Grace and Mercy

I have noticed a distu022 (5)rbing trend among Christians lately, including some people whom I love and respect deeply. I have also noticed there are few others who seem troubled by it. Surely, I am not the only one….
Across the ocean and far from our shores, people are in fear of their lives. They are fleeing their homeland in terror, often with little more than the clothes on their backs. Everything they have ever known is going up in the smoke of war and tyranny. They seek refuge wherever they can find it.
The Syrian Refugees.
I generally go out of my way to avoid any mention of politics. But to me this is not just a political matter although politicians have lost no time in sharing their views loudly and self-righteously. There are politics involved, certainly and the government will have its hands full in dealing with the mess. That part is on them.
The matter I am struggling with is our unwillingness to share what we have with those that have nothing.
In Matthew 25, Jesus speaks of separating the sheep and goats in heaven. Of the sheep he says,

Caught!

I don’t remember ever reading qualifications. Take care of them when it is convenient. Help them when they agree with your religious and political views. Encourage them when their countrymen are harmless.
But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. Luke 6:35-36
I understand the fear of allowing the terrible things that are happening across the ocean to come to our safe, tidy little world. I know that there is a possibility that a terrorist could slip in among the huddled masses. I agree that opening our borders also opens us up to trouble that right now seems far away.
All that is scary and a very real possibility. I know what it is to be afraid.
But my God is stronger than my fear. Even if my faith wavers, underneath it all, I know that I can trust him to care for me and my family. He is higher, stronger, and infinitely more powerful than the terrorists that seek to destroy me. Do you think God can’t protect us, or that the government can do a better job of it?
Do you think Islamic extremists, terrorists, are stronger than God?
I don’t. I will put my trust and faith in God and do as he asks me to do. Even if I die, or my family killed, I will trust and do as he commands.
Can I do less when my King has given so much more?

I will believe.

God is our refuge and strength,
an ever-present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
And the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
Though its waters roar and foam
And the mountains quake with their surging. Ps. 46:1-3

Faith through Disappointment

God, why did you let this happen to me? I did everything I was supposed to, I prayed, I trusted, I ignored my doubts thinking you would take care of it. But you didn’t.sad portrait

Do you trust me?

. . . yes . . .

Do you really trust me?

. . . most of the time . . .

I tapped you on the shoulder about tithing recently.

Well, yeah, but Lord, you know how things are right now . . . we can’t pay our bills each month. I tried to tithe, I put in $20, I know that is 1% instead of 10%, but even so, a week and 1/2 later we bounced 3 checks.

Do you trust me to take care of you?

You always have. I know we won’t starve or get kicked out of our home.

Is that trusting me or your family, since it is their house you live in?

Ok, good point, but still . . . You know this thing I prayed for, it would have helped financially, I was planning on tithing from it. It would have made things easier for a while.

Would it?

You know it would. I could have paid off some bills, put some aside for the kids school activities, gone to that writers conference. Maybe even have some left for Christmas shopping, well no, it probably wouldn’t have lasted that long. None of those things are bad, so why didn’t you let me have it?

No, none of those things are bad.

Then why didn’t you let me?

Do you trust me?

So we’re back to that. Lord, you know, even better than I do, that I struggle with that. I’ve prayed about that too, you know. Trust is hard . . . especially when good things I pray for don’t happen.

Just sayin’.

So you would trust me if I let you have your way?

Well, yeah, I guess.

I have given it to you before, with extra. Did it help you trust and bring you closer to me? Or did it give you security to keep going your own way?

But I didn’t pray about it those times . . . Ok, I guess it kept me secure . . . kept the status quo.

Do you trust me?

Yes, Lord.

Do you know how much I love you?

Yes, I never doubted that.

Do you know what I want for you?

Not specifically, can you drop me a hint?

In general, what do I want for you?

Well, I guess you want for me to have a good life . . . I know you don’t promise wealth or even perfect health, but I know you want me to have a life of trust, faith and peace.

. . . I guess I have a long way to go.

Do you sometimes take good things from your kids so that they can have better things later.

Yeah, I guess. *sigh* I’m still disappointed.

I know you are.

. . . *sigh* . . .

I love you, child.

I know, but God . . .

Yes.

Are you sure it is going to be Ok?

Trust me.double rainbow

I’ll keep working on it. Thanks God.