You may have noticed it’s been a while since my last post. I wish I could say that’s because our wires got crossed with Go Daddy and they pulled my entire blog right off the face of the internet and therefore I couldn’t write something even if I wanted to because they had to “retrieve” five years worth of writing from who-knows-where and charge me an arm and a leg to do it.
But, no, that’s not the reason.
I mean, yes, okay, the Go Daddy fiasco actually happened, but it didn’t bother me too much (aside from the arm and leg part). It was actually a nice little diversion from what’s been bothering me lately. What I felt compelled to write about, but didn’t want to because it’s uncomfortable and it might upset people I care about. But the weeks have passed and even though I’m still uncomfortable, now I’m ready. And what I want to say is this:
I have been so discouraged lately. My heart is so heavy it feels like it’s sitting way down in my stomach instead of beating easy up in my chest. Near as I can figure, there are two main reasons for this.
The first is Planned Parenthood. As gut-wrenching as it is to read about what’s going on in some of these clinics, maybe there is some good to come from it. As my friend Mike would say, it forces us to make a decision about what we believe. Shining the spotlight on the practices of Planned Parenthood reinforces what I know to be true about what God intended when He designed a woman’s body to carry and sustain life. As a woman, I take great offense at those who say defunding Planned Parenthood is just another battle in the war against women. As a Christian, I view the abortive services Planned Parenthood provides as a glaring opposition to what God teaches us in His Word about what He requires of us and desires for us.
The second is gay marriage. Last month, Mankato held their annual “Pride Fest.” Every day for two weeks, as I drove my children to school, we passed under a banner promoting the LGBT lifestyle. It discouraged me to have to explain to them why some would take what God calls sin and turn it into something to celebrate, something to be proud of. It’s not the first time, and definitely not the last, that we will have these conversations and it saddens me that at such a young age they even have to know what “homosexual” means.
Such is the world we live in. As Christians, what can we do when faced with such discouraging news?
First, we need to remember our own, personal, damning sin. The problems that exist in our world are here because of sin. When we see something that goes against God’s law, our first thought should be to remember we are part of the problem. We fail every day to keep God’s law and maintain His requirement for righteous living. Naturally, this realization should be followed by hearts that overflow with gratitude for what Jesus has done for us, how He has pulled us from filth and mire of sin and imperfection and given us His holiness. It should also be followed by compassion for those who have not learned this truth yet.
Second, be in the Word. Always. Every day. This is part of my problem. I’ve been neglecting my personal devotion time and not filling my soul with the life-giving Word. So of course I am weighed down, discouraged, and sad. I’ve set aside my compass and am losing sight of the path. God promises there will be trouble and tribulation as long as we are on this earth, but He also promises to be with us. These are the truths I need to fill my mind and heart with, just as much – no, even more – than the newspaper reports of what is happening in our country and world.
Third, PRAY. God speaks to us in His Word, and we communicate back through prayer. Pray without ceasing, ask for strength, faith, wisdom, and guidance. Pray for those who do not know Jesus, and therefore can’t be expected to live their lives in accord with His Word. Pray to know when God is presenting you with an opportunity to witness, and pray for the words to say when that time comes. Even when you don’t have the words to say, and your heart is heavy like mine, the Spirit will intercede on your behalf and speak to God for you. So, pray. Pray. Pray.
Thank you for bearing with me as I made my way through this difficult post. If I sound like I have all the answers, I apologize. As a Christian, I’m constantly learning just how much I don’t know. At the same time, I’m so grateful God has given me His Word and the faith to know I can find every answer and every truth in those pages. Writing this post has helped me refocus on those most important things.
So whether you are feeling discouraged or peaceful today, worried or carefree, sad or joyful, my prayer is that you take time to open those pages and grow closer to Christ, and to remember that our God is always greater.