grows and matures us in our walk with the Lord.

Yet, can I be honest. This is HARD, really HARD.  Our family lives in Nepal, where an ongoing fuel crisis has been taking place for close to 2 months. There is limited petrol, diesel, cooking gas and everyday products. We are doing a lot of walking and crowding onto packed buses. We are having to watch what we cook so we can preserve cooking gas, and doing without some items that are no longer available.

Even on the best of days, it is easy to complain about this. Easy to grumble about how tired my legs are from walking.

But then, I read a verse such as this, and have nothing more to say.

Jesus never said, come follow me and life will be easy. He never said, if you follow me you will be free of problems. No He said, do not be surprised when you face trials. He said, if the world persecutes me, it will persecute you.

We shouldn’t be surprised at the trials God allows in our lives. Instead we are to expect them and grow in our walk with the Lord through them.

But, let me say it again, this is HARD. This doesn’t come naturally. And more often than not it is my flesh that wins the battle, as instead of being thankful, instead of rejoicing, I’m grumbling.

Yet, this is not the response I want to give, or the response that pleases the Lord.

On our white board in our dining room there is a verse written, “If a man remains in me and I in Him, He will bear much fruit, apart from Me, you can do nothing.” (Jn 15:5)

I’m learning that even to be thankful, even to rejoice. In order not to complain or grumble. I must be in Christ, I must be filled with and controlled by His Spirit. Because, left to myself I will fail. Left to myself I will grumble, I will whine, I will complain. Because truly apart from Him, I can do nothing.

So, the Lord has challenged me and I’m challenging you… let us remain in Him. Let us be filled daily, moment by moment with His Spirit. And let us strive to be thankful. Strive to rejoice instead of complain.

It isn’t easy, but I believe God will bless it and will give us His abounding joy as we strive to walk humbly with our God!!!