Wednesday, August 30, 2017

6:42 AM 0

What does it feel like to be uprooted from your home? What must be going through the minds of thousands of people as they are forced to watch their belongings drowned beneath the effects of a storm that is beyond their control? Helpless? Unsure? Afraid?

From the comforts of my dry front porch, hearing the birds singing nearby, it would seem that all is right with the world, but then again it isn’t. Although I am surrounded by peace on every side, I am deeply connected to the storm that is taking place only six short hours from our home. Why is that?

What would cause a concern within our hearts for something that does not directly affect us? What would cause men and woman all over the country to flock to an area riddled by floods and disasters merely to help someone who is in need? Do we not live in an “all about me society?” Is the anthem of our culture not “me, me, me?"

So we have been told. So it is that we have believed the marketing campaign that for decades now has been telling us that “WE” are the most important people on the face of the planet and that “SELF ABOVE ALL ELSE” is the key to happiness, but I am not buying it. Sure, our culture is riddled with self-promotion, broken people seeking to find fulfillment through self-glorification and selfishness. I am absolutely one of those people, but our struggles do not define who we are.

We were actually made in the image of God (Gen. 1:26), and we were created to work and thrive together as we participate in this beautiful thing called Kingdom Building. It is Satan who distracts our hearts, turns us against each other, and convinces us to forget from where we came. In the same way he deceived Eve in the garden, he is deceiving us every day. He is using jealousy, insecurities, pain, and fear to keep us from tasting the true goodness of a unified body of believers. We were made for so much more. We were made to build because God is a builder, and in His unbelievable plan of redemption, He actually allows us to participate in the building, not because we are good, but because He is good.

“Rather speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.” (Eph. 4:15-16)

So often it takes a storm to remind us of who we were created to be and the great joy that is waiting when we live in unity. So often it takes a storm to set aside the distractions that Satan has plagued upon our hearts in an effort to divide God’s kingdom, because he is threatened when God’s people come together. To the extent in which we truly believe that God’s body works best when we are all working together will be the extent in which love can be experienced and deeply felt throughout this world. When we are loving one another and seeking to do our part, while encouraging others to do the same, it looks a whole lot like the images I have seen on my screen this week.

It looks like people carrying each other over the rough waters and through the dark nights. It looks like people being brought into a shelter and given a warm blanket and food to satisfy their hunger. It looks like ministries such as One Kingdom sending relief and aid to those in need and my friend, Nick Decorte, traveling 200 miles in his army SUV to transport stranded folks to safety. It looks like you and me praying in our homes, praying in our small groups, and praying in our churches for friends and family that are in harm’s way. It looks a whole lot like JESUS.

When God’s people come together, healing is found. When God’s people come together, cultures are changed. When God’s people come together, individuals can encounter storms and not be shaken, because in their helplessness they find help, in the uncertainty of what lies ahead, they are confident that God is there, and when their fear threatens to overtake them, JESUS calms the storm by sending them small pieces of himself living within the hearts of you and me. We are the Church. We are the Body of Christ. We need each other to thrive, and the world will recognize us by our love. It is that love that will introduce them to the Savior of the world, JESUS.


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