For the past few weeks, I have seen this verse posted multiple times in my news feed by some well meaning people in response to what is happening around the world:
“Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land.” – 2 Chronicles 7:14
The Truth is – if our motives were to be exposed before this scripture, what is implied is this: ‘‘Ya’ll Need to Repent. America needs to repent. Folks need to repent. We need to repent.” But very rarely do we mean – “I need to repent.” We hide under the cloak of collectivism and plurals when God wants to deal with us as individuals. We deflect blame to another and become defensive when we are offended. You see, we are all responsible for the ills that we face because we have failed to take the time to deal with the “I”.
Systems are broken because they have been developed by broken people. Yes…You are I are those broken people. Broken people mess up consistently.
It is so easy to miss the blind spot in our lives while focusing on the wrongs in another. I understand that repentance takes vulnerability, transparency, and humility and it is downright hard. It is admitting that ‘I am wrong’ and seeking to choose another way– a better way, God’s way! It is only when we deal with “I” that the “We” and the “Ya’ll” can be forgiven. I need to repent daily because I have been wrong daily.
Spring is in the air and pollen…well it seems to be everywhere. I love all things spring…well except the pollen. I love the blooms but am not of a fan of the green haze that comes with it. I love to see the cherry blossoms decorate the streets on my daily commute but grumble when my voice drops a few octaves due to sinus allergies. I crave the beauty of a spring morning despite the fact that I am so stuffed up that I cannot stop to smell the roses. I find myself saying this phrase too often: “This day would be bliss if only….”–> Seemingly harmless words that can sound like a simple desire but if not placed in check can wreck you with worry and discontentment with your current situation.
On my commute to work one morning, I heard a whisper in my heart.
Give thanks in all things for this is the will of God concerning you who belong to Christ Jesus. – 1 Thes. 5:18
This got me thinking: When was the last time I was truly grateful for a spring day — pollen and all. No ‘ifs’ nor ‘buts’… Just a simple ‘Thank you, Jesus!’ for He has made all things well. How many times do I desire to choose the beauty without the ugliness that came before it? How often do we boast about the fruit and neglect the health of the roots? How many times do I relish the comfort I presently enjoy yet neglect the fact that it was due to another’s discomfort I can enjoy it?
Giving thanks in all things means that I choose to say, ‘thank you’ for God’s provision when I have little and another has plenty. I choose to say, ‘thank you’ while I mourn the death of my grandmother while celebrating the birth of my friend’s daughter. I choose to say ‘thank you’ when my ‘no’ is another’s ‘yes’.
Do not let your ‘but’ contradict God’s plans for another.
Know that God works all things together for his glory and our good for those who love him and are called according to His purpose.
So as I sit here and once again watch the storm clouds roll in, I am reminded that these clouds may be the answer to prayer for a farmer with grain. So choose to not complain about the weeds in your yard. An abundance of rain can lead to an abundance of grain.