Day 3: Seeing Past the Holy Huddle

This post is one in a series of posts called “Glimpses of God” which I am writing as part of the Write31Days blog challenge. You can find the other posts here: 31 Glimpses of God Blog Challenge (#write31days)

I have been intrigued by another blog involved in the 31 day challenge. In this other blog, the writer is chronicling her “break-up with Jesus.” She says that she was raised in a fanatical religious cult, then converted to Catholicism, but has become frustrated with the church and is now ready to get rid of all her fantasies and see if anything real remains.

Anger, hurt, and disillusionment come jumping off the screen as I read her words. I find myself praying for this person I don’t know and wouldn’t recognize if I bumped into. Yet, I keep thinking that if not for this blog challenge, I would never even know about this lady. That probably sounds like a rather dumb statement, but what I mean is that I am very guilty of staying safely tucked in my “holy huddle” of Christian friends. I love my holy huddle. I feel safe in my huddle. And my huddle is necessary for my Christian growth and encouragement. But there is a world of hurting broken people outside of my huddle, and if all I do is stay around my huddle-mates (is that even a word?) then I will never see those people.

I tend to gravitate towards people who look like me, act like me, and think like me. But what if Jesus would have done that? How many hurting people would have remained in their broken hurting state? The world, outside of my holy huddle, needs to know that it is the person of Jesus who heals, not the religion of men.

It is the relationship with Jesus that restores the broken, not our membership in a certain church.

It is the love of God in the form of a man who willing allowed His body to be broken to die the death we deserve that allows our sin to be forgiven, and not our adherence to a bunch of rules.

It is the power of God’s Word that changes our hearts, not the route forced memorization of it.

This world is lost, broken, hurt, disillusioned and angry. Politics can’t fix it, gun control can’t fix it, the economy can’t fix it, not even the pope can fix it. This world needs the person of Jesus, the all consuming love of Jesus and a relationship with Jesus. Only with Jesus can true hope and real healing begin.

My holy huddle already knows that, so I need to begin asking the Lord to show me who He wants me to share Him with outside of my huddle. I must confess though that praying that prayer scares me. As an introvert and a people pleaser, stepping out of my comfort zone and my huddle sounds about as fun as a root canal without medication. But I keep thinking that if Jesus never stepped out of Heaven to come to dwell among sinners, I would not be on my way to Heaven.

And so on this third day of the challenge, God has allowed me to see my need to share Him beyond my holy huddle. What does that mean exactly? I don’t have a clue yet. For now, I will pray for the woman who is searching for truth and aching for the love of the real Jesus to overwhelm her soul. And I will keep my eyes open to where God leads next even though that kinda scares me.

I will end with a quote from a beautiful song titled, “Be Born in Me” by Francesca Battistelli:

“I am not brave, I’ll never be. The only thing my heart can offer is a vacancy. I’m just a girl, nothing more. But I am willing, I am Yours.”

See you tomorrow,

Jen

Be Born in Me photo

Day Two: Perspective Changer

This post is one in a series of posts called “Glimpses of God” which I am writing as part of the Write31Days blog challenge. You can find the other posts here: 31 Glimpses of God Blog Challenge (#write31days)

One thing I already love about this challenge is that I am constantly on the look for glimpses of God throughout my day. For someone who can easily get distracted by my “to-do” list, this is going to be a great way to keep my focus on the Lord.

Yesterday morning was one of those mornings. I woke up late, it was pouring (again), I saw the horrible news about the Oregon shooting (which I had somehow missed the day before), we finally got on the road when my daughter announced that she forgot her backpack (although she remembered her blankie!) I called my husband who sweetly brought said backpack to school, but then I felt guilty about making him late for work.

All in all, I knew none of those things were that big of a deal, but at the time they felt big. Feelings are funny that way aren’t they? As I drove away from school, I started to feel really sad. I tuned into the Christian AM station that I normally listened to after drop off, but the program I like was already over. I tuned into the FM station to listen to my christian music station, but they were playing the one song I don’t like. Frustrated and feeling lonely, I prayed, telling God that I didn’t want to feel this way. I felt as gloomy as the skies above. (The week long rain is really taking a toll on me, can you tell?)

I hit the bluetooth button on my car so that I could listen to songs via my phone. Normally, I have to pull up itunes on my phone before a song would play, but surprisingly music filled my car as soon as I hit the bluetooth button even though itunes was closed. The song that came on was “At Your Name” – a precious reminder of the awesome power and nature of God. That song was a total perspective changer. As I started to sing along, I felt a filling of my spirit occur. I was able to see above the gray clouds to the holiness of the unchanging God.

Original

My emotions and feelings are so easily influenced by circumstances and outside forces, yet God remains the same. He is the same today as He was at creation. He will be the same tomorrow as He was the night heaven bent down and touched the little town of Bethlehem. He never ever changes. God never has a bad day, He never gets moody, He never wavers. Clouds may block our view of Him, but that doesn’t change Him.

Yesterday morning as I kept listening to different songs that testified to God’s goodness, my perspective changed even though my circumstances did not.

And the last song that played before I pulled into my garage? “Blessings” by Laura Story. If you know that song you will see the “God wink” of that song choice:

“What if Your blessings come through raindrops? What if Your healing comes through tears? What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know Your near? What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise?”

See you tomorrow!

Jen