Tuesday, September 8, 2015

End Times & End Tables

I find myself thinking most days, what the heck is going on and whats this all for anyways?

Each day seems to present its own extreme ups and downs. A more clearer picture of good and evil. Sin and love. Logging onto FB is like stepping onto a battle field and personally I can hardly handle any of it. example:

Scrolling. Yay a new baby! How marvelous.
 Oh Jesus! dead babies!  (I come across a fb page for all the young children drowning in the sea after fleeing Persia) scrolling. Fun a family went to Disney. News. That country clerk from Kentucky remains in jail for not serving the homosexual community marriage license's. Scrolling. weddings. scrolling. Articles with more info on Planned parenthood and their doing with body parts.scrolling. My friend remodels her kitchen. scrolling. Photo of a young toddler after being stoned by Arabs' in the middle east.

 Its exhausting emotionally and spiritually. How is anyone with a heart supposed to read any of this and be expected to just move on with things in life? Am I supposed to move on? And yet, what can I do? When I fully read the horrific report of the refugees fleeing from Persia and the images captured (ill warn you if you google any of this to look into for yourself it will be graphic and heart wrenching) I cried the rest of the day. Seriously. As I watched my 2 year old sleep knowing id do anything it took to keep her safe, and then realized another family caught in a war did the same thing I would have done and yet still lost the lives of their 3 and 5 year old, all you can do is cry. Cry deep sorrowful groans that the loss of life is always worthy to receive. But we cant cry forever. Because life carries on and dishes need to be done and my husband still has to be at work in the morning and although those extremes aren't my reality, a part of me cant help but almost accept that the American dream of "safety" and protection is over. Am I the only one who feels the darkness invading with such great momentum? Its shocking. And most days I just don't know how to process it all fast enough.

So today I found myself changing the pages of the internet from Pinterest to articles on FB today. It was like flipping a switch from reality to vanity,  reality, vanity, reality, vanity. Finally I had to stop and take a deep breath "God, how do I deal with all of this! My heart is broken to see the world we live in and the result of sin and evil, I feel such great compassion with no outlet and yet, also great guilt that right now I'm safe and I still want to buy those two cute matching end tables for my bedroom." (does anyone out there know these feelings I'm talking about?) and then I think, wait I AM doing something with my life for others.I pull out my mental list of good deeds. Both ferrill and myself do for others often. Just next week ill even be traveling to Ethiopia with school supplies and loving on a girl we've sponsored there for 6 years! So the truth is I am doing good in my own life. I do help those in great need and distress but still, it doesn't feel like even a dent of anything done compared to the great need, the great pain and suffering happening. How do I cope with the extremes? How do I prepare myself for the future in a world that is growing darker while still enjoying my life? How do I wear a crown of love and compassion and yet still day dream about decorating our house for Christmas in 3 months, because if darkness is coming is it awful that I still want my nails done and house to look cute while it happens? (I'm literally laughing and shaking my head at myself at how ridiculous this all seems. Its awful. Perhaps one self should never say these thoughts out loud let alone type them for anyone to read but its honest. Perhaps honestly I'm this self-centered and confused) And in the midst of all these shallow and deep thoughts the Holy Spirit speaks to me (perhaps he'd had enough vanity and turmoil as well) and I hushed my mind enough to hear him share his truth and his wise perspective.

 He reminded me of so many different situations Jesus was in. Jesus had to clearly hear the voice of his Father to know what season he was in. He was the Son of God destined to die for the world. But before that ONE day when this would happen, his life was full of the mundane (this word means lacking interest, excitement. dull.) In the midst of living in a world full of sickness, sin and death the very answer for us all,Jesus, lived a very mundane life. Doing chores, running errands, playing with siblings, working, eating a meal.But just like every day of his life was adding up to a moment so is ours. Each unexciting and dull day is still a day full of choices, and its these choices that are shaping us into someone. We really only see the highlights or the extreme moments in someone's lives and the same can be said of the Bible. We forget about the shepherd boy overlooked by his own family, trying to enjoy his mundane years spent taking care of sheep in the field. It was here in the mundane where he learned to worship God. Here he learned the nature of God which equipped him for his powerful future as king.

Once the man Jesus was finally on the grid of society he could have been so overwhelmed by the need that he Encountered. Many times in scripture Jesus would get away or retreat to find a place to pray. Without that nearness to God even Jesus in the flesh realized he couldn't keep it together. How much more than do we?

And last he showed me the near end of Jesus's life when he was in the garden. (Luke 22:48-51) Judas (Jesus's friend and disciple) had brought the roman soldiers to arrest Jesus and Judas kissed his cheek. Peter realizing that Jesus is about to be captured or taken and in a moment of trying to be heroic pulls out his sword, swings missing the head of the soldier but striking and severing his right ear. But Jesus says "No more of this!" and he touched the soldiers ear and healed him. The Lord was showing me the posture of Jesus even in the moments of persecution. If I was not like Jesus, if I hadn't been in prayer in fellowship, in relationship with God I would have in this moment 1: Fled 2:Fought 3:Been incredibly confused and most likely 4: Questioned Gods goodness. "why is this happening to me etc etc" But God knew the season he was in and he was drawing close to the moment that all of this mundane had been for. In the midst of his life being threatened he had understanding, He was crowned with love and compassion and this made him want to heal even the one sent there to harm him. I couldn't help but have this unlikely scenario cross my mind. I leave in 8 days for Ethiopia (which im really doing) and lets just say im captured and wrongfully imprisoned in this mostly Islamic Nation. Will I have enough of the love and nature of God to not blame and be pitiful, but recognize the season im in weather for minutes or for life to look beyond those circumstances and recognize God loves and wants to touch ALL that don't know him? hmmmmmmm...... and even further what will I wish I had done more of? Will I wish id packed my vixen red nail polish by Revlon or actually bought those end tables? No, but im sure ill hope I read my bible enough to have the hope and promises I need to endure every challenge this season will now cause me to face.

So here's what I've decided. I'm going to carry on with this blessed life I have right now. With each mundane day that passes I will choose to be grateful and joyful. I will make the choice everyday to stay in a relationship with Yahweh by reading my bible and learning more of him. I will pray for those I know are suffering and respond as the Holy spirit leads me. I will everyday equip myself and my daughter with the word of truth knowing that without a doubt trials are on their way and a day may likely happen in my lifetime where I may experience real persecution. But you know what, I was made by God to be with him. So I may have some kids between now and then and experience great love on this earth. I will travel, see beautiful places and take cool pictures. I may get a better education and I will certainly paint my nails red and buy cute things for my house, but at the end of it all weather its in my sleep at 90 or next week in a prison in Africa, Im going to be with my Father, my savior and my helper one day. Everything else is just the details in between.