There is no fear in love. But perfect love casts out fear, 1 John 4:18
It's been a while since I've written a blog post that wasn't just an update about our family.
It's been a quite a while since I've reached down into my heart and pulled out words that strip me of my safety and make me vulnerable and open to disagreement and criticism.
Actually I really try to stay away from posts like this because I don't like blurting out which side of the fence I fall on when it comes to controversial topics. I feel like usually it doesn't matter and just creates disunity.
BUT I'm stuck in a hospital room with my sweetie who is still sleeping off surgery, pain, and meds, which leaves me with a lot of time to just do nothing. As a busy mama of 4 I dream of being bored most days, but now all I want is the comfort of the craziness of my home and family.
Yet here I am, finding myself in the unfamiliar territory of boredom which is leading me to check my facebook way more than usual.
What I am seeing/reading is just absolutely making me sick.
We are living in scary times there is no denying that, but I am seeing people on my friends list eating people alive with their words.
I hear the panic and the fear.
and I get it, believe me I get it. Every time I watch the news I vow that my children will never again leave the four walls of our house...
but then I remember that I don't have to live in fear because I know the God who created the entire universe and holds it in His hand.
I remember that I say, I believe God is in control of my life and all of my days are in His hands.
My times are in your hands; deliver me from the hands of my enemies, from those who pursue me. Psalm 31:15
I remind myself what God has to say about fear...
There is no fear in love. But perfect love casts out fear, because fear
has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in
love. 1 John 4:18
Surely the righteous will never be shaken; they will be remembered forever. They will have no fear of bad news; their hearts are steadfast, trusting in the Lord. Their hearts are secure, they will have no fear
It goes on to say... listen closely and let these truths crowd out the fear that's fighting to take root in your heart.
In the end they will look in triumph on their foes. They have freely scattered their gifts to the poor, their righteousness endures forever; their horn will be lifted high in honor. The wicked will see and be vexed, they will gnash their teeth and waste away; the longings of the wicked will come to NOTHING. Psalm 110:6-10
and I remember what the Bible has to say about evil...
Do not be overcome with evil, but overcome evil with good. Romans:12:21
And when I'm overcome with the weight of the brokenness and neediness of this world, I recall that Jesus broke down all of my responsibilities into two things...
Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments. Matthew 22:34-37
Both of those commands have something in common, did you catch it?
If you call yourself a follower of Jesus Christ then you are called to LOVE.
LOVE that reaches beyond our borders.
LOVE that is HARD.
What kind of lunatic would say we should love our... ENEMY??
But I tell you love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you. Matthew 5:44
That would be my Jesus...
My heart wants to scream. No Lord, that doesn't make any sense!!
I need to fight my enemy.
I need to do everything in my power to keep my enemy away.
And almost as soon as I think those things I'm reminded that I was once an enemy of the cross.
But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8
When I was but an outcast with no way to reach the safety of God's holiness, Jesus risked it all and came to my rescue. By dying on the cross Jesus broke down every barrier of evil and on that day LOVE won forever.
He just keeps wrecking the safe little world I keep trying to make for myself... my family.
When He calls us to radical love, He doesn't accept the excuse that we have enough on our plates already.
Because we have to believe that HE is ENOUGH.
HIS LOVE IS BIG ENOUGH..
Yes, we are American's and I do feel a responsibility to protect this great nation that I love, but first and foremost I am a follower of Christ and that should mean that I choose to LOVE every opportunity I get.
The purpose of terrorism is to instill terror in people.
And from what I'm seeing in my newsfeed, it's working right now.
My dear brothers and sisters... If you call yourself a Christian, don't forget that God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. 2 Timothy 1:7 We don't have to panic and we don't have to fear bad news. We don't have to fear for our children's futures. If you're scared, cast your anxiety on Him because He cares for you. 1 Peter 5:7
The world needs the hope we carry more now than every before and they are looking to us to see how we are responding. It saddens my heart so much that what they are seeing is fear, anger, and retaliation. Instead of love they are seeing panic and the outcry for walls of protection.
I get that we want to protect our country... our home... but even that goes against what we're called to as believers.
Our citizenship is in Heaven.
I am sorry, but I haven't seen anywhere in scripture where Jesus calls us to strive for safe lives.
He calls us to lay down our lives in love for others...
Even when it's scary, even when it hurts, even when it may seem like it puts our family at risk...
but He promises that HE will be our REFUGE.
Not our country... HIMSELF.
I know it's scary to look outside and see so much darkness, but take heart...
The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. John 1:5
This is not the time to fight those who think differently than you. It's not the time to argue.
This is not the time to live IN FEAR.
Now is the time to live OUT LOVE.
Now is the time to cling to hope and be ready to give an answer to everyone who see's that we have hope in the face of this great time of fear.
but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always
being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason
for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect. 1 Peter 3:15
Gentleness and respect... also something I'm not seeing a lot of on social media right now.
I'm going to end this long post with one more thing that I just can't get around.
I keep hearing the argument from Christians that we shouldn't let refugees into our country because we can't even take care of the people/homeless we have right now.
I get this... it makes sense.
There are great needs in our country right now... but my issue with this is... it conflicts with my personal experience with God's calling on my life.
When we first announced that we were going to travel across the ocean, adopt Ivan, and bring him home to America, we got some feedback that really surprised me.
Why do you need to go all the way over there to adopt, don't you know we have kids here in the states that need families.
Why do you need to fund raise for your adoption. If you don't have the money to adopt then you shouldn't be doing it.
Aren't you scared for Landon? Ivan could have all sorts of issues. I know this one family that adopted a child who ended up being really violent.
The words themselves were not surprising. I was mainly surprised by who said them...
People who claimed to be followers of Christ.
I thought about everything they said and to be honest, we were terrified to begin the adoption journey God called us to, but God was bigger than all those fears. We didn't have all the answers, but we knew if we met every unknown question with unconditional, radical love... the rest was in God's hands.
I feel like the answer to all the questions and concerns about welcoming refugees can be answered with unconditional, radical love.
Yes, our country has great needs already, but God is bigger than every need. We as Christians, need to open our hearts to hearing His voice about how we can meet the needs outside the walls of our homes, whatever they may be.
Is there a chance that we could welcome a terrorist in with the refugees?
There's always been a chance that a terrorist could be hiding next door, but we can't live in fear and we can't let fear drive our decisions and hold us back from being a refuge for those who are being persecuted.
Just like how we couldn't let the fear that Ivan could grow up to be a serial killer keep us from making him a part of our family and saving his life.
Just like how I can't let the fear of someone bringing a gun to my child's elementary school keep me from putting him on the bus each morning.
Just like how I can't let my fear of passing semis on the interstate keep me from ever traveling anywhere.
Just like how we couldn't let our fear of losing our daughter drive us to refuse her heart the healing it needed.
This life is scary... God knows that and that is why He promises to walk with us through every fear, every trial, every tragedy, every moment of bad news that takes your breath away... He is our God and He is the God of the Fatherless, the widow, the brokenhearted, the poor, the homeless, the outcasts, the slave, and He is the God of the refugee.
For the Lord your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who shows no partiality and accepts no bribes. 18 He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the foreigner residing among you, giving them food and clothing. 19 And you are to love those who are foreigners, for you yourselves were foreigners in Egypt. Deuteronomy 10:17-18
The need will always be great.
Darkness will always be present.
God's LOVE will always be ENOUGH.