Archive | November 2017

where were the angels?

Many of us believe in angels.

More commonly, angels intervening in a situation and saving someone from danger or death.

Car accidents, a house fire, or a bullet that just missed the heart, to name a few.

In the recent church shooting which murdered 27 people on a Sunday morning, at the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs, the question may arise, where were the angels?

The truth is, angels are not always protecting or saving people from death, are they? Which in turn, we equate God is not always protecting or saving people from death.

Otherwise, everyone, certainly the devoted Christian, would be protected.

At least that’s how our mind might work.

I have always felt badly for those left behind after a tragedy because the consensus of angels getting the credit for a miracle (sent by God, of course). It could make those who lost their loved one think they weren’t good enough, they didn’t pray enough, they didn’t have enough faith, or that God does not care about them or love them.

Those can be very painful thoughts. Thoughts that some carry throughout their lifetime.

Thoughts that are not true.

When I lost my oldest son at 24 years old, I wondered, where were the angels? 

Even though there will always be a part of my heart that feels like it is not beating, I had to come to terms with my faith or I would have wanted to die, too. A mother wants to know her kids are safe and where they are. When your child dies, no matter how old he or she is, you cannot fix it.  I was suspended in a place unknown and unfamiliar.

I had to figure some things out. If I had stayed focused with the lack of angelic protection for my son, I would have been miserable all these years. Faith is believing what you cannot tangibly see and I had to either believe God’s promises were true or not in order to go on.

Today more than ever, people “believe God” for healing and miracles. Sermons are preached of doing greater works than Jesus and  faith that moves mountains. People even pray for God to dispatch angels.

How did suffering people throughout the centuries view this message? What did they do when this was not so prevalent as it is today? People who did not have all the bells and whistles, entitlements, access to one-click purchases, retirement funds, and more?

I think they embraced what the bible says, they “longed for a better place, that is, a heavenly one”.

On a good day, do we long for that better place?

How about on a bad day?

I believe in prayer. I think we should pray for healing and miracles and everything else that is good. I don’t believe we should sit back and settle.

If we have attributed angelic intervention to our circumstances (ultimately God’s intervention), we have to remember others do not have this same experience.

What they do have is something else I believe is valid and important to understand. It is rarely not shared with the testimonies of answered prayer, especially those with the acknowledgment of angelic activity. I mean, who wants to say what is not so wonderful to hear? Give me the answered prayer. The miracle.

The angels.

Early on after Christopher’s death, I felt God in a way I had never felt before. Yes, I did stop eating on purpose. Yes, I did end up having anxiety attacks and needed medication.

But, God was showing me so much that brought comfort in a way that I think only those who have experienced immense suffering and grief understand.

Angels don’t just rescue us from physical danger.

They are sent by God as ministering spirits, just as God sent one to strengthen Jesus as he was suffering in the Garden of Gethsemane before the crucifixion.

Had I not walked through the Valley of the Shadow of Death, I would not have known what it was like to not fear. I would not have experienced the comfort of God’s rod and staff. I would not have gotten stronger without God leading me to green pastures and still waters and eventually, seeing my soul restored.

People who have been to this valley have seen God in a way others have not. In the bible, Job suffered unimaginably in this valley, and at the end he said, I’ve heard of You [God] but now my eyes have seen you. 

It is true, today, even the most devoted Christian can be caught up with here and now. God made us to live with eternity always within our view. When we don’t, we are missing something vital to the Christian life. Something that keeps us steady, anchored, and accepting of things gone wrong.

Living with an eternal view keeps things in perspective.

And perspective is exactly what we need when we ask, where were the angels?

Church Shooting Texas

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for you.

There are people who do not go to church.

Some have been hurt.

Some see hypocrisy.

Some don’t believe in God.

So many reasons.

So many experiences.

And God cares about them all.

You may have heard “there is no perfect church”. This is true. But it is not an excuse.

It is often said in situations of conflict so those who have been hurt will realize things happen and the Bible encourages us to forgive, turn the other cheek, pursue peace, guard against division, and basically, let it go.

I agree and I have personally found peace in every situation, whether resolved or not.

Yet, I believe we should be very careful to examine our motives if we are in a conflict and we know we have hurt people with our words or actions. If the burden is quickly placed on the recipient of that hurt to just move on, it may be cause to take a step back.

There are scriptures telling us to be humble, bear one another’s burdens, and serve one another … all wrapped up in fervent love.

This love we should have is defined by the love God showed to the world through placing himself between us and the deadly consequences of sin separating us from God forever.

This is huge. And if we find ourselves getting off track, not always loving the way God wants us to, I think we are in big trouble.

And so, the Church, the people, should be representatives of this love which is immersed in gentleness and humility.

We do this because we love God and aren’t we the light to the world?

It’s not about our ability to move mountains, prophecy, and understand all mysteries.

It’s not about giving everything to the poor or dying a martyr.

All things that would get the world’s attention.

It is only about love. Are we humbling ourselves and allowing God to clean up our oh-so-easily-straying-heart?

Jesus humbled himself when he loved the world through his death.

If we are not humble, do we really love?

And are we growing and maturing into that perfect Church?

It’s interesting how much the world will expect from the Church. That’s because there is something unspoken, yet powerful that speaks to the world.

We must get it right.

glow

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