Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Somewhere Out There

Somewhere out there today is a girl hiding in a deep pain that she tries to escape from, but isn't finding peace. A mother just trying to make it through the day without falling apart. A husband trying hard to provide, but just doesn't feel he is enough. A young man trying to make his way but forever being held back from the mountains that seem too high to take alone. 

People everywhere are hurting, struggling, and so fearful of where their next breath will take them that they are frozen in a pain that seems indescribable. We look everywhere for encouragement and inspiration, but let's be honest. Sometimes it just isn't there. We hit one road block after another and pretty soon we just want to give up. 

We try to so hard to keep up. So much is thrown at us throughout the day. How can we endure one more blow? We hide the bruises. We keep our thoughts to ourselves. Why? Because those around us seem to be all put together. Their lives are like a dream. Family postcard happiness is what we want others to see. We love for others to think we are surrounded by friends, our jobs are perfect, the house is clean, the kids are reading their Bible and going to church. 

Why do we live in a facade? Why can't we be real with one another? Let's face the reality that life isn't perfect. Not even close. Our daughters become pregnant and instead of basking in joy over a grandchild we hide in shame of what the church will think. Our son makes a mistake and loses his job. Nope. Can't share that one either because Joe and Teresa just shared their four children are all in college, top of their class, jobs on the side, sports scholarship, and they call home every night to just say, I love you, and what are they going to think of my son that can't hold a job right now?

Friends, why are we always making excuses? We are left feeling as though we aren't good enough. We are faltering in some way. Why are things so good in other's lives, but falling apart in ours? Doesn't anyone else have troubles and days that need do-overs?

Should we be able to celebrate the beauty of life? You betcha! Let's celebrate together, but friends, let's be real. Let's share our struggles, our flops, those days where everything seems to fall apart at the seam. We keep our fears hidden, our stumbles out of sight, and our biggest tests to ourselves, because just what if we fail, what will everyone say after we have shared in Sunday school? 

Somewhere out there is a girl just waiting to feel like she isn't alone. A young man who just needs a friend to reach out. A mom who just wants to share how she really feels at night when everyone is sleeping. A dad who would love to be asked to go fishing with the other guys. 

If we were real, I mean really true to what our lives are each and every day we could impact this world in a huge way with Jesus! See, when Jesus is in our lives everything isn't perfect. In fact, life is often a mess, but with Jesus we can find beauty in that mess. 

I recently stood in the check out line as a girl bagged my groceries and shared with me, a total stranger, she opened up and shared that she is a single mom of a sixth month old and how difficult things are for her right now. The baby's daddy hasn't wanted anything to do with his child, but now wants to try to make a go of it. 

I walked into our local gas station to pay and as I stood in line turned to see the woman coming through the door with tears falling down the cheeks of her make up stained face. Her boyfriend had just exploded on her in the parking lot. Hearing her tell another, "I just needed to come in for a drink". As I walked out a police officer was just arriving. 

We forget that people just need love. Just love. Why is it so hard for us to be real? To let others think that was once us? There was a time before we knew Jesus. At least for me there was a time where I lived without the knowledge I had a Savior. My life then is much different from my life now. Not that I'm better than another, but that I now live my messy life with Jesus and that makes all the difference. 

Jesus is the answer, but we often don't let others see just how Jesus helps us in our messy lives. We try to hide the mess and pretend that since Jesus entered all is perfect. That isn't the Jesus this world needs, friends. They need to know the Jesus that loves the messy, that forgives the unforgivable. 

We don't have to be able to understand everyone's circumstances to understand their pain. Pain is pain. It's raw and real and it burns like fire. Jesus can quench that fire. He can give strength where weakness abounds. He can put a new kind of a fire in the heart of man, but first we have to be real with one another. 

I shared with the girl behind the counter that I remember that hurt very well. That I was in similar circumstances long ago when my girls were just babes. She looked at me as if to say, "You? I would have never thought." I shared my heart with her. Basically I was a friend for about five minutes, but in that five minutes she found a place she could share. 

The woman in the gas station? I didn't approach her. But what I did do was pray. I sat in my car and prayed for God to move in her life and to give her an escape and a new peace that she didn't know even existed. 

What I'm learning is that I need to speak up more, pray more, and give the Holy Spirit room to do His thing in His perfect timing. Most of all, I need to be real with people. What about you? What is it that you're needing today? If we just give our time to people, open our hearts, share our past and pain, Jesus will shine through and give way to changed hearts. 

Somewhere out there is a person in need of a friend who will just give an ear without judgement and condemnation. We all want to be loved and accepted. If we can be real with others, be honest and pure, Jesus will flow through our words and most of all our actions as we sit with a heart ready to hear and open to pray for each and every need. 

"For thought I am free from all men, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win the more; and to the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might win Jews; to those are under the law, as under law, that I might win those who are under the law; to those who are without law, as without law (not being with law toward God, but under law toward Christ), that I might win those who are without law; to the weak I became as weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some. Now this I do for the gospel's sake that I may be partaker of it with you." 1 Corinthians 9:19-23


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