Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Light Shines Brightest in the Dark - Reflections on a Trying Week.

This has been a hard week and a half for me.  As a life long holder of minority opinions, a possessor of a deep God given sense of justice and care for the less fortunate, and an always growing personal understanding of the God of the Bible and how much He loves this world, the events of this past week and their global impact have caused me unbelievable grief.  I have struggled both inwardly and externally to process what is going on in the world and try to understand how in the HECK we got here?  I wonder if you can relate?  I have questioned God, questioned myself, questioned the church, and spent far more time than is normal for me on the verge of tears.  Every story I read, every photo I see freshly reminds me that these are real people being affected... mommas and daddies, siblings and friends, aunts and grandparents... hurting and displaced in the world right now the vast majority for reasons that are not their own.  And while I know the truth is that has been true from the dawn of time for some people group at some point in the world, right now, its Syrians, and instead of welcoming them with open arms an reliving in some small way the pain and fear they are experiencing, our nation just wrongly called them dangerous and slammed the door in their faces.  These are victims, and are leader is treating them like they are not even human.

In my attempt to find sanity and connect with the Lord on all I was feeling and processing, I headed into nature to walk and worship and pray and LISTEN.  I needed some wisdom from outside myself on what the Lord is up to and how can this possible be happening in 2017 on our watch?  Before my walk I was reminded of this passage from Matthew, and the verses had been running thru my head all morning.

As someone who professes to know and desires to follow the God of the universe, I take God at His word and therefore believe that the Bible is true, and that Jesus meant what He said.  In the verse above, when asked point blank what is the greatest commandment, Jesus replied, "Love God, Love People."  But He doesn't just leave it there... He goes so far as to say "Love others AS YOURSELF."

What does that mean??  That means if I want a safe home for me and my family, then I ALSO and EQUALLY MUST want that for you also.

If I want food and and jobs for me and my family, then I ALSO and EQUALLY MUST want that for others.

If I want access to eduction for me and my family, then I ALSO and EQUALLY am commanded by God to want that for others also.

If I want healthcare and access to doctors and medical treatment for me and my family, then I ALSO and EQUALLY MUST want that for others in the world.

If I want FREEDOM and the option to choose my Religion and to practice what I believe, then I ALSO and EQUALLY MUST want that for others in the world as well.

I could go on and on and on, but I feel like the point is clear.  The Bible tells me I am to love my neighbors AS MYSELF.  It doesn't say neighbors I agree with or that share my religious beliefs or sexual orientation or political view..... It says AS MYSELF.  And I know that if I was forced to leave everything I knew and loved, everything I had spent my life building because crazy people came and made things so unsafe there was no other option but to flee, I would PRAY and DESIRE for someone to care and to come and to love on me and my kids.  To be the blessing we needed in those dark, dark days.  To meet needs we could not possibly meet in our given circumstances.  To believe in me and to care enough to be inconvenienced until I was able to make heads or tails of the chaos that had been inflicted upon me and my family.  And since I know that is what I would want for me, and because I believe the Bible is true and Jesus didnt make a mistake in its writing, the only reasonable conclusion I can draw is that it is a SIN to see my neighbors around the world suffering and to care more about my comfort and conveniences than about them.

If their suffering does not move me to sacrifice and action, I. Am. Wrong.

And so, this is the frame of mind I am in when the Lord meets as I am crying out to Him about all I am seeing and feeling and wanting Him to fix.  And His response is so clear.

"Jordan, my plan is that this will be My Peoples finest hour.  Light shines brightest in the DARK.  I know things seem dark now, but be assured I have given My people, who are called by My name, every thing they need to shine brightly in these dark days.  If they will rise up and stand alongside their brothers and sisters in the world who are hurting... If they will be inconvenienced for the sake of the Gospel they say they believe, more people will SEE ME CLEARLY that you can even comprehend.  I haven't left you.  I haven't left them.  I am here in the darkness, loving even those who do not yet know Me, and encouraging those who say they do to RISE UP and make me famous simply by how they LOVE the hurting and voiceless right in front of them."

I can not even put into words the peace that came over me when I realized the opportunity that exists for a massive global display of LOVE to emerge from these dark days.  We can all do something.  We must love our neighbor.  We do NOT need Washington to do that!  If you, like me, say you are a Christ follower, we must be inconvenienced for the sake of the Gospel we say we believe.  The time has come in our generation when we must put action to our words, and step out in faith loving people like NEVER before,  knowing the God of the universe created and loves every single Muslim, Jew, atheist, agnostic, and otherwise just as much as He loves YOU.  This is not a time to sit back and hope the world gets better.  This is the time to Love wildly and without abandon knowing the stakes have never been higher.

Our job is not to save people.  Only Jesus does that.  Our job is to LOVE THEM WITHOUT CONDITION.  And every single one of us is capable of Love.  And I do not have to agree with every decision you make in order to love you deeply.  We are all human.  Flaws are part of it.  My job is to LOVE my neighbor as I love my own flawed self.  The rest isn't up to me.

Find an organization that is helping refugees and ask what you can do to actively help them in their efforts.  Use your business to fundraise, sell somethings you don't need and donate the money, make cards with your kids and send them along with care packages, donate gently used items to a resettlement organization in your neighborhood, and on and on the list goes... Ask the Lord to show you what you are to do, and be willing to do whatever He brings to mind.

Jennie Allen just posted a LOT of options to look into on her blog! Check out for more info!! 

If this is going to be the churches finest hour, what I can promise you is this.  You don't want to miss it because you were scared or it was too inconvenient.  Oh what a tragedy that would be!

Light shines brightest in the dark.  Have HOPE that the King is still on His throne, and then Shine Bright in these dark days my friends!!  Never ever has the world needed it more.