Purpose – Redemption

I’m not Catholic or Orthodox, and typically not a part of a church body that participates in Lent. However, as a personal practice, more years than not in the last 10 years, I have participated in Lent (in a personal manner).

Recent life events have left me with some questions and some heartbreaking thoughts that I know God will use this Lent season to teach and grow me.

Tonight, in that vein, I am participating in the 5 minute friday tradition (last week, I actually did my 5 minute Friday post on my Tiny house blog)…I know it’s Sunday, but unfortunately, I find myself late many weeks.

This week’s theme:

PURPOSE…

“You didn’t want heaven without us, so Jesus you brought heaven down”
-Hillsong ‘What a Beautiful Name’

This song has me wrecked recently, especially this line… He didn’t want heaven without us…

This goes with my reading tonight.
Tonight, I spent time in 2nd Peter.

He has a lot to say in the 2&3 chapters about evil days: false prophets & teachers, evil doers, fleshly desires, condemnation, and more… I won’t take the time to break it all down – honestly, it’s a lot.

But, I want to focus on one specific section:

“But, do not forget this one thing dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead, he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief…”

  • 2 Peter 3:8-10

So, what’s this all about?

It’s about purpose.
And, that purpose? Redemption.

Recently, I’ve had to come face to face with my belief: sin, death, mortality.
Do I really believe some perish?

Unfortunately, I do. And, honestly, the question of someone’s eternity is HEARTBREAKING.
But, Jesus has been working in my heart – if it’s that heartbreaking for me, how much more heartbreaking is it for Him to have Creation reject Him?

So, what’s it all about?
Purpose – redemption. Human souls. Love.

He created a way – desiring that no one would perish, knowing some would anyway. Giving His people the knowledge, tools, and compassion to reach as many as possible, and then commissioning us to do so.

This is a tough, heartbreaking topic to write about. I hate the thought of spending eternity without some of the people I care about – even spending eternity without my “enemies”. But, the reality is, it’s likely to happen.

And, if it hurts so much for me – how much more for Him, after creating and offering restoration?

So, that leaves me – in the gap. Attempting to live out the great commission in my life. In the tension between here & now and eternity.
A part of the Kingdom on Earth as it is in Heaven, trying to be a light of love to as many people as I can.

So, what’s this all about?
Purpose – human souls. Love.
Redemption.

A Psalm of Brokenness

I have never shied away from the hard stuff – and right now, my family is going through a hard time.

My heart is left broken and bare; so, tonight, I have a new poem to share:

A Psalm of Brokenness

GOD,
I feel like I’m drowning.
Financially. Family. 
Emotionally.
Life circumstances.
My choices.
Surrounded by brokenness
and hopelessness.
Jesus, you never promised
an easy life;
A life without troubles.
So, I pray
Peace in the storm.
Take my worries and cares.
Don’t let me fall.
Don’t let me drown.
Keep me afloat,
Ready for what’s next.
May each of these
Messy, sticky situations
find their way to 
Bring Glory to your name.
Lord, be my strength.
Forever I will praise your
Wonderful, powerful
Beautiful name.

©Candice Jenee’ 2017

 

 

Neighbor

We live in a world (at least in America) where we don’t get to know our neighbors anymore. We just each go about our independent lives, disconnected.

But, I try to say hi to any neighbor I see. My sister & I have made friends with the guys across the way, just by being willing to say “hey, how’s it going?”

I’m also really enjoying getting to know the family who lives above them.

Recently, God pulled on my heart in regard to them: for prayer & encouragement of them.

He’s a pastor of a small local church that God led him & his wife to begin. God called them to be shepherds to new people. I learned today that they don’t have a permanent church home base yet and they recently had all of their ministry stuff stolen (along with the trailer it was all in).

I didn’t know most of this when God was pulling on me to be in prayer & to be an encouragement.

But, here’s the thing – we don’t have to know the whole story if God is moving us to action. Our only responsibility is to act.

Whether at home or work or wherever, if God is moving you to pray for your neighbor, then pray.
If God moves you to speak life, then speak it. (BTW: He has already asked this of us, lest we forget.)
If God is moving you to bring a gift, invite someone to dinner, to care for someone, or whatever, then just do it.

We have nothing to fear (from our neighbors or anyone else) when we are walking in God’s plan for us. We have everything to gain by doing so.

And, moving in response to His call gets easier each time we do it.

Absorb the Silence

You ever care so much for someone that you would take all their pain?

But, we can’t…it’s not possible.

Each of us has to carry our own pain. Whether it’s physical, mental, spiritual, emotional. We are all in charge of carrying our own pain.

But, when we see others hurting, especially those we love, we want to take it on…

Ever prayed for it to go to you?

I have. That’s where I am tonight. I have seen so much pain today in others, and I just want to take it all. To be the vessel that holds it.

I pray, “just take it from them, put it all on my shoulders, in my head, in my body…”

The response?

Silence…

Because, it is not my pain to bear.
Working in the mental health field, that’s a hard thing to remember.
Being a big sister, that’s a hard thing to remember.
Being a daughter, that’s a hard thing to remember.

So, I pray…and absorb the silence.

Remembering that the reason it’s not my pain to bear is that He already bore it…even if I don’t get to see the results of that in this life.

So, tonight, I pray…I absorb the silence.
And after I realize I cannot take on their pain,
I pray to find rest in Him.

“When the oceans rise and thunders roll,
I will soar with you above the storm.
Father you are King over the flood.
I will be still & know You are God.

Find rest my soul
In Christ alone.
Know His power
In quietness & trust.”

– Hillsong Still

Secure

Last week’s Tuesday @ 10 topic was Caring… And, I wanted to write something. I had so many thoughts, so many ideas swirling around…

Things related to accepting, becoming, waiting Related to how much caring I do each day…

But, getting myself decompressed from work enough to put together coherent thoughts, well, it didn’t work very well…

So, instead, I shed a lot of tears:

Over being cussed out a couple of times, by kids who weren’t necessarily angry at me, but at the tough hand life has given them. Hearing them call me names they shouldn’t know, and describe things they shouldn’t understand…

Over knowing we are working to show love & help these kids make progress, only to have to send them back to the people and places that are hurting them…

Over wanting to do a good job, but knowing that several times a week I question my ability, my stamina, my education, and my compassion…

Over being 27 & childless; and having my body become a war-zone again as a reminder that for another month, I am once again, (now) 28 and childless…

All of these things affect me so much because I care: about my life, the lives of my co-workers, my supervisors, and the lives of my clients & kiddos.

Yet, I am secure.

Secure in the knowledge that I may not always know where my next meal will come from, but there will be a next meal, because God is my provider (Matthew 6:25-34)…

Secure in the knowledge that God cares for my situation, for my client’s situations, for the kids in my youth group’s situations, for my employers’ situations; because, He cares for people (Psalm 36:5-6)…

Secure in knowing that my prayers for those around me have not gone unheard, even if I never get to experience the answer for myself (Matt 5:44; 1 Thes 5:16-18; Psalm 34:17-18)…

Secure in the knowledge that, despite many troubles, God is always working my life out for my good and His glory [even in the struggle of loneliness &singleness] (Psalm 34:18-19; Romans 8:28)…

Secure in His perfect gift of the Cross, His peace that passes understanding, His unconditional Love, and His mercies that are new every morning (John 3:16; Philippians 4:7; Lamentations 3:22-23)…

I spend a lot of myself caring…I woke up this morning already irritated…

My attitude changes only with prayer, flexibility, compassion, & understanding.

I do not have an easy job, but I was called into this life for such a time as this, in this place, with these kiddos. I’ve never been under the illusion that this calling would be easy; but, sometimes I forget that I have to be filled by Him in order to go out and fill others.

So, I pray. I smile. I go with the flow. I express compassion.

Then, I come home, and I recharge (sometimes better than others). And, I allow Him to be my fill. I allow Him to remind me who I am, Whose I am, and to what I have been called. I find ways to relax, to experience my own life & joys, and love those around me.

And, then, I remember & embrace that I am deeply loved by the One who also deeply loves those He called me to serve.

In this, I am secure.


This week’s Tuesday @ 10 topic is Secure. In what do you find your security?  Let me know below.