What God Caught Me Doing Today

earth-978959_640Brace yourself. This post has become a confessional. I’m not proud of this post but it’s important for me to come clean – part of the process of staying honest.

I’ve spent a lot of time in the past week doing one of two things: a) thinking about myself and b) rolling my eyes at other people (not always in a way that others could see but, believe me, in my mind, my eyes were rolling).

My first thoughts about the election (and second and third) were about how me-1767683_640it will affect me and mine. Once I worked through the solid truth that I belong to Jesus and no matter who is in the White House, He directs my destiny, I exhaled. That’s when the eye-rolling thing happened.

Others around me were having these – reactions. Tears. Anxiety. Public outbursts. And there was hugging, a sudden exaggerated need for bear hugs from coworkers and peers. Outwardly, I made sympathetic faces and kept my thoughts to myself but inwardly, I scorned their distress. What would it be like to live with such a flimsy foundation that the direction of a presidential election sent my world spinning?

It didn’t take long for this scorn, the sense of gratitude that my world was safely in God’s hands, and the continued panic of others to swirl within me like a red shirt thrown in with a load of whites and I was smack in the middle of the bleeding pink rinse of smug self-righteousness before I realized what was happening. Ba-bam! I was exactly what I despise in the Pharisees.

It was a very short ride.

Now, while it is true that Jesus holds my world in His hands and that I don’t have to yield to panic or worry over the shifting winds of politics, this same Jesus doesn’t want me to rest myself into a dispassionate coma.

summer-1174997_640I believe Jesus rolled His eyes at me today. I wanted Him to notice how holy I was being resting in Him while all these other people panicked and He Gibbs-slapped me and said, “Hey, I love these panicked people. Would you like to take a moment to show them my love?”

Oh. Right. This is probably about more than me. This season of change in our country, this unrest, this panic, this uncertainty, this may be a time for me, for us, to minister to and serve those around us. The reason He’s given us this foundation of security is not to cocoon ourselves away until He returns but so we have a strong base from which to risk loving those who may not love us back.

I love the way the Message offers this exhortation from Paul: “I can’t impress this on you too strongly. God is looking over your shoulder. Christ himself is the Judge, with the final say on everyone, living and dead. He is about to break into the open with his rule, so proclaim the Message with intensity; keep on your watch. Challenge, warn, and urge your people. Don’t ever quit. Just keep it simple.” 2 Timothy 4:1-2 ESV

It was after the Gibbs-slap that I began to listen to others, really listen. I stopped rolling my eyes – inside and out. I didn’t say much because it wasn’t really a time for speaking. I was afraid anything I said by way of reassurance would ring hollow and shallow because, well, I was only five minutes into learning to love them so it would likely be coming from the shallow puddle of Living Water just beginning to flow within me. I listened more and prayed as I listened until the puddle became a small pool. Tomorrow, I hope to listen more and ask God for boldness to speak truth into the panic and love into the fear.jesus-331579_640

Tonight, though, I’m leaning into Jesus because I’m only five minutes past being a Pharisee and my head is still spinning from how quickly I donned those robes. Any love I have to offer is pretty flimsy so I need to pay attention to Jesus, receive His forgiveness and soak in His grace so tomorrow, I am more like Him.

Jesus had a very clear message for me today. “Therefore let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall.” 1 Corinthians 10:12 ESV And He pushed me, He pushed me hard to answer questions like “Is your salvation only about you?” “Is your security something for you to hoard?” “Will they know you’re a Christian because you’re right – or because you love?” “Do you know how to love under fire?” “Are you willing to love when the love you offer may be rejected or labeled as judgment or declared unsafe?” “Is the truth of your salvation so real to you that you’re aware of the danger others are in and will lay down your own life to help them see it?”

My eyes aren’t rolling anymore. I don’t feel smug now. I feel like a bird freed from the fowler’s snare ready to sing to warn others off of the danger.

sunset-50494_640I know I am forgiven. I know He’ll never forsake me or give up on me. I know I’m a work in progress. I also know, I was designed for these times and not to be someone who mocks those who cannot rest in Christ but to be one who seizes the opportunity of these times to love and to speak truth.

He lives in me. He’s not rolling His eyes. He’s calling them to Himself and His arms are wide open.

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    The Conversation

  1. Kim Wilbanks says:

    Ouch, you did it again. I’ve been doing a lot of eye-rolling myself. Thank you for shaking some sense into me. I need to learn to love better.

  2. Me too. Thank you, Lori.

  3. Pam Halter says:

    Me, three, Lori. 🙁 Fear wreaks all sorts of havoc, huh?