Today was a hard day. Last night I learned something which broke my heart. This morning I was told more details. It struck extremely close to home and involved someone I love dearly. I broke down in tears before the Lord, crying out to Him.
Today was a good day. I spent the day doing all the shopping for my Africa trip with Mom. We laughed, took wrong turns, had good discussions, spilled soda, got blisters from so much walking, enjoyed a beautiful day.
Now I’m sitting in my room……
…and I’m angry.
Mom and I watched a video this evening about a family of foster children. I cried through the whole movie. (Anyone who knows me well knows that this was probably the 3rd time in my life that I have ever cried during a movie.) When we got to the end I turned it off and sat there with tears still spilling down my face. I turned to Mom– “How can this be happening right now in our country…in our town?”
I was angry.
How can there be such violence? Such apathy? Such hardness and cruelty from those who are supposed to care the most? Such hatred? How can people fall prey to such evil lies? Why are most of us so calloused to what is happening so close to us? How can we go on with our lives unchanged?
I am still angry.
“Be ye angry, and sin not…” (Eph. 4:26 KJV)
“For man’s anger does not promote the righteousness of God.” (James 1:20 AMP)
I think there are two kinds of anger: a godly and righteous anger, and the anger of man. This anger I have is the result of growing closer to God and learning more and more of His heart. God is angered when those who are helpless, orphaned, strangers, and widowed are mistreated. (Ex. 22:21-24) He has given us the responsibility of reaching out to and not harming those who are mistreated and helpless, unloved and forgotten (James 1:27; Is. 1:17; Zech. 7:10).
It is so hard for me to look around and see such pain. To look at the people walking toward me on the street and see inside and know they are broken and hurting. To know that there are hundreds of children right here in my own state who are abused, unloved, uncared for, treated as garbage, and then separated from all the stability they have ever known (generally just their siblings) in an attempt to help them: they are scared and crying….and learning to be hardened. In a lot of ways, the plight of the foster children in the USA is just as bad or worse than that of a lot of the orphans in third-world countries. Just thinking about this causes me to rise up with righteous indignation. It makes me despise myself for the laxness that my life has been built on…the way I have turned and looked the other way so that I wouldn’t have to worry about it…the calloused attitude I have allowed into my life. It makes me go to my knees and cry out to the One who knows all about it…
I refuse to sit back and turn my eyes away from what is happening around me any longer. I refuse to leave it up to a nebulous “someone else”. I refuse to allow the calloused-ness to grip my life. God is teaching me to truly love the people around me…and giving me a passion to stop the trend of apathy in my own life. I choose to turn to God with this anger–I can do nothing with it on my own strength!
I pray that this anger would be turned into action, God. That I would stand up and let You teach me how to show Your love more and more. Don’t let me wallow in this apathy and leave-it-for-the-next-person attitude! God, continue to work in me…continue to break my heart. I long to know more of Your heart! Show me what I can be doing…open my eyes to the opportunities, Lord. For the past several months You’ve been asking me if I’m willing to do whatever it takes to serve You–to sacrifice my own fleshly dreams and desires–and to let the desires of Your heart fill my own heart…
YES. Whatever it takes…wherever You lead: I’m all in! There is no turning back.
I’m leaving for Africa in just over two weeks. The devil daily tries to infiltrate with thoughts of “You’re doing your part, Grace….go to Africa and serve. Then come home. That’s a noble thing to go over there and sacrifice your life for those weeks. What more could anyone expect of you?” I know those thoughts are not from the Lord, and they have no place in my life. The devil daily attempts to get me to believe countless lies…ones that would be so easy to believe. But the Lord has patiently shown me what these lies are and continues to shed His light on the things Satan never wanted exposed. Thank you, Lord!
It is a joy to know the Lord. It is an honor to serve Him. It is humbling to blatantly see my own unworthiness. It is thrilling to see and tell of His faithfulness. It is a life well spent which is permeated with a close intimacy with the King of kings and giving Him the honor that is due the Lamb who was slain! I will not say that that life is a bed of roses because that would be a lie. I will not say it is a life of ease and laughter. But it is a beautiful, adventurous, and fulfilling life. It is an action-packed life. It is a joy-filled life! I choose to embrace that life!
Spur me on to action, God! Don’t allow me to fall back into the old cycle of doing nothing. I want nothing to do with that kind of life…I say ‘no’!