Tag Archives: hurting

This is a Test of the Emergency Faith System


1 Peter 4:12

Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trialwhich is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you:

I’m not sure they even do it any more, with no more television than I watch I very well could have missed it. But if you’re of any age at all you remember the feeling when that high pitched sound would come on along with the colorful test patch during your favorite show and it was the longest 60 seconds of your life. You’d be just on the edge of throwing a fit and it would end. Well…I’ve been just on the edge of throwing a fit lately as God’s allowed me to go through my own little test patch.

As a kid I felt as though that emergency broadcast test was put there just to annoy me. What possible purpose could a high pitch noise and a rainbow serve?

It’s time for peace….

Tests and trials of faith generally spring forth without warning and can be on a number of levels depending upon what the Lord allows. Mine seems to be more on the dull ache side, not the extreme. The extreme would be what a family in our community is now facing; the loss of a husband, dad, and granddad to a tragic tractor accident yesterday, that’s the ultimate test. Please pray for them in the upcoming days, I’m sure they could use it. The point of the matter is we’ve all had those times when the sirens have alarmed and we’re warned that we’re under attack. The Holy Spirit speaks sweet peace to the soul when those siren’s sound; but the Spirit is quiet… you have to slow down and listen. Satan will scream louder and louder, sit quieter and quieter. Get in your closet and prayer, get in your Bible and read.

It’s time to prepare, not panic…

Satan loves it when he can get you panicking over something. Because it’s a fact if you’re running around in solo survival mode you’ve got your eyes off Jesus. We need to stand behind God, not in front of Him flailing our arms, God already knows what you need By making a spectacle of yourself you’ve just alerted the enemy and anyone else that you’re not trusting God.

It’s time to remember the promise…

That rainbow patch can certainly serve as the reminder that God gave to Noah at the end of the flood. He placed the bow in the sky as symbol, a covenant of Grace… although I have to wonder if sometimes He’d not like to tie a knot in that bow and scratch the idea of preservation. But unlike man God’s Word is faithful and true. Regardless of the circumstances around us, the people who let us down, the chain of events that befall us… God’s patch of protection covers us all.

Short and sweet blog today… just needed to reassure myself that God has me covered.

I have issues…

I don’t know if you’ve noticed or not, but I tend to wear my heart on my sleeve. I love and hurt deeply. People are important to me… I like stuff… but mostly stuff that connects me to people. But connecting to people opens up your life for scrutiny, and it’s not always healthy. People will look at you and judge a snapshot of time which has taken a movie reel to produce. While my family and I were “connecting” at my Mother’s dinner table yesterday after church, the subject of mental health came up. No comments from the peanut gallery… remember… this is a snapshot – not a movie. J But it was a pretty heavy subject with regards to the lack of access and seriousness of the issue. Those in need of mental health professionals are often lumped in to the criminal side of correction and a downward spiraling multi-generational effect occurs.

So why do I feel I’m qualified to discuss the issue… because I have an issue with it, and I stayed at the Holiday Inn Express a while back, and I guess that wisdom sticks with you for a while.

For 15 or so years I worked for the courts, prior to that for about 6 months I had a temporary hitch as file clerk for the Department of Health and Humans Resources. What I discovered was I could have brought the filing systems with me to the court, because many were the same names, generations of families; second and third generation offenders who were just living out what they had been taught by parents and grandparents. So what does that have to do with mental health? The court was looking at the snapshot instead of the movie. I know… they don’t have time. But that excuse doesn’t fix it and it ended up being why I left the courts, because we weren’t fixing anything. It was like a raw steak… which nauseates me… slap a BandAid on that baby and put it back out in the field, it’s not done. The jail time and fines didn’t finish the crime spree, it just left an open wound waiting to be infected again by something bad. There was no healing.

There were two stories that came to my mind this morning as I thought on the issue of mental health. One was the demon possessed man in the book of Mark and the other was the woman with the issue of blood.

Mark 5:15-20 ~  And they come to Jesus, and see him that was possessed with the devil, and had the legion, sitting, and clothed, and in his right mind: and they were afraid. And they that saw it told them how it befell to him that was possessed with the devil, and also concerning the swine. And they began to pray him to depart out of their coasts. And when he was come into the ship, he that had been possessed with the devil prayed him that he might be with him. Howbeit Jesus suffered him not, but saith unto him, Go home to thy friends, and tell them how great things the Lord hath done for thee, and hath had compassion on thee. And he departed, and began to publish in Decapolis how great things Jesus had done for him: and all men did marvel.

Matthew 9:20-22 – And, behold, a woman, which was diseased with an issue of blood twelve years, came behind him, and touched the hem of his garment:For she said within herself, If I may but touch his garment, I shall be whole. But Jesus turned him about, and when he saw her, he said, Daughter, be of good comfort; thy faith hath made thee whole. And the woman was made whole from that hour.

I know your argument, one was mental, one was physical. Yes… but they both had the same cure, and prior to their healing they were both outcasts in society. People didn’t get either one of their issues. And we haven’t progressed too far today. What the people didn’t understand they shunned.

Please understand that I’m not saying all criminals have mental health issues and need to be loved and nurtured to redemption… some people are just mean, and they need locked up. But I’ve seen too many people who if someone had looked at their movie instead of their snapshot they’d have seen an entirely different story. Praise God that Jesus knows the entire story line! And should we as Christians not spend a little time on the movie instead of the snapshot approach at what our people need.

I do tend to wear my heart on my sleeve, and sometimes my sleeve is also filled with other hearts as well. Today my heart is broken for a family that needs their movie viewed…

If today you should come across someone who’s life isn’t pretty… please take a little time to get the story behind the snapshot.

Incapacitated Christianity – The Revolving Door

The door of many if not most churches seems to be a revolving door; constantly moving with people disillusioned with spirituality. God created us in such a manner that we’re drawn there. Scripture says in John 12:32And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.” There is an innate desire for a relationship with God. Why some deny it and others embrace it I do not know, but I believe in my heart that everyone has it. I know personally, as far back as I can remember, there was a desire to know God and a fear of dying without Him. There was a hole in my heart, I knew something was missing. So in 1996 when that hole became whole I was excited, and I haven’t stopped being excited. But I am ever aware of the revolving door and that I too could be one step away.

Has it been a perfect seventeen years of utter bliss in our church? Of course not. My pastor always said “If you find the perfect church, don’t join it, you’ll mess it up!” But I remember the feeling of that hole of uncertainty and I have no desire to return to that life. So why do people leave the church?

They’re Wounded

I’ve seen my fair share of hurt feelings in the church. Sometimes it was an unintentional mishap, and other times it was stupidity at its finest. But it ended with someone leaving the church. And I discovered another hole in my heart. I understand the pain that Apostle Paul felt when he wrote to Timothy saying “For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world, and is departed unto Thessalonica.” 2 Timothy 4:10 It hurts when a brother or sister in Christ walks out on Christ.

I’m sure they would argue that they did not walk out on Christ, but instead would say they walked away from that place. And if indeed they left there and went to another body of Christ with a good heart toward their previous church then I would say “Amen. I’ll miss you, but I wish you well.” But they generally don’t go to another church they just stop and fall out on Christ. And the wound will not heal without the balm of Gilead. Jeremiah 8:22 wrote “Is there no balm in Gilead; is there no physician there? why then is not the health of the daughter of my people recovered?” When you walk away from Christ, there is no healing for that wound.

They’re Weak

A Christian who fails to read the Word of God, or attend church regularly is weak. It’s as if they’ve started on a long journey having passed up the eight course dinner, eating instead a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. And they grow weary. And things that would not have upset them, has now been magnified; or they just gradually lose their appetite. Either way the end result is they no longer desire to be fed the Word of God.

I blame some of those on the body of believers who fail to disciple new converts. I was blessed with brothers and sisters who did not leave my side as a new child of God. They called me and encouraged me to stay faithful. We had breakfast and lunch and talked about the Word of God. There was multiple opportunities to come to the church for fellowship, revival and prayer. And day by day I grew in strength and had no desire to leave that banquet table where I feasted.

They’re Weighted

Probably one of the hardest to see walk out that door. They didn’t get upset with anyone, they may have been grounded in church for many years, but they just have too much of the world on their shoulders. Often times its family issues, finances or work. They just can’t drop it at the altar. Every day they carry this load of care on them and it keeps wearing them down. And it breaks them. And it breaks the heart of Jesus Who would have gladly taken that burden from them if only they would have allowed it. They’ve forgotten Matthew 11: 29-30 where Jesus said “Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

I’m not casting a stone at any one of these incapacitated Christians, because I’ve been too near that revolving door myself when I could have just thrown my hands in the air and said, I can’t do this, I’ve been wounded, weak and weighted down with the sorrows of life. But HALLELUJAH!  I’ve always been made aware that in the worst of times it’s better to be with Jesus than alone.

I love ya today, and I’m praying that if you’re stepping toward that revolving door, you’ll step away. Don’t let Satan feed you the lie that walking out on God will fix anything. That’s God’s church you’re walking away from. If it is a Bible preaching church it belongs to no man. Stay in the game.