Thursday, July 3, 2008

God's Mercy

Wow , did God ever teach me a wonderful lesson last night at church. Actually it was 2 lessons, one from God directly & one by annointing on our Pastor.

These 2 things are very powerful that I learned last night.

The first lesson was in our Wed. evening sermon. It was on the Seasons of Prayer. Pastor said sometimes God will draw you into a season of prayer. You will feel compelled to stop what you are doing & pray. If you tell God to wait a few minutes even you can miss that season. If God is pulling strongly on you to pray stop & do it even if the Super Bowl is on & your team is playing. There is a reason God is doing it. Seasons of prayer are to equip us for an upcomming battle. It is to tune us into God so we can better hear him and equip ourselves for what is coming. He gave a great example. If a hurricane is coming the weathermen can see it coming before it gets here. They then will warn us & we go into a time of preparation so that we can survive the storm. God is like that too. God is omnipresent so he can see our future & knows what is coming. God may see a storm brewing & pull you into a season of prayer to equip you to be able to survive that storm. It could even be as simple as being at work & feeling strongly compelled to pray ( I have certainly had that happen.), what we may not know is that God can see that a drunk driver on the road with us as we are traveling home later that evening & he wants us to be tuned in to Him so that when He whispers to us to move into another lane we know it is the voice of God & do it so as to avoid an out of control drunk driver. Sometimes this season will involve fasting. Jesus fasted 40 days & nights & was in a season of prayer before he was tempted of the devil. Though his body was weak his spirit man was strong & deeply rooted in prayer. This next part is the part I liked. Jesus said if we have faith like a mustard seed, the mustard seed being the smallest seed but produces a huge plant. The mustard seed ALSO has a deep root system. We MUST be rooted in prayer & when God moves us to pray he is getting us ready for an attack. Roots are unseen but they sustain what is seen. If you do not have what is unseen (the root system) what is seen will wither & die. Sometimes when we don't see God, like the roots, He is up to something. THIS PART IS HUGE TO ME!!!!!!!!!!!! WE KNOW HOW DEEP OUR ROOT SYSTEM IS BY HOW WE REACT WHEN A STORM HITS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Okay man, that is way deep. So as I have stated before I am somewhat of a stresser & a panicker. I was never that way until I was 23. I just truly believe that I never learned how to cope with stress & for say 15 years I was constantly thrown major curve balls one after the other with no relief so I am a freaker outer now. I can admit that. But I am trying to change & I have also been in the last few months seeking God more feverently than I ever have & praying a lot more also. It was a very good sermon.

My second lesson that evening was somewhat horrifying. When church was over I was escorting my youngest son & my mom outside of the building. I have to stay for choir practice. Well, I saw a man who looked like he was in a lot of pain coming towards me on crutches. He had a broken leg & from the look of pain on his face it must have been recently. So I opened the church doors for him to get outside & he began to talk to me & my mom. It seems he hitched a ride to church & had no way to get home. He was looking for a ride to the house he was staying at. It seems he is also homeless. Nobody was concerned about the fact that he had no way to get home & everyone was telling him no. Now my husband is ALL about doing nice things for people & always lending a helping hand. So he was picking up mom & baby & I called him on the cell to see if he would take the guy home knowing all the while he would say yes of course. Imagine my suprise when he gets aggrivated with me for asking & tells me no. He says he has to go to Staples for office supplies & it is in the other direction. So I get aggrivated with him & tell him he can go afterwards OR go in the morning. This poor man is in obvious misery & needs a ride. So he says no. I was floored. My mom was horrified to tell him that her ride was not able to take him & she gave him $20. So he sits down on some stone blocks outside to see if he can get a ride. I go into the church to my choir director & some other leaders & tell them about the man. They wave their hands in the air & dismiss me. They say it's his problem how he gets where he has to go & he should have thought about that before he came. I try my hardest to find a ride for the guy but no one cars a rats booty. The husband of the pastoral couple who runs our women's drug & rehabilitation center would not give him a ride either. He said the guys uses his foot as an excuse, apparently he only has 3 toes too & has been enrolled in our men's drug & rehab center. A nine month in house program & he has fallen off the wagon. And my response to that is soooooo. The guy did what he had to do to get to church....... he had faith that he could hitch his way here & find a ride home, isn't that enough? Well, nobody cared & said he hangs out here all the time. Nice, last time I checked hanging out at church wasn't some horrible crime. SO, my leader says to start practice but I am determined that if he is still out there & nobody else does it I am going to give him a ride. I was a little scared because you never know & I was going to be all alone in the car with him. I wouldn't have been frightened with someone. So at the end of practice one of the sound guys asks for all our attention. He tells everyone about the man outside & how he is asking for a ride. They think is is weird & high so he tells us that he is at the front doors of the church & we are all going to exit from the emergency doors at the back of the church on the side so he can't see us or talk to us. By the time he would see all of us we would already be in our cars driving away. So ever the activist I pipe up & say but how is he going to get home? I was met with snorts, rolling eyes & waving hands again. They ALL said except for me & two other ladies that it was his problem & he is weird & high & not for any of us to give the guy a ride. Well, I don't know what a high person looks like but he didn't seem like he was drugged out to me. Plus, high people are not dangerous. He seemed like he was a little slow & having a very hard time to me. I think he maybe had a slight learning disability but certainly not dangerous to me. So we three ladies were trying to find a way to get him home without it being a single lady but the men were adamant we were all going to sneak out the back. I was really shocked that our pastor's wife who sings on the front line & my choir director were of the ones who were most adamant that he was to be left behind. Now let me tell you, the guy had a broken leg & I found out he had been hit by a car that day or the day before so you know he was sore & in pain. We are also on a hill so the only way for him to even leave the parking lot with a broken leg on foot would be to roll down the pavement because it is steep & crutches just wouldn't cut it. He had no cell phone. Next.... is our church is out in the country, in our parking lot at 9:30 the outside lights all shut off & when that happens it is sooooo dark that you literally cannot see your hand in front of your face if it was only an inch away. It is complete blackness, you cannot even see the moon, the trees block it out. I have been stuck outside there in that blackness once & I had to just stop & wait for someone to open a side door becasue it was like I was encased in blackness, not a speck of light could be seen. This is what they watned to leave him in. He wouldn't have ever been able to find his way out of the parking lot I am sure. So anyway the 3 of us agreed that the one of us that had 2 teen boys with her would take him because it was the safest. They all looked at us like we were lunatics because they knew what we were talking about. Sure enough, they herded us all out through the back emergency side exits & everyone ran to their cars. I waited to make sure she did in fact pull around to the front to take him home before I left. She took him & I felt relieved. I was so horrified to have been witness to something I am quite certain Jeusus would not have approved of. God desires mercy not sacrifice. God wants us to have mercy on each other. I just couldn't understand these people's reaction...... it really burdoned me. How could they just be okay with leaving him in total darkness outside the church like that, broken leg & all. How could they be so uncaring & cold? What if that was Jesus outside? What if it was an angel? What if it wasn't & it was a poor soul needing help? I told the pastor's wife & my director I was extremely close to being homeless & would they just drive by me & my four kids and say "loser" as they drove by. What happened to compassion? They could've cared less & thought I was a nut for caring. It was almost ugly they way it all went down. Then as I was still contemplating it in my home God just dropped a word into my spirit. He said you see Jennifer, everyone has their faults. Compassion & mercy & giving & helping is so easy for you & it comes naturally. It is your gift. This you do not struggle with. They don't have these things & do not come naturally to them although they seek me & love me they struggle with those. For you, you struggle with negativity, anger & bitterness and having total trust & blind faith. These things they do not struggle with & it comes naturally to them. All fall short & what you struggle with is no different from what they struggle with. Everyone struggles with something....... stop beating yourself up that you cannot conquer these things. I showed you this so you would know. Then what the rest was could not be expressed in words. It was more of God just imprinting on me that it is okay that I have this struggle. We all have things that we struggle with & He knows mine & it is okay. It is who I am & he loves me just as those people. These people are people who you would look at & say man, they have so together. They are prayer warriors & gifted & just so emersed in the spirit, if only I could be that together. But yet look at how they fell short...... It was a wonderful revelation that took place in seconds. I just smiled because God was showing me that I was okay just as I was.

1 comment:

ocean mommy said...

WOW. What a night you had!!!

I'm glad you didn't drive him home by yourself and that there was someone (with some guys!) willing to extend help to the helpless.

You know, I would have had a problem with the way it was handled to.

BTW~ I LOVE that frame at the beginning of this post! Very cute.

Have a great day!