Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Make Me Salt, Make Me Light, Let Your Holy Fire Ignite

“And he said to them. ‘Is a lamp brought to be put under a basket, Or under a bed? Is it not to be set on a lamp stand? For there is nothing hidden that will not be revealed, nor has anything been kept secret but that it should come to light.’ ” Mark 4:21-22

Often times, we are called the light of the world. We are the ones responsible to spread his glory to all of those who don’t know it. And we are here to remind others that do know his word, that we are the ones to hold each other responsible to his plans. I know too many people who go to church just to make it look like they feel the full glory of God. Once they get home though, the bible goes in a dresser drawer, their Sunday best comes off, and they go back to living their lives according to what they think is right. Completely forgetting what they were told that day in church, it becomes placed on the back burner until the next time they need to pull it forward to impress someone. They don’t take the word to their hearts, and go on living their life completely unaware what they are doing is only fooling themselves. I often wonder how they’ll look standing before him as he’s going through their life. Will he be angry? Will he be hurt? I know I would be hurt, because pretending to be something your not is far worse than admitting to yourself that the life you live is a lie.

There are so many Christians out there that feel like they don’t need to spread God’s love, grace, and hope to the lives of people who need it the most. Why? Because someone else will take care of it. But there comes a time, where we need to be that someone. We often pray for things that we need God’s help with. Examples that come to mind are things such as; strength, wisdom, patience, compassion, and guidance. God could just bestow all of these things on us, but would we truly grasp the lesson behind them? You pray to God for strength, so he gives you opportunities to be strong. You pray to God for wisdom, God will give you the chance to be wise. You pray to God for patience, God gives you an opportunity to increase your patience. You pray to God for compassion? God gives you situations to show compassion to people who need it most. You pray to God for guidance, God will show you where he wants you to go in life.

Do you see the pattern here? God doesn’t just GIVE these things to you, Because if he did, it would be like a person who is struggling pay check to pay check, winning 13 million dollars from the lottery. Things become lost from perspective when that happens. God wants to help us reflect as much of him to the world as we can, but he doesn’t want us to forget why they are important in the first place. So, instead of just handing us everything that we want, God wants us to remember that he should be the center of our lives, and all of our values should reflect him. Core values are not important unless they reflect God’s values.

Our values come from the lessons that we learn in our time here on Earth. There are so many lessons we learn in life. Some we learn through unfortunate circumstances in our own lives and those lessons are the ones we tend not to forget. There are also lessons we learn from the pain and hardships of another’s life. We learn that the stove is hot and not to touch it by watching our older brother touch the stove and burn his hand. Lessons we learn through watching the other people around us are lessons that we try hard not to forget, less we end up making the same mistake in our own lives. Even though we make mistakes, there is a God up in heaven who is willing to forgive our deepest sins because he loves us so dearly. He loves us so much, he sent his one and only son, the perfect one, the one who shouldn’t have to carry the weight of others, came down here to Earth, to die on a cross, so that we will never have to forget who loves us the most.  Even when it feels like there is  no one down here on Earth that cares for us, we are comforted by the fact there is a God who loves us so much, and is willing to look past our flaws, our imperfections, our sins, just to tell us how much he loves us.

There is so much more that could be said about his love for us, but I’m afraid that would take me farther away from my original topic. While writing this, I happened to hear the song “The Motions” by Matthew West. One of my favorite lyrics from this song is “I don’t want to go through the motions; I don’t want to live one more day, with out your all consuming passion inside of me. I don’t want to spend my whole life asking “What if I had given everything, instead going through the motions? This song hits a spot in my heart that I try to fulfill everyday. I don’t want to have any regrets, knowing that I could be a better person than I was. I try to be the best person I can be every single day.

I don’t want to be a person who when I get looked at have people wonder if my faith is genuine or if I’m just a pew warmer, here because it will look good when people see my life, and what I’ve done with it. I want people to see me and say ‘yep, she’s filled with God’s love for the least of us.’ I want to change the world, but I want to do something that will make a lasting impact on the lives of people, and their families. I want to stand before him, and hear him say ‘Well done, faithful servant.’ I want to be filled with the peace of knowing that I have done everything in my power to make life on earth as great as possible for people who are hurting.

People often say that I have a big heart, but I like to think that I’ve just lived a lot of life in the 17 years that I’ve been here thus far. I know that there are people who have been through the pain that I have had to go through, who shut down, and lock out the entire world. They want to have all their pain to themselves. They don’t realize how selfish that is though. God gave us pain so that we may know happiness. God gave us tears, so that we realize how beautiful our smiles are. There’s darkness in the world to give us a better appreciation for the light.

No one said that life is easy. In fact, that’s the farthest from the truth. Let’s face the truth, in life, no one has ever made it out alive. Our lives will be tough, we will be faced with uncertain times, pain, grief, despair, and we might even question our own faith at times. But if we hand everything over to God, and let him carry us through our rough times, we just might make it out ok.

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