August 2020 has been one long month.
Can I get an “Amen!”?
Colorado is so hot and dry. Wildfires are raging across the western states as many are praying for rain.
Meanwhile, my friends in Hyderabad, India, are praying for the rain to stop due to severe flooding.
Raise your hand if you learned a new word for a severe windstorm this month. Granted, I didn’t pay too much attention in Environmental Geography, but I don’t remember ever hearing the term “Derecho.” I first read it in a tweet by President Trump and thought for sure he pulled another “Covfefe.”
Folks in Iowa are still trying to dig out of that brutal ‘Derecho’ storm. We pray for God to be with them through it all.
Our church in Colorado has gone five months without holding “in-person” weekend services, and there is no indication when the restrictions on large gatherings will be lifted. We pray for God to bring a swift end to this pandemic and allow us to return rejoicing to our faith communities.
Health issues, financial worries, questions about safety in our schools (for students, teachers, administrators, workers), political parties squaring off in advance of a contentious and monumental election…need I go on?
With so much distraction, heartache and confusion, how do we ever find our way?
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith…” (Hebrews 12:1-2 NLT)
The first thing we need to remember is that we are NOT alone. We aren’t the only ones who have been through difficult times. The Bible is full of stories of God’s faithful people who endured so much more. (Aren’t you glad we aren’t being thrown into arenas with hungry lions?)
We’re surrounded by a global Christian community that spans the ages. Not only that, but we have confidence that God is with us in the midst of our trials and tribulations. God isn’t asking us to run this race all by ourselves. We simply need to look for Jesus, and once we recognize him, we need to keep our eyes focused there.
Don’t look around. Don’t look back.
Just look at Jesus and do what he does.
I have been on quite the ride this month. It started with no small amount of fear and trepidation as I inquired about a different position at KidZ at Heart. I was already the Chief Program Officer, but we were in great need of a new Chief Development Officer. This wasn’t something I had ever seen myself doing, but I felt like God was putting it on my heart.
So I asked, “What about me?”.
I certainly didn’t rush into this. Quite the contrary, I cautiously asked, then waited to see what God wanted to show me. I entrusted myself to God and leaned into the prayerful discernment of the board of KidZ at Heart.
As it turns out, I was following the prompting of the Holy Spirit and it truly was where God was leading. I’m fully aware that the only way to go forward in this new role is with my eyes focused on Jesus. I cannot do this on my own, nor do I want to attempt such a foolish endeavor.
KidZ at Heart is a wonderful community with a ministry impact that stretches all over the world. I am humbled to be a part of something so special, so important, so needed in our world today. I look forward to sharing this ministry with anyone and everyone I can.
Imagine if every child in the world was on on a spiritual journey toward falling deeply in love with Jesus.
So many people are fearful that we are a generation away from things falling apart. But what if we are a generation away from a global renewal that isn’t simply marked by huge numbers of people coming to faith in Christ, but by surrendered men, women and children allowing the Holy Spirit to completely transform their lives from the inside out. This is the dream waking me up in the middle of the night. No kidding.
I want to see it. Don’t you?
So what are your eyes focusing on these days? Or maybe I should ask who are your eyes focusing on? Just turn on the news for a minute and you’ll hear a lot of people telling you where to turn your attention. But don’t give in to the pressure. Instead, keep your eyes focused on Jesus, “the one who initiates and perfects our faith.”
Let’s choose this day to go with God into the chaos and the craziness of our current situation. Let’s choose to live “on mission,” wherever we may be, and trust that we are not going alone.
Let’s choose to serve…to listen…to love.
Let’s choose to simply be with God
that God chooses to be with us.