Sunday, September 28, 2014

The world is burning to the ground.

Some days I find myself SO upset about the things that I see happening in our country and in our world that I decide to just sing.

YES. Sing.

I picked a very fitting song for those times when the news brings no hope of a brighter future. My husband laughs when out of the blue I burst out singing lyrics of a song by Matchbox Twenty. The chorus is my favorite:

And I. Believe. The world. Is burning to the ground.
Oh well, I guess we're gonna find out!
Let's see how far we've come.

[Side note: You’ll have to listen to the song on YouTube to really appreciate the beat…and maybe even imagine me hiked up on caffeine all around the house singing! {I amuse myself}]

Seriously. There are days I get bombarded with bad news. Abused children, families in crisis, beheadings, war, terror plots, hatred, bickering, a divided nation, and of course the periodic screaming of angry neighbors.

I’m surprised my head hasn’t exploded.

Looking at our surroundings in the natural, we probably agree that certainly the world is ‘burning to the ground’.

The best decision I made recently was to take a social media and news fast. Not because I wanted to dig my head in the ground and live in my imaginary utopia. But because I realize now how much toxicity I was allowing into my mind, how it was affecting my emotions and distorting my understanding of what’s REALLY going on.

My hyper focus on the matters of the world made me want to hide in a closet and hope that I would be whisked away in the rapture...ASAP.

Truth is I was missing the picture. You see, to get my head straight again I had to remember that I’m just passing by. If you are a follower of Jesus, then welcome to the club!

We inherited a broken world that insists in separating itself from the Love and Truth of its creator, resulting in darkness. But, the good news is that this is NOT how it all ends.

God doesn't want us to hide in fear from the troubles around us. 

God wants us to be courageous, to understand that before we were even born He planned good works for us to do for such times as these.

We are called to go out into the world and SHINE our light by spreading the message of hope, love and restoration with the unique gifts that He gave each of us. 

We all experience a measure of fear at some point; but fear should only serve as a reminder of our total dependency on God to accomplish His purposes, not a roadblock to live our life and calling.

I had to shift my perspective so I dove into Scripture and I sought out godly wisdom from the teachings of our pastor.

Once I used to read Matthew 24 with a sense of dread {I have a feeling some of you may have also felt this way at times}. However; I learned that Jesus’ warnings were not meant to instill fear but out of love to give us insight so that we can be ready for the end when He returns.

 “So you, too, must keep watch! For you don’t know what day your Lord is coming. Understand this: If a homeowner knew exactly when a burglar was coming, he would keep watch and not permit his house to be broken into. You also must be ready all the time, for the Son of Man will come when least expected.
-Matthew 24:42-44 (NLT)

Pastor Robbie O’Brien summarized this passage best, “if you know something is going to happen you must be ready.”

God is not surprised about what’s going on, and nor should we.

I took a deep breath.  Pastor Robbie reminded us that scripture describes all these things happening as ‘birth pains’ through which there is a natural sense of fear, but also of anticipation and excitement for the end result.

The world may be burning to the ground, but as children of God we live in anticipation and excitement knowing that He remains in control and on the throne.

He is making things new and His return will bring a new life free of suffering experiencing His majesty and perfect love.

4 ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’[b] or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”
5 He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!”
Revelation 21:3-5

As we wait in anticipation, we have things to do:
-          Spread the message of hope, LOVE and reconciliation. (Matt. 28:18-19)
-          Live holy lives and follow Jesus’s teachings. (Matt. 28:20)
-          Use our talents. Do the work he has laid out before us. (Matt. 25:14-30)
-          Be strong and courageous. Do not fear. 
-          Take care of each other, LOVE, and encourage one another. (John 13:34-35)

Finally, we must study God’s word regularly. Doing so will help us on those days we want to hide in a closet to wait for the rapture to take us home.

This dark world needs our light to shine. So, let’s step out of our hiding place or our places of comfort and let’s shine on.

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