Lay it down

It’s Tuesday night, 10pm to be exact. I’m laying in my bed in Hawaii, and all my roommates are asleep. If it wasn’t for the soft pounding of “Clair de Lune” rushing through my headphones, I’d hear the slow in’s and out’s of their sleep cycles. Today has been a long day. Not because of the hours I’ve been awake, nor the amount of things I’ve had to check off my “to do” list. Today has been a long day because my heart is tired of one little word.

It’s a word I can’t get used to. A word that only has deep meaning when someone becomes important to you. It’s a word that doesn’t ever get easier to say, and actually has the potential to build up a bit of bitterness inside you. I know it has for me, not just in the past, but also today. I hate goodbye.

Goodbye sucks, and let me tell you something- God never intended for us to say goodbye. If only we had listened. If only Adam and Eve didn’t fall into the temptation of something lesser than Him. If only, if only.

Let’s face it- I could live in the land of “if only’s”, but that wouldn’t help me. It wouldn’t move me closer to my friends, it wouldn’t stop me from missing my family, and it wouldn’t let me receive His heart in this situation. So what do I do? How do I live knowing that goodbye sucks, that goodbye is inevitable, and necessary?

Sometimes I’ve been tempted to shut off, and mum can tell you that I’ve succeeded multiple times in doing so. It’s how I safeguard my heart. Here’s my logic: Goodbye only hurts when you say goodbye to someone you love. SO: If I stop loving people, then when they leave me/I leave them, it won’t hurt anymore.

I’ve lived this out, sadly, and let me tell you, it’s a rotten idea. We are meant to love. We’re meant to live together, through the joy, the pain, the excitement and sadness, we are not meant to do this all alone.

Our lectures last week were about fear of the Lord. No, not fear that He is going to smite you, not fear that He can and will wipe you off the face of this earth, but healthy fear. Part of fearing Him is laying down our rights, and I’ve talked about this before I’m sure, but He is always speaking newness, and so I’ve been listening. “What does hating goodbye have to do with me laying down my rights?” Do I have the right to have all my friends in my life forever? Do I have the right to walk with the same people always? How about to keep them to myself, even though they were meant to do great things in new places? Do I have the right to get to know them when I want, or to spend as much time with them as I want?

Nope.

Not even a little.

See, I’ve learned that God, He’s a good God. He knows my heart, even the nasty, disgusting parts that I try to hide from you. He sees all of that, and He sees that my hate for goodbyes comes from a place deep within. I’ve learned that He knows best, even though I fight with Him all the time, being so sure that I’ve got it under control. Does it make it easier when my friends get in vans and airplanes and leave? Not always. But I don’t have to pretend with Him. Today I sat in the middle of the sidewalk with a friend and we just sat and cried. We cried because people mean something to us, they sit in our hearts, and we are thankful for them. We cried because yes, saying goodbye is hard, but we also know that they are meant for greatness. I will let them go (as if I have a choice), and serve the best way they can: by listening to Him.

So: when goodbyes suck, tell Him. Tell Him how much you hate them, and I guarantee He will agree. But one day, one glorious day, there will be no more goodbyes. No more.

Take that, Satan.

change

With Strength that is not my own. Sam

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What if…

“Lead me by your truth and teach me, for you are the God who saves me.

All day long I put my hope in You.”

Psalm 25:5

I’m going to ask you a question, but first I must set the stage. I love prayer. I love the way God communicates to us through prayer, I love how it unites us as brothers and sisters, and reminds us that He is in control. I love prayer, but I have one question.

What if  YOU were the answer to your prayers?

This question is mostly for me, as I’ve been assessing my prayer life, the things I’ve been asking God for and to do. Over the last few months I’ve been blasted with these huge issues- children being raised without fathers, girls getting sold/taken/forced into sex slavery, forced abortions, malnutrition- the list keeps going. As I’ve faced these issues, I’ve just built up this anger almost. “God, why is this happening?? Why isn’t anyone doing anything?? GOD, please DO SOMETHING!”

rustling

There was no booming voice. I didn’t see an angel or get struck to the ground, but He spoke, and it was clear as day. “Sam, you keep asking me to do all these things, but I want you to go. I want you to act. I want you to be part of this, to do this together with me. I’ve asked others before, but they continued with the same prayer you’re praying. Well, now’s the time. YOU go. Be an answer to your own prayer.”

What if, instead of asking, “God, would you please do something to stop this?”, we asked “God, what can I do to help?” Instead of looking at the big picture and getting overwhelmed at the thought of it, we just went to see one person. Instead of seeing the figures of 132 million orphans and saying “I can’t change that by myself”, you took on the call from countless Scriptures and said “I can take care of at least one. At least.”

God is looking for a partnership here, He’s looking for a daily relationship. He cares about the in’s and out’s of your day- every single detail. He is a good Father, He doesn’t favour any one of His children over the other, so why do we? It keeps hitting me that because of His grace I was born in the family I have, but so easily I could be the 12 year old in Togo who can’t afford her $10 school fees, and as a result gets sold by her parents into prostitution. It could have been me, but it’s not, so what am I going to do about it? I am a strong believer that we are blessed so that we can bless others, so let’s do this. Please excuse me if my posts start asking more of you, if they make you uncomfortable by asking you to look at uncomfortable things, but this is my heart. I’ve noticed such a shift in my focus since the day I landed here, and I’m letting that be a beautiful thing. I’m choosing to see change in a new light. Will you do that with me?

With Strength that is not my own, Sam