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Archive for the ‘Lesson’ Category

Jan 15 2010

Paralyzed by the Scope of Tragedy

Posted by Mugs @ 4:59 pm in Lesson

When major tragedies occur in our world similar to the massive earthquake in Haiti, I become very still inside. The scope of the devastation is so great that it overwhelms me. The tragic loss of so many people and the great need of so many injured is impossible for me to take in.

I can do nothing at first but pray. I cannot fathom being a first responder. To have the ability to catapult from shock to action escapes me. I often feel paralyzed by the scope of tragedy and cannot think of how to respond.

The pictures, stories, and sounds of destruction convince me that I can’t fix it all, I can’t right it all, I can’t make a difference when the scope is this great. So, I freeze into inaction trying to block it out so that it does not overwhelm me.

When asked to help meet a great need I always think, “What difference can I make?” Then, I receive a request. Someone has family there and is bringing items to the Haitian embassy to be flown down for assistance.  There are three million people affected. I am one person. I understand clearly that what I can do is a pittance in comparison to the need.

However, God reminds me once again that it is not my job to worry about the massiveness of the need. It is my job to meet the need that I can and pray that He will meet all the rest. So, I donate packs of tuna and baby wipes.

Maybe all you can do is small too, but do not allow the smallness of it to stop you. Donate a meal, clothing, a blanket. Give money to fill a gas tank, a belly, a school desk. Write a note of encouragement, hope, and care. Most importantly, pray. Pray that the people of Haiti would cry out to Jesus Christ to be saved and that He would deliver them.

Nov 10 2009

Love Your Enemy?

Posted by Mugs @ 10:30 am in Lesson

Today the Army is conducting a memorial service at Fort Hood for those killed last week. Since hearing of the murders, I am still distressed and upset that in a country where people can freely choose love and goodwill, once again someone has chosen hate and evil.

I am ever thankful for the brave security personnel who shot and stopped the shooter. Yet, stand in amazement at the medics who worked to save his life.  I actually told Dale, “Good thing I’m not a medic. I don’t know if I could do that.” I then asked, “What is the point of saving his life? I know the FBI will want to question him to see if it is an organized plot, but is he worth it?”

I find it remarkable that the medics were willing to save the life of their enemy immediately after he gunned down their fellow soldiers. Whether their motivation was duty to save a life that could be saved or the God given ability to love the enemy, I do not know. Either way, to me it shows great character.

Character that I seem to lack during a tragedy and immediately after. For, I do not want to show mercy, kindness, forgiveness, and love. I want the hateful individual to be shown justice, my determination of justice.

I was still struggling with these thoughts as I was sitting and listening to a missionary from South Africa, Charl van Wyk, speak in my Sunday School class. When the rebels were fighting for South Africa, they attacked his church and fired on his people. He fired back and repelled them.

For awhile he was furious at the rebels and refused to forgive them. Then God began to work on his heart. After Charl forgave them, he started a ministry of reconciliation to the very men who fired upon the people of his church. Amazingly, the rebel leader came to Christ and was saved.

Sitting there, I realized once again that I am not the rightful judge. I cannot put myself in God’s place. My righteousness is as filthy rags to God. I don’t know who God will save. I don’t know which heart He will change. Is it possible for God to bring the Fort Hood shooter to salvation? Yes. Will He? I don’t know.

“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.” Matthew 5:43-45 (NIV)

This is a difficult Christian passage for me, because it wars with my flesh. Can I love my enemy? Yes, but only through Christ who lives in my heart. Love is not a feeling, it is an attitude and an action. I must choose to forgive and to pray and to love.