Matthew 5:9 KJV
Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.
The Mission Field Called life
We often find ourselves to be tempted to bemoan our mission field. We forget that there are places where bombs go off, and people die. Hard places where sharing the love of God is dangerous. It is in our moments of forgetfulness we tend to push our calling away.
I have seen so many times people being wrote off as too unreachable and too hard to love. There is no such thing with God. That is like saying the water is too deep and too wet to walk on! If we keep our eyes on Christ he will lead us across the water and walking on it won’t be a problem!
We must remember that our hearts need to be soft and we need to be focused on God and his person in order to be effective in our ministry. We can’t say I love God and show no love to those he has placed around us. Jesus never ignored the needs around him. He knew already each heart and was ready to draw out from them the truth of their need.
Our Blind Eyes
You and I have a way of only being able to see what we want. That is a problem when we are asking God to help us! How can God help us when we are blind to our own need? We need to do some self-examining and take a good look at where our hurt is coming from. When we understand our own pain then we can help another.
We can’t turn away from someone and push them away then expect God to bless us. Even when it is hard we still have to find a way to show God’s love. Sometimes the best way is submission.
Pruning my heart hurts me, God…
We sometimes need to be pruned and have God pull off dead branches of bitterness from us. I love picking on myself because when I use me as an example I am the only one who can be upset over it! So here we go, I am going to tell you a little story of how God grows us and our churches.
I am a Sunday School Teacher and I have a room, a very much in need of some updating room. I have a great plan for it and yes I actually could go to the board today even and show visuals and so on and get approved to move forward with the project. I even have another church willing to send money to help me with it! Why don’t I do it? This is the painful part where I have to share my mission and the big picture God has shown me.
In my church, we have both strong and weak children of God. Some of us run to God and cling and some run to what is and has been safe and normal for them to hide. While we all love God, not all of us know how to hide our fears only in him. There is comfort in a building and memories it brings of security.
Godly Blankets for hurting souls
So when I first set out to do what is best for my Sunday School Class (which God has no longer provided by the way) I had no idea he was going to say shift gears. Some of the adults are clinging to what was because they haven’t learned yet to cling to God. They need that same old same old because it helps them feel safe and secure.
I prayed for God to help them see he is what matters. Till they can let go of the familiar safe place they see when we come to church every week and hold to just Jesus my room will have to keep. Broken baseboards and outdated murals pale in comparison to broken hearts and fearful tomorrows. Painting is easy but uplifting souls is much harder.
They need to see me cling to Jesus. They need to hear me speak about hard things and ask prayer. I have to mirror the faith I want to see in them. Painting and cleaning is easy when it is a room you are working on. The changing of hearts is a lot harder. I have a strong desire to grow our children’s ministry, but the children God sends me are not always young! Sometimes I am the babe needing to be fed and sometimes I am the one called to feed the babe.
Change is hard
Some people need the familiar to feel safe. Changes are not easy for them because they have internal issues that are haunting them. You can’t always see abuse, neglect, pain, fear, and insecurity. Everyone holds inside them a spiritual person. They have a soul we can’t see. In order to understand their soul, we need to look at our own first. That is why sometimes you can’t make changes that you are ready for till the others are ready too.
Are there things that I have had to let go of? Yes, I had to let go of childhood memories and some places I felt safe and that had memories of people I love that have died. I know how that felt. I had no control over those changes, but how about what I have control over. Have I let go of something that I feel safe and comfortable with?
I have this blanket I love so much. It is falling to pieces really and getting not so nice looking. It comforts me. I was given it when I came back here to live with my mom. It is safe and I have had it on my bed since I got it. I don’t want to let it go. I am making me a new blanket right now. When I get it done it will hurt to take the old beloved one off and replace it. I will do it anyway. This helped me understand why the few people who are against the small changes in our church are having such a hard time letting go. It is their blanket of safety. Something that they love that makes them feel worthwhile and safe.
A thing called compassion
We sometimes listen to what people say but we don’t hear the why behind it. It isn’t till we reflect on the internal of the person that we fully hear them. If we have no compassion for them then we can’t touch their hearts. Compassion calls for us to see them as weak and understand their personal struggles. You have to be able to put your own struggles into perspective before you can help them see theirs.
Are you compassionate? Can you face your struggles and say how can I help someone by being kind and understanding? We are quick to judge others and slow to reach out to them. I am happy to say I am making peace with some of those who can’t let go of the room I really need to fix up. It is a good sign that God will grow our church when you can put the physical aside and work on the spiritual. If it is a safe place that they need to run to then God let me become what they need and replace the walls, decorations, and worldly building! Let them come to me! Being alone with my blanket and comforting myself with it is not enough and neither is their being alone with a building and comforting themselves with memories. We need each other!
So, my prayer for us all is that we let God heal our hearts and use us to heal the hearts of others! May we be peacemakers!
Yours In Christ Jesus,