It is a wonder to me that a place exists on this broken earth that can always take my breath away. No matter how many times I have climbed to the top of that soaring dune with sweeping views of sky blue waters, the air is drawn from my lungs. Creation always cries glory to God and points to the enormity of His power.
While my heart is full of joy in this place of beauty, there is a lingering sadness that hovers, begging the question- “why me here and you there?” How in a world created out of so much love and beauty can there exist so much evil, so much hate?
Why am I sitting free atop this mountain of sand, kids held close, safe in my arms, eyes embracing the simple yet profound gift of the setting sun? Why are you there, sitting atop your mountain of barren desert sand— putting all confidence in your ability to catch a drop of water flung by those offering salvation from the sky? Hovered low beneath the flimsy protection of leafy branches stretched out wide, you grip close your dying children and wavering hope of rescue.
Why am I here, created from the love of black and white. Able to find unity to the point of marriage, deep friendship, and having children—among all whose skin is both lighter and darker shades than mine? Why are you fighting in the streets for ‘freedom’, ‘justice’, ‘peace’, unable to find that same unity even with a stranger?
Why am I here, able to love my God and praise His name boldly? Able to keep His precious Word uncovered on my night stand or carried with me as I sit for coffee near those whose beliefs differ from mine? Why are you there running for your lives, violently persecuted because you refuse to deny your Christ, and all you love and own is being torn from your grip?
I have known grief, loss, pain, abonnement, scarcity, and fear; but I have never known the depths of the destitution and despair of many in our world today. As these are just a few examples of recent tragedies in a world where 300 little girls are kidnapped from school, planes are shot from the sky, nations are killing nations over the God they serve, children are being sold into slavery, and sickness and disease are killing entire people groups.
Perhaps I have been asking the wrong question. Perhaps, ‘why me?’ disregards blessing to chance and faith to futility. I believe the better statement is, ‘if I and if you’.
If I believe in a God who promises to heal our land if we humble ourselves and prayer1, then perhaps I should pray. If I can pray and if you need prayer, then I should wear out my knees desperate for God to meet the spiritual and physical needs of all who are suffering.
If I can open God’s word and if you need God’s word, then perhaps I should stop staring at my bible on the night stand and simply carrying it to coffee shops. I should open the Word, be filled to overflowing, and pour out Life- God’s life, spilled like water, to the thirsty, to the hungry, to the lost. And what if the lost were saved and they prayed and they wore out their out their knees for those in need?
If I can give and if you need to be given to, then I should give more than I receive. I should give up, so you can have. I should seek ways to serve you, not simply watch you suffer on my tv screen and read about your despair on my Facebook news feed.
If I can love, and you need love, than I will love. And the world needs love. The world needs the One who is Love, because love—the Love, conquers all. No person, no nation, no race can love until they learn to love the way God commands us to love.
I am not an expert in foreign, race or neighbor relations, but I know one thing to be true—the remedy to all the world’s beat up wounded, condition, isn’t a prescription, it’s a person.
If I can tell you about that person—Jesus, and if you need Jesus…well…then we just might change the world.
“Above all, love” 1 Peter 4:8
“Love your neighbor as yourself.’ No other commandment is greater than these.” Mark 12:31
“If you love me, keep my commands.” 1 John 14:15
“you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” Acts 1:8
“in this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
Worship: I love music and I love to share it. Each song is for each post. Enjoy! Be the Change- Shuree Rivera
Gratitude: Give thanks— “Love never fails…” 1 Corinthians 13:8
Grow: “Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.” 1 Peter 4:8. Do you believe love conquers all even to the point of covering sin? Where do you need to trust God’s love has redeemed your sin and let go of shame so His love can then in turn flow through you? What is hindering you from growing in the area of changing the world through loving the way God teaches us to love?
Give: “ Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:30-31. If we love God, then as 1 John 14:15 says we must keep his commands. God has commanded us to love our neighbors as much as we love Him and as much as we love ourselves. Why is loving our neighbors equal in importance to loving God and loving ourselves? What ‘if me and if you’ phrase above do you need help committing to, so you can love the world well through spreading the gospel and changing the world?
Each LSLW post includes three areas of reflection in hopes to offer a chance for us to give thanks, grow in our personal faith and find ways to pour out from our lives what Christ has poured into us.
© Tamara Gurley 2014