It can be incredibly painful to watch people you love hurt, struggle and, sometimes fail miserably. And even though you may try over and over and over, the fact of the matter is you can’t change other people. They alone are responsible for their lives. But there is something you can do. You can love them by taking the risk to reach out, getting involved, praying for – and with – them, offering unconditional love, speaking the truth in love and walking with them through life’s most difficult moments. You don’t need a PhD in psychology or a seminary degree to do this. You just have to be willing to let God use you to love those people you are uniquely able to touch. So get ready. Because odds are God will be getting in touch with you today to love someone in only the way you can.
What’s true for most people is probably also true for you – your soul is covered with scars from being wounded. Some have come from people you care about, others from terrible mistakes you’ve made and still others from life just happening. After awhile, it’s awfully tempting to see yourself as a victim, act like you’re a victim and invite others to treat you as a victim. But regardless of what you’ve been through, God wants you to know that you that God’s love means don’t have to be a victim anymore. The reason is simple. God’s love really does heal you, really does strengthen you and really does allow you to live boldly. It probably will take awhile, involve hard work and challenge you to trust God more than you ever have before. But you can do it. You really can. Starting right now.
I see it everywhere I look.
Horrible destructive violence. Deadly violence. Religious violence. Ideological violence. National violence. Racial violence. Governmental violence. Individual violence. And random violence.
And who gets hurt?
The victims and their families as they grieve and try to put back together their lives. The perpetrators who descend into the living hell that comes from living apart from You. All of us who live in a world that has diminished Your gift of life to us. But most of all, the children. The innocent children. The children You cherish infinitely. The children who grow up thinking this kind of violence is normal.
So I pray today not just with words, but also from the depths of my spirit.
I pray for the children. For their safety. Their souls. Their understanding of life. Their future.
May we stop focusing on ourselves and start focusing on the children. Not when we win or are ready or think it’s convenient. But right now. Right here.
May it be so.
Whether it’s emails, tweets, texts, snapchat, instagram, facebook, 24-hour cable news or internet stories – you’re inundated with information every moment you’re awake. So much so, you hardly can digest it. More to the point, there’s so much noise you often miss what God wants you to hear. So listen carefully today. Listen when you’re happy – and sad. Listen when you’re busy – and quiet. Listen when you’re filled with faith – and struggling to believe. Listen and hear how God loves you before you know it; how God loves you just the way you are; how God loves you when you mess up; how God loves you when you don’t return God’s love; how God loves you passionately; how; God loves you personally; and how God loves you eternally. When you hear what God is saying – whether for the first time or for the ten-thousandth time – you’ll see everything in a brand new way.
You can name a myriad of moments in your life that will linger forever in your soul. Some are obvious, like the birth of a child or a beautiful sunset in which you could almost see the face of God. Others are unexpected, like the reconciliation of a broken relationship with a family member or the last hours spent with a loved one before they died. These are special moments. But they’re also far more; sacred moments that fill you to overflowing with God’s grace. And when these moments happen, which they will with great regularity, you will feel more alive than you ever imagined possible. So welcome every sacred moment. Embrace each with everything you’ve got. Live with the joyful abandon that comes from knowing God’s part of every moment of your life. And, then, give God all praise, honor and glory.