Where, oh where do I start?! Today I picked back up a book I had been reading right before a wave of exhaustion washed over me a month ago. Spiritual, emotional, physical exhaustion. I felt God call me to something and that was about all I could take for a time. The calling, and, bam! I had to take a break.
Today, I sensed it was time to reawaken The Spirit in me in a less “do what I cannot, Holy Spirit” and instead “Use me, I’m ready again” kind of way. I have been laying low for a month or so. Trying to just get a breath, allowing The Holy Spirit to intercede for me. But I sensed it was time to press back into this ‘pressing into Jesus thing’ in a more obvious way- at least, to me. Soaking up all He had for me and pour it out into my life, pushing the plow, fighting the good fight. You get the point.
Today was full of blessing. God showed up and I am beyond thankful! It was a fun-filled, busy morning. Cyrus had a friend over which strangely enough made me able to sit next to Zeke and pick up that book I had to stop reading for a time. I knew it would be short-lived, but it lived and could be continued again later.
Then we were off to PT therapy for Bexley which was her last one as she’s up to par with her peers. Poor girl had to get tubes in her ears in order to be free to walk and talk well.
Early this morning, I asked Andy if we could try and get Zeke in to pray before we left (he works at our church) and we were able to head in right after our busy morning. I have to admit, at this point, I was just doing it as I felt God calling me to it, not necessarily because I was expectant or excited. I was still feeling quite exhausted on all levels.
But then, we arrived and The Spirit showed up. More so than my little, exhausted self was expecting (I shamefully admit). It was so, so good! The prayer was full of standing in what I (or we-Andy and I) believe God is going to do. Heal our son. No, “But, if it’ s not your will” kind of prayer today. A prayer that stretched us to believe in something that isn’t believable aside from God. But also, staying true to not only what we obviously want for our son, but what we believe God wants, too. Expectant hearts were surrounding me and praying for my son, our family and for God to bring us a renewal.
Again, I didn’t expect it but God had bigger plans. My heart has been given a stronger beat since our time praying. God blessed our prayers and I believe He is working in Zeke and in our own hearts (and yours as you read this!) as we wait on Him. As we wait expectantly for God’s hand to pour out on our sweet boy. As we BELIEVE!!!
Later on, I pondered what was going on in my heart. It’s clear to me that spiritual warfare is sneaking it’s way in The Body with the gay rights/God approves or doesn’t approve of same-sex marriages.
I see it in my own heart and in the hearts of very godly women-bloggers who seem to be battling blog posts, tweets, Instagram and Facebook ‘likes’ (or not)- against each other. As if we are strangers- accepting what seems true on this earth. But, we’re not strangers. We are sisters more than the ones carrying the same name if we’d see it, dangit! If we’d see how we are the same, carrying the same name in Jesus.
Until we do, we, as The Body of Christ are giving into weakness. And I know God is doing big things and so I will not even consider saying that in general, the whole Body of Christ is weak. I do not see that. But I do see [some] of that. And I want to fight against it and encourage you to do the same.
These thoughts led to thinking of gates and fences. I thought, “There will be no fences in heaven. Fences are for hell. We will have no boundaries because boundaries are for those who lack. In heaven, we will lack nothing and we will see The Body for what it was always meant to be – whole and complete in Jesus. Yes, the only gate will be to keep Hell out.”
And then…and THEN I read this. I really couldn’t breath. That feeling of “if I breath I may miss some of this goodness.” and “If I even consider blinking, I may not take this in as quickly as I want to!” GAH!!
There was stirring in my soul. I ‘amened’ about every line agreeing and agreeing and saying, “God you really were speaking this to me, to my mom, to…all the people who will feel the same as I after reading this.”
I was giddy and excited and couldn’t wait to re-read it over! (which I have yet to do)
And then ( I know, but what else do you say when God gives you a multitude of…well…”and thens” all in one day?!) I read this.
… … …
And when she said this
Because her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, said, “I was a stanger and you welcomed me” (Matthew 25:35).
We are done looking into the sky – we are ready to fling open every door in our lives, we are ready to tear down every gate. We are the Esthers inside the gate — and the hurting and the poor, the oppressed and the ignored – is Christ on the other side of the gate. Christ is saying: “I was a stranger and you welcomed Me. I was the stranger on the other side of the gate — and you risked everything inside the gate for the One outside the gate – Me.“
It’s not nameless masses of the deserving poor on the other side of the gate; It’s Christ. Every single stranger, every single disadvantaged, is Christ and if you love Him — you have got make your life about tearing down the gates.
Every face is the guise of Christ.
I look at Katie. Radical isn’t as much about where you move – but about looking into the face of Jesus – and letting Him move you where you are. He may move you to Africa – or across the street. But if the love of Christ moves you – it will move you out into the world. He will move you to tear down gates.
Pundits can banter about one southern cook and the nature of racism in this continent, about the nature of marriage and truth and grace and orientation and the Church, and our screens can explode with opinions and rebuttals and politics.
But our answers to all the raging questions of the day won’t be found in what we write: it will be found in how we open our doors.
Our actual theology is best expressed in our actual hospitality.”
This idea of gates came up again in this post. I was so excited about that. God confirming a stirring in my heart is humbling and exciting. After reading this, I felt this beautiful call for more redemption within my heart but also, for the heart of The Body of Christ. I am still learning to love like Jesus. Learning to ignore my unmatched furniture and welcome in all who will join me as I share who Jesus is through our beautiful chaos. To reach out to those who may seem unreachable due to walls (or fences! ha!) built up. To find who I am in Him, and nowhere else.
I believe it’s important to stand up for what’s right, even when it goes against what seems popular. But it’s not more ‘right’ than showing up. Loving in the form of our words and actions. Pushing our comfy boundaries aside- letting our old, rusty fences fall down. Embracing who we are in Christ.
Heaven and earth will one day collide. Are we embracing this? Are we inviting God’s kingdom to come in our lives?