I sometimes feel like I am on the outside looking in. It’s as if I am holding this intricate snow globe, so detailed; filled with tons of buildings, homes and people. When I look inside, I find myself experiencing this multiplexed rush of emotions. Sometimes I am overwhelmed with the beauty of watching strangers care for one another, lovers in love and the absolute treasure that lives in a child’s laughter. Then there are times, like the last few days where I am completely broken-hearted as I see people who often appear so “secure”, absolutely crippled with fear; defenses down and an absolute exposure of their true selves appears.
Many of us, believers are believers because once upon a time we had an emotional experience that was triggered by the indescribable presence of God which is love, we were swept off our feet and surrendered “all”. Often times thats our experience and that’sthe experience we depend on over and over again. The truth is, that experience/encounter is just one out of a million that God has for us. I guess another way I can explain this idea is when we start new relationships; they always begin with a spark! In the beginning it’s all giggles and sunshine, but maintaining that relationship is work! You have to work through the things about that relationship that challenge you, the things that expose your pride, your insecurities and maybe even convict you.
Sometimes we want the relationship or the association but we dont want the work part, and what often happens is that relationship goes from being an honest one to a superficial one, the wall/image that you have built to maintain that “relationship” eventually becomes too heavy to manage and it all comes crumbling down, all that’s left is you (exposed)…..
This exposure reveals what you have tried to hide or ignore in the relationship. It presents itself to you again and again, hoping that you will give it up or humbly admit it. Lately this is what has been breaking my heart. I admit it; I too found myself glued to social media and the news. I began to feel anxious that my parents are a thousand miles away, I too questioned whether we had enough paper goods and food to get us through a possible quarantine or lock down. I found myself allowing the fear to enter my conversations with people, while walking the isles in Target, I could feel the angst in the air, so many afraid to even make eye contact. Afraid to be truly seen in their fear.
Then I looked at my heart and what I actually KNOW; I saw Jesus! I saw the God of the universe who saved me from my own path of destruction. I saw 9 solid years of absolute faithfulness! I saw all of the nights I cried feeling hopeless asking for mercy and I saw Him meeting me in every situation even when it didn’t look like what I thought I needed.
I realized the other morning when these hidden parts of my heart surfaced that I still have a choice, a choice to choose HOPE! Romans 15:13 says, “Now may God, the inspiration and fountain of hope, fill you to overflowing with uncontainable joy and perfect peace as you trust in him. And may the power of the Holy Spirit continually surround your life with his super-abundance until you radiate with HOPE!”
You see, the morning that the local news here in Austin Texas announced the first two confirmed cases of COVID-19 in our region, schools were closed, people flocked to the local grocery stores completely emptying shelves and fighting over cleaning products. That morning, I went to Starbucks and the employee I see almost every time I go practically tipped my drink over on me; the look in her eyes was pure, anxious, FEAR! I wanted to grab her and tell her it was all going to be okay. As I went about my day out in public I continued to see things like this and it exposed some things in me and I had to repent to God because of my anxious thoughts, the anger and frustration I was feeling and the fact that I allowed fear to creep in.
As I meditated on the Lord my spirit man began to rejoice because I realized that this exposure was a good thing! It was going to bring freedom to many who would make the choice to turn from what they put their faith in (their jobs, their investments, their money) and turn to God (our ONLY hope). Because that’s the truth! When it’s all said and done, we all will be reunited with our creator God.
I want to encourage you. You; my brothers and my sisters.
Hebrews 6:7-12 tpt says, “For men’s hearts are just like the soil that drinks up the showers which often fall upon it. Some soil will yield crops as God’s blessing upon the field. But if the field continues to produce only thorns and thistles a curse hangs over it and it will be burned. Having said that, beloved, we are fully convinced that there are more beautiful and excellent things, which flow from your salvation. For God, the Faithful One, is not unfair. How can he forget the beautiful work you have done for Him? He remembers the love you demonstrate as you continually serve his beloved ones for the glory of His name. But we long to see you passionately advance until the end and you find your hope fulfilled. So dont allow your hearts to grow dull or lose your enthusiasm, but follow the example of those who fully received what God has promised because of their strong faith and patient endurance.”
So let me ask you; during this virus of fear, are you (a child of God) a soil that is producing a life giving crop for others around you to survive, or are you a soil that is only producing thorns and thistles, so that whatever is near you dies or is burned? Are you giving hope to the hopeless or are you adding to the problem? Are you posting encouraging, life giving status updates or are you pumping more fear and doubt into the atmosphere?. Hebrews 6 talks about us as disciples of Christ turning away from our dead works and instead EMBRACING faith in God! It talks about the different kinds of baptisms including, the baptism of repentance!
If you are scared, if you are afraid, if you are anxious; pray a prayer of repentance! Ask the Father to help you with your unbelief and see how He comes in and showers you with hope. He loves you, He loves your children and your family more than you ever can or ever will. He is God and He has already won this war. He holds victory in the palm of His hands and has already paid the full price of the sin that hinders you. Let yourself be exposed before Him and be free of what lets fear in.
“For we have this hope like a strong, unbreakable anchor holding our souls to God himself. Our anchor of hope is fastened to the mercy seat which sits in the heavenly realm beyond the threshold” Hebrews 6:19